Why is Austin good for business? What does the city do to help entrepreneurs and start-ups? What does “weird” contribute to the Austin business scene?”
A panel of Texas Exes from around the Austin business community convened last week at the Alumni Center to ruminate on what explains the city’s thriving entrepreneurial ethos.
About 100 people attended the Hooked on Austin Business: The Culture, Community, and Challenges event, hosted by the Texas Exes Austin Professionals.
Colin Pope, BJ ’97, editor of the Austin Business Journal, moderated the panel featuring KXAN anchor Robert Hadlock; Austin’s emerging technologies program coordinator Eve Richter, MPAff ’07; former Alamo Drafthouse CEO John Martin, BA ’86; and Jan Triplett, PhD ’79, CEO of the Business Success Center.
“The most interesting thing about the word ‘weird’ is when it came about,” said Triplett, who has worked in the city’s business community for 30 years. She was there when a librarian originally thought up the now-iconic slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.”
“We could have said Austin is creative, because it is very creative. It’s the live music capital and the software capital. But the one that stuck was the one that reflects the psyche of the people who are here and who want to buy things here and grow and initiate things here.”
The event was the latest in a series hosted by the Texas Exes Austin Professionals exploring local business, industry, and culture. Previous events have centered on Austin’s burgeoning digital media industry and the effects of globalization.