Austin's business leaders plan to help technology startup companies by creating a new downtown collaborative workspace for them.
On May 31, the Austin Chamber of Commerce announced that it would partner with local accelerator Capital Factory in the launch of Austin TechLive later this year. The workspace will be located at Capital Factory's offices on Eighth Street.
The idea behind Austin TechLive is that a downtown hub for startups would help create jobs, recruit skilled talent and offer a space for training and networking opportunities.
Capital Factory Managing Director Joshua Baer referred to the space as an "entrepreneurial command center or center of gravity." He said working downtown allowed him to walk to meetings and interact with other businesses more easily.
Jason Cohen, WP Engine founder and Capital Factory mentor, said that it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to meet up and collaborate. Having startups in the same space and receiving training in a comfortable environment is bound to generate positive results, he said.
"When you talk about tech startups, you always hear about funding," Baer said. "To me, the No. 1 issue, whether here in Austin or anywhere, is recruiting the right people. With this facility, we would have a real advantage. We would have a pipeline for startups to get skills and be great. You would have people walk in and say, 'I want to work here!'"
Baer also said the space would foster what he called "a healthy kind of cannibalism." As one startup fails, another startup may recruit its talent and become stronger as a result.
In a chamber statement, Baer added that each month, thousands of prospects will walk through the door to attend classes and meet-ups.
The University of Texas and mentoring group General Assembly of New York will help facilitate Austin TechLive's educational programing.
According to the chamber, Austin TechLive can house 10 startups downtown and aims to attract 50 new startups to the Austin region.
Tech Partnership Chairman Bryan Jones said Austin has more than 4,000 tech companies and more than 100,000 tech jobs.
"We added over 6,000 tech jobs last year, and we hope to add 5,000 more this year," he said.
Austin TechLive aims to increase enrollment in Startup Texas/Austin by 200 entrepreneurs among existing Austin-area tech companies.