Here’s this week’s dish on lesson’s learned from Austin’s “hostile attitude” toward innovation, booming non-Silicon Valley startup hubs and what startups can do for the future workforce. Check out more in this series here.
The Austin, Texas City Council’s recent decision to prohibit homeowners from renting out properties for less than 30 days per guest effectively outlawed companies like Airbnb and the Austin-based startup HomeAway.
The decision set off a ripple effect that spread much further than the local homesharing economy, according to the article. It lights a glaring neon sign over the city that Austin is “hostile toward innovation and new tech.”
This new reputation is having a real impact for the established tech hub. Already, Floodgate Fund LP, a venture capital firm out of Palo Alto, Ca., cited the council’s ruling as the reason it will no longer invest in on-demand companies in Austin. The fund is one of the few Bay Area VCs that regularly visits Austin. VCs that fund such companies may someday find their investments regulated out of existence, according to the article.
Kansas City may want to take note as it mulls its own regulations for home-sharing.
It may seem like all the startup action happens in the foggy Bay Area, but according to a study by venture capital research firm Mattermark, the numbers tell a different story.
Analyzing startup hub VC growth rates — as opposed to just total dollars and deals — boots Silicon Valley off the 2015 top 10 list. The area went negative, shrinking 1.34 percent. Kansas City earned the No. 1 rank, growing 200 percent from 2014.
It’s not all good news for Kansas City. Although 2015 was impressive, the area doesn’t make the top 10 list at all for average growth from 2012 to 2015 due to dwindling deal activity in previous years. Startups looking for growth stability will find No. 1 Raleigh, NC (20.55 percent growth) and No. 2 Salt Lake City, UT (15.5 percent) more to their taste. The Bay Area barely made the list, earning a No. 10 spot with a paltry 2.17 percent average growth rate.
Today, there are more total dollars in the game than ever before. Startup hubs outside the Valley are not only beginning to earn a share of those dollars, the numbers show they’re snookering growth away from their more-established foggy predecessor.
Inside/Outside Podcast: University resources with Courtney Corlew of Launch TN
Startland News has talked a lot about educating Kansas City’s future workforce for an innovative future. The Inside/Outside team offers another opinion on how to do it best: drop out of college and go work for a startup.
Is that the worst-ever advice for students who think a career in corporate America is the only way to go? Not necessarily. The podcasters say working for a startup incubates the soft skills our future workforce needs faster and more effectively than any other opportunity — even if students aren’t interested in a permanent spot in the startup world.
According the podcasters, a startup environment forces students to:
- Solve high-level challenges on entry-level experience
- Wear a lot of hats that build multiple skillsets
- Work under stress
- Learn to be scrappy
- Build a bottom-line, results-oriented focus
- Develop an all-in attitude