For the past quarter-century, the Austin Technology Incubator—a startup hub based out of UT’s IC² Institute—has been quietly chugging along at the Pickle Research Campus in North Austin, helping new companies get off to a good start by providing office space, connections to investors, and other forms of support. Now the university has run the numbers to see how the incubator is affecting Austin, and the results are heartening.
According to a report released this week by UT’s Bureau of Business Research, the Austin Technology Incubator has created 6,520 new jobs and generated $880 million in economic benefits for Travis County in the last decade. The report, which relied on company surveys and economic modeling software, also estimated that more than $20 million in local tax revenue has come out of the incubator.
“The impact has been darn high,” says senior research scientist Jim Jarrett, who led the report. “ATI is a tremendous investment for local governments in terms of what they’re getting back.”
Of the 53 companies that have graduated from the tech incubator in the last 10 years, 39 are still in business, according to the report. Jarrett adds that the report may even underestimate the incubator’s benefits: “Of those 14 [defunct] companies, we weren’t able to measure their impact from the years when they were in business,” he says.
Among the incubator’s success stories: Molecular Imprints, a lithography company soon to be acquired by photo giant Canon; Spredfast, a social media marketing company that recently raised $32.5 million; Ideal Power, a clean-energy venture that went public last year; and many more.
Read the report in full here.
Photo by Marsha Miller courtesy The University of Texas at Austin.