Technology startups have played an important role in driving the Austin economy. Home-grown companies like Tivoli, HomeAway, and Solarwinds have become major local employers.
In an effort to build a stronger community around startups with the hope of nurturing more entrepreneurs to success, the Statesman reports that “Austin may soon get a downtown startup district similar to those that have thrived in Silicon Valley and Boston.”
According to the Statesman:
“The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce is launching an effort to create Austin Live, a downtown work space that could serve as a home base for entrepreneurs and very early stage startups.
A search is under way for 10,000 square feet of space for the initiative, said Gene Austin , CEO of Convio Inc. and chairman of the chamber’s Greater Austin Technology Partnership, which is overseeing the project.
Austin Live would feature an open floor plan and a coffeehouse environment, and it would provide a place for people to plug in their laptops and exchange ideas.
“The idea is to give entrepreneurs a better runway to get out of the tough stages of going from an idea to a real business,” Austin said. “It’s hard to make connections when you’re working from your garage. We’d like this to become a magnet for funding. Hopefully, it will become a centerpiece for a much stronger tech ecosystem.”
Chamber leaders are talking with other startup districts about playing a role in Austin Live. It’s possible that instead of charging for space, service providers such as legal and accounting firms or venture capital firms could underwrite expenses, organizers said.
Many details are not yet decided, including who would operate the space and recruit tenants, and how it would be funded. The chamber’s role now is helping find the location.”