Best Cities 2010: Austin, TexasOur number-one Best City for the Next Decade is a hotbed for small business -- and music.
By Bob Frick
From Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, July 2010
Everything may be bigger in Texas, but Austin’s genius is nurturing the power of small. Just ask Rob Neville, who wants to develop his biotech firm, Savara Pharmaceuticals, into a major player in the field of inhaled-drug therapy. The firm started in Kansas, but Neville transplanted it to Austin because the city is arguably the country’s best crucible for small business.
Neville, a native of South Africa, has rooted his company in a city with, he says, “a huge angel-financing network, billionaires who will freely offer you advice,” plus a culture that “attracts the best and brightest, who will work for less just to be in Austin.” Savara is based in the city’s renowned Austin Technology Incubator. Austin Technology is a joint project of the University of Texas, which is a research powerhouse, the city of Austin and the business community -- just one example of the collaboration that characterizes the city.
Neville isn’t himself a scientist. “Many people could have done a life-sciences company better than me,” he admits. But he has faith in Austin. His first company, software firm Evity, blossomed in Austin; Neville sold it to BMC Software for $100 million in 2000.
And the Austin magic isn’t limited to high-tech businesses. Blair Smith is co-owner of Dirty Dog, a dog-grooming business (you can wash your own pet or let the pros do the job). When Smith needed capital, she found it through Meet the Lender, a community program that allows business owners to participate free of charge. “We’re such a weird business that traditional banks don’t get us,” says Smith....
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Here is a related article sharing the rest of the nations 10 best cities.,
10 Best Cities for the Next Decade - Kiplinger
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