By Lori Hawkins
New Orleans entrepreneur Christine Alexis is looking for funding for her online jewelry startup, and she says Austin might be the right place to find it.
Next week, Alexis will get a first-hand look at Austin’s startup community when she arrives in town for the fifth annual Austin Startup Week, which runs Monday through Friday.
“I want to explore the possibilities in Austin, because I know it’s a great place for startups,” said Alexis, who founded cultureshockstore.com in 2013. “In New Orleans, most investors are looking at tech industry deals, but Austin has a thriving startup fashion scene, and I think it could be a great fit.”
The week features dozens of events, including morning coffees, a startup career fair, office hours with veteran entrepreneurs, panels, happy hours and a “startup crawl” where more than 70 companies will open their doors, serve food and drinks and give tours.
Most events are free and open to everyone. Organizers hope to draw developers, marketers, college students, recent graduates and anyone interested in learning more about Austin’s tech landscape.
“It’s kind of a discovery platform to find out what’s going on in the tech scene, both for people who are here locally as well as people who are visiting Austin,” said Jacqueline Hughes, who teamed up with Capital Factory founder Joshua Baer to organize this year’s event. “We’ve heard from people around the country saying it’s the perfect time for me to consider moving to Austin or bringing my startup to Austin.'”
More than 6,000 people are expected to attend Startup Week, which is scheduled between Austin City Limits music festival weekends so out-of-towners can stay a few days after the first ACL weekend or arrive early for the second weekend and attend both events.
This year, Startup Week is attracting a global audience, with 20 participants from Australia and individuals coming from countries including France and England.