Local Tech Series: Austin, TX
Welcome to Austin; famous for food, music, art and (unsurprisingly) tech. It’s no secret that computer giant Dell Inc. was founded in Austin and operates in Round Rock, Texas, about twenty miles outside of Austin proper. But while Dell may be the first name many people think of when it comes to tech in the Austin area, the capital of the Lone Star State plays home to a host of tech-based companies of all sizes, spanning from the large, worldwide players to the smaller, startup side of the industry.
The Silicon Hills
Dell wasn’t the only major operation to find roots in Austin. In the 1980s, Silicon Hills was also home to IBM and AMD, but it wasn’t until the early 2010’s that the area really started to boom. A variety of factors contributed to the growth of Silicon Hills, including the fact that Texas offers incentives to emerging companies and that the cost of living is significantly lower in Austin than it is in other tech hubs. As the number of positive reasons to be in Austin increased, so too did the number of tech companies based there, so here’s a look at five local tech companies who call Austin ‘home’.
Main Street Hub
Via Main Street Hub Facebook page
Who: Main Street Hub
What: Online Marketing
How: A self-proclaimed ‘do-it-for-you’ marketing platform, Main Street Hub uses social media, customer reviews, and mobile and email marketing campaigns to help local businesses grow their customer base. It’s through channels like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google, Foursquare and TripAdvisor that they engage with a business’ current and potential customers, all while nurturing that business’ online reputation.
Something Cool: Main Street Hub partners with other companies like Groupon, Square and Yelp to provide businesses with webinars focused on expert advice and marketing best practices.
Via TrendKite Google+ page
What: PR Analytics
How: Having a PR strategy in place is only half the battle; determining its effectiveness is where your true strengths lie. Having spent a couple of years on the PR battlefield myself, I know how valuable a good set of analytics can be, and that’s where TrendKite comes in. Measurement, monitoring and reporting make up the platform’s arsenal – tools that can tell a business exactly how successful they are, where they can pick up some slack and where their efforts have proven to be the most profitable.
Something Cool: Stop Googling yourself! TrendKite stays on top of your media mentions and lets you know when you’ve been named somewhere. They can even tell you if the tone of the mention is positive or not, so here’s hoping they always have good news for you!
Via Square Root Facebook page
Who: Square Root
What: Store Relationship Management
How: Put simply, Square Root helps store owners make their stores better. Square Root’s SRM platform CoEFFICIENT gives businesses a centralized hub to track and manage all their data and study their analytics; the platform even lets users pull data from multiple store locations in order to understand how all contributing factors are coming together towards one outcome. Square Root’s goal is to present store owners with accurate insights to the inner workings of their businesses in order to promote smart decision making and all-around success.
Something Cool: CoEFFICIENT comes equipped with a field team support module, helping to make sure a field manager’s time and energy are spent, well, efficiently (get it?)
Via Continuum Analytics Facebook page
Who: Continuum Analytics
What: Analytics and Data
How: The whole idea behind Anaconda, Continuum Analytics’ Python-powered platform, is to give people who aren’t software experts the ability to generate and analyze data as if they were. The open data science platform provides users with ‘superpowers’ encompassing analytics, application development and operation management, all while staying agile and scalable; when companies pursue growth, Anaconda is designed to grow right alongside them.
Something Cool: It’s not science that different people can use the same software and be at varying levels of proficiency. What is science, however, is Continuum Academy and the programming courses they offer, each one taught and designed by Python experts to help users gain the knowledge they need in order to take full advantage of the system.
Via Ownlocal Facebook page
What: Automated Digital Advertising
How: Aimed to help local media outlets monetize their online presence, OwnLocal uses an automated process to create digital ad campaigns. The platform works like a traditional advertising team by collating print, radio and television ads, extracting relevant and important data and then using that data to create IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) standard ads as well as SEO and SEM campaigns.
Something Cool: Even though the platform is automated and works like humans without actually being humans, there does come a stage in the process when a real person double-checks the platform’s work. Having a person take the time to make sure everything is copacetic narrows the margin for error and increases the quality of the experience.
Head For The Hills
Our list may stop here, but Austin’s definitely doesn’t. An assortment of great tech companies call Austin home and for good reason; mixed in with all the artists and musicians are plenty of data scientists and analytic wizards. In recent years, the city’s also shown significant growth in the biotech segment, proving that Austin’s not ready to call it a day anytime soon.
Photo courtesy of Flikr userStuSeeger
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