In a sense, Matt Darner and Cameron Desautels of Dallas are on a scouting mission.
They’re coming to town for Austin Startup Week, a five-day conference that starts Monday. If they like what they see, Darner and Desautels say they’ll consider relocating their two-year-old company.
“We’re looking forward to making connections with other entrepreneurs and with venture capitalists,” said Darner, vice president of business development for Collbox, which sells software that helps businesses collect on overdue invoices. “We’re at the stage where we want to raise money.”
Adds Desautels, Collbox chief technology officer: “It seems like Austin really is the place to be if you’re a startup. I think it’s a real possibility for us to take the company from Dallas to Austin.”
Darner and Desautels are two of an estimated 7,500 people who will be taking part in the seventh annual Austin Startup Week, which features more than 120 events, including morning coffees, panels, workshops, product demo sessions and a career fair.
Events take place downtown at various co-working spaces, tech offices, restaurants and coffee shops. The opening party Monday night at the Mohawk is a Battle of the Bands featuring Austin tech companies.
During Thursday night’s ATX Tech Crawl, dozens of tech companies will open their doors, serve food and drinks and give tours.
Most events are free and open to everyone, but registration is required. Some events this year will request donations to raise money for causes including Hurricane Harvey relief and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.
Organizers hope to draw developers, marketers, investors, college students and anyone interested in working for a startup, or just learning more about Austin’s startup community.
“This event really highlights all the great organizations and meetups and existing ecosystem we have for people who are interested in entrepreneurship,” said Jacqueline Hughes, who teamed up with Capital Factory founder Joshua Baer to organize the event.
This year, Startup Week is offering tracks on topics including health tech, data science, gaming, fundraising and mobility/transportation. Each day, panels will tackle the topics from various angles.
Startup Week is scheduled between Austin City Limits Music Festival weekends so out-of-towners can arrange their visits to take part.
Attendees will be coming from as far away as Colombia, the United Kingdom and India, as well as from California, New York and other states.
“One thing we’re expecting is a lot more people coming from Dallas and Houston,” Hughes said. “Both have launched their own startup weeks, and people are realizing this is a great way to come to a town and connect with a whole tech community and find out what they’re doing.”
For more information on Startup Week, including a schedule and registration, go to atxstartupweek.com.
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