Home to Technology
Austin’s been called Silicon Hills, and indeed, if I throw a rock out my office window (we are located at Research Park), I will hit the offices of Apple, AMD, Flextronics, Dell, Microsoft, IBM, 3M, AT&T, Samsung and Motive, and scores of other tech companies.
Entrepreneurs and tech talent are moving to Austin in droves—an estimated 120 people per day—a change that’s led to congested traffic conditions and rising real estate prices. But you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet (and a breakfast taco). Forbes magazine reported that Austin has the fastest growing tech scene in the U.S, having created nearly 54,000 new tech jobs in 2014 alone. The Wall Street Journal named Austin the top tech city in the world, according to five metrics including business environment, tech environment, quality of life, talent pool and property costs.
There are now 86,000 employed in STEM jobs in Austin, paired with an impressive 3% unemployment rate. Organizations like Austin Technology Incubator, Austin Technology Council, The Capital Factory, events like SXSW-Interactive, and top-rated engineering and technology programs at the University of Texas are doing their bit to nurture tech entrepreneurs and their startups.
Unbeatable Quality of Life
Aurigo is well capitalized, closely held by its management and employees, very profitable, and on the way to becoming a billion-dollar business. We’re not here in the hopes of securing funding and neither do we thrive on paper valuations set by PE investors on Sand Hill Road. BTW, I love my friends on Sand Hill Road, and to them I say, your dollar will stretch much further in Austin!
What matters most to us is the quality of life for our employees, and Austin offers quality in spades. In the Live Music Capitol of the World, Austin’s 6th and Rainey streets offer a vibrant cocktail of live jazz, rock, punk, swing, and a number of genres to keep you happy (besides Shiner Bock beer brewed in Texas). Excellent school systems in Austin, Round Rock, and Leander ISDs make it attractive for employees raising families.
For families and singles alike, healthy is a way of life. Austin is consistently ranked as one the top fittest cities in the U.S., undoubtedly with the help of a massive outdoor spread of natural watering holes like Barton Springs, almost two hundred total miles of hike and bike trails, greenbelts, and miles of lakes for kayaking and paddleboarding.
Real estate prices (although increasing) are still a fraction of the prices of those in California: Average home price in Google’s hometown is $1,315,000 versus Austin’s average $330,000 per home. Personal and corporate taxes, too, are much less painful than those in Silicon Valley.
All Colors, All Views
Austin shines as a progressive city, which goes hand-in-hand with the diverse, multicultural demographic that populates Austin and surrounding areas. This forward-thinking population is who we want to recruit, whether seasoned professionals or straight out of schools. These are the people we want brainstorming on our office whiteboards: diverse employees with differing views on what we should do and how we should do it. Aurigo’s employee mix is as diverse as the world we live in. At Aurigo, we have people of many nationalities, races and colors who have come together with one common trait: Brilliance!
A City as Weird as Aurigo (Well, Almost!)
There’s a citywide motto: Keep Austin Weird, originally invented by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote the copious quirky local businesses that give the city its homegrown character. Weird means offbeat, or outside the norm. That’s us! There’s a massive collective energy of Austinites who encourage weirdness—ideas that are out of the ordinary, disruptive, off the beaten path. And that’s Aurigo at our core. We’re pioneering new technologies that make capital project owners finally enjoy some peaceful nights. We don’t just think outside the box. We live outside it. Take, for instance, our engagement with the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario where we are deploying the world’s first web-based contract management service over the cloud, at zero cost to the Ministry! My next post will elaborate on the specifics of this industry game-changer.
At Aurigo, we are changing the way the world’s infrastructure is managed and built–one line of code at a time. If we ever stop being weird, that means we’ve stopped innovating, crafting, constructing, questioning, and that’s when we’re in trouble. There was a time when elevators, anesthesia, and inflatable rubber tires were considered weird, and now we’re all thankful for that weirdness, aren’t we?
You’ll find us in north Austin, just doing our part to keep Austin–and Aurigo—weird!