Meet Austin: The Southwest’s Creative and Technology Hub

Aside from Austin being the capital of Texas and home to SXSW, what makes Austin such a creative city? We take a look at some of the top reasons and start digging into the digital agencies and design firms that help keep Austin weird.
Creative Austin SXSW Fun

Big education and business hub

Greater Austin brings in north of $86 billion GDP. It is a major center for high tech with thousands of graduates each year from the engineering and computer science programs at the University of Texas at Austin.

That means there is a fresh stream of youthful talent and creative exploration pumping life into the city with every graduating class. At the same time, people and businesses seem to really like Austin.

Forbes has ranked Austin number one among all big cities for jobs in 2012 and, in 2013, Austin ranked No. 14 on Forbes’ list of the Best Places for Business and Careers.
Austin at night. Photo by Sergey Galyonkin

Major companies call Austin home, leading to the need for top digital agencies and design firms

Fourteen Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or regional offices in Austin. That list includes Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, ARM Holdings, Cisco, eBay, Google, IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments, 3M, Oracle Corporation, Whole Foods Market, and Dell’s worldwide headquarters (actually located in nearby Round Rock, a suburb of Austin).

Outside of the Fortune 500, there are a ton of other sizable companies based in Austin include Freescale Semiconductor, Temple-Inland, Sweet Leaf Tea Company, Keller Williams Realty, National Western Life, GSD&M, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Golfsmith, Forestar Group, and EZCorp to name a few.

Great weather and clean air

Austin has a humid subtropical climate and a river that runs right through the heart of the city. One must do adventure is to take a paddle down the river, through Austin.

Known as a “clean-air city,” Austin has stringent no-smoking ordinances for all public places and buildings, including restaurants and bars. The city is also pretty bike-friendly and downtown is very walkable.

Austin street art. Photo by Nan Palmero

Culture that fuels creativity from art and amazing music to delicious food and beverages

“Keep Austin Weird” may not be the city’s official slogan, but the people cherish their local businesses, spirit of adventure and celebrating cultural fringes.

Austin music scene. Photo by Peelander Z, Moneybrother in Austin. Photo by Earl McGehee music scene. Photo by Incase

SXSW just keeps getting bigger

Every year SXSW brings a huge injection of creativity across music, technology and film. This outsider stimulus organized by the local Austin community, is another boon that helps keep agency thinking ahead of many other cities.

This year is no different. Take a look at our Marketer’s Guide to SXSW so you know which talks are a must.

Meet Austin’s agencies and design firms

If you haven’t met Austin’s marketing agencies yet, check out our Austin hub for in-depth digital agency and design firm coverage or visit some of the articles below.


Brian Regienczuk
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