AUSTIN - Austin has the highest rate of new entrepreneurs in the country.
That's according to The Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit that promotes entrepreneurship. This week many of them are attending Austin Startup Week.
The event offers a variety of panels, meetups, and workshops all week long, all over the city. Attendees will be able to learn from successful entrepreneurs.
Before the event started, some shared their thoughts on why Austin is such an appealing city for startups and what it takes to be successful.
Alex Williamson el-Effendi is part of the original team that transformed an idea into a dating app used by 21 million people.
"I don't think I've totally grasped what it turned into," el-Effendi said.
Many consider Bumble to be one of the most successful startups to come out of Austin, but life didn't always look like this for the company that allows women to make the first move when it comes to finding love.
"When we first started Bumble we were working remote," el-Effendi said. "We were working on a group text."
Now, the company has made 1 and a half billion love connections and a lot of money.
Looking back over the past three years, Bumble has been a business where Williamson el-Effendi shares what she thinks it takes to turn a startup into a success.
"Find a problem in society and then look for a solution and a way to fix it," she said. "When Whitney founded and launched Bumble she saw a problem in society that women are told to wait to make the first move."
Once you have the problem, build a team of people who can fix it. This is where Austin comes into play.
"We have been able to recruit some of the best, most innovative minds," el-Effendi said. "The most creative people"
"The tech talent is really strong here," said Joshua Dziabiak.
Dziabiak is the co-founder and chief operating officer at The Zebra, which compares car insurance companies to find who has the cheapest rates.
He told KVUE why Austin is so appealing to him and other entrepreneurs.
"I think the combination of the affordability, the tech talent, the landscape, the geo being sort of right in the middle between Silicon Valley and New York," he said. "All these things just make it a very attractive city."
Both el-Effendi and Dziabiak said once you have your team, be ready to work hard and stop at nothing to make your dream happen.
"I always tell everybody to stay focused," Dziabiak said. "If you're building a product, become really great at one thing."
el-Effendi said don't underestimate your capabilities.
"About three years ago I don't think I'd be somebody that anybody would have bet on," she said, "You can do it, you just have to believe in yourself and believe in your team."
Austin Startup Week is free to attend.
To see the full schedule, click here.
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