Austin is living up to its "boomtown" reputation, and the proof is in the numbers.
Inc. Magazine measured businesses all over the U.S. for its annual Inc. 5000 list, ranking a whopping 5,000 American businesses and dividing them into categories
As expected, the city shone in tech- but even more companies came from the advertising and products and services industries. Overall, Austin flaunted 107 local businesses that made the cut.
Here's a list of all of the businesses helping Austin's boom:
Advertising & Marketing
Coming in as the top local advertising company, this is Austin-based video marketing agency AdOutreach's first time on the Inc. 5000 list. AdOutreach has demonstrated 4,515% growth since last year and came in 87th place overall.
Digital Thrive (121), CBANC Network (605), Conversion Logix (1,285), Intellibright (1,672), Orange142 (2,448), TriggerPoint Media (2,449), StitcherAds (2,559), Effective Spend (3,323), Tiger Pistol (3,614), Service Direct (4,164) and Threshold (4,515) also made the list.
Business Products & Services
Out in Cedar Park, Cartograph provides fully outsourced management services for Amazon channels and came in 122nd place overall on the list with a 3,259% growth rate. The company was also included in the Inc. 5000 Regionals list this year.
Lab Alley (396), Ninja Partners (1,214), Funsize Corp. (2,325), Skaled Consulting (2,616), Felix Media Solutions (3,120), Fourlane (3,905), The ASK Method Company (4,023), OpenSymmetry (4,131), Sense Corp (4,453), Urban Betty (4,767) and EBQ (4,827) also made the list.
CAN-AM Wireless, a Cedar Park-based company that provides IoT, or Internet of Things, services to large companies and governments, topped the computer hardware list in 292nd place. The company has had a 1,583% growth rate over the last year.
Evergreen Electronics (886) and Simply NUC (1,000) also made the list.
Resort and lifestyle community developer and designer Legacy DCS was one of eight other construction companies to make the Inc. 5,000. In 888th place overall, Legacy DCS has grown by a factor of 547% since 2020.
Alpha Paving Industries (2,046), Green Knight Metal Roofing (2,268), Patriot Services Network (2,583), Hellas Construction (3,280), Encore Mechanical (3,570), Direct Expansion Solutions (3,873) and Kidd Roofing (4,751) also made the list.
Consumer Products & Services
Neck and neck with Austin-based tea subscription service Sips by, Literati was the highest on the consumer products list in 77th place. The book subscription service has been booming with a 4,898% growth rate.
Sips by (79), Woom Bikes USA (1,198), Puracy (1,781), Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning (1,923), Peddle (2,221), Patriot Pool and Spa (2,389) and Camp Gladiator (4,944) also made the list.
Coming in at 3,952 on the list, the Growth Institute is an executive training company for mid-market companies. The company, started in 2012, has growth by 79% and been on the list several times, coming in 2,100 in 2020, 2,251 in 2019 and 1,593 in 2018.
The solar industry consultant Kinect Solar was the only Austin energy company that made the list, clocking in at 2,231st place overall. The company has grown by 191% since it last made the list in 2020, coming in 130th place, and 2019, coming in 162.
Providing financial services for the community, Austin Capital Bank made the 1,066th spot on the list. The company has grown by almost 500% since last year.
Easy Pay Direct (2,676), Consero Global (2,899), AffiniPay (3,022), Simpler Trading (3,856), Red Oak Compliance Solutions Holdings (4,011) shared the list.
Food & Beverage
Basemakers and Mighty Swells Spiked Seltzer were the lone two food and drink businesses on the list, coming in 1,918th place and 1,936th place respectively. The businesses grew at about the same rate—both around 230%.
MKS2 Technologies, which does cybersecurity and development for the Department of Defence and Veteran Affairs, was the sole government services nominee at 1,766th place in Austin. The company enjoyed a 258% growth rate over the last year.
Two companies made it in the health sphere. Medical products distributor Empowering a Billion Women came in highest out of all the Austin companies in 28th place, while at-home medical test provider EverlyWell was 219th.
Towards the bottom of the list in 4,562nd place, full-service recruiting firm Becker Wright Consultants has grown by 57% in the last year.
With a portion of Q2 Stadium named after it, insurance provider The Zebra made it into the top 1,000 with a growth rate of 520% and was the only insurance company on the list.
Wursta, which helps companies grow with Google Cloud, came in 440th place with 1,115% growth. Mission Critical Facilities International, specializing in data center power and cooling equipment, also secured a spot in 3,332nd place with a 107% growth rate.
IT System Development
Simpat Tech, in 1,182nd place, and Motiv, in 4,091st place, led the Austin community in IT system development with a 409% and 74% growth rate respectively.
Logistics & Transportation
With fewer than 100 spaces between the two companies, Arrive Logistics and Dropoff held down the shipping end of Austin's economy. The two grew by 465% and 445%, respectively.
Professional audio equipment manufacturer Warm Audio and machine part manufacturer VIRTEX Enterprises LP shared the manufacturing portion of the list/ The businesses clocked in 2,006th and 2,412th place and saw growth rates of 220% and 175% respectively.
As the second-highest Austin company on the list, real estate platform OJO Labs was 49th and has grown a healthy 6,767%. Sharing the real estate label, developer Urban Gravity made it within the top 1,000 in 965th place with a growth rate of 498%.
Family-founded clothing store ZOX and Bill Murray's lifestyle company W.M. Golf were the only two companies in Austin's retail lineup. Zox came in 818th place with a strong 595% growth rate, while W.M. Golf was a bit lower at 1,627th place with 285% growth.
eCommerce solutions company KBMax and compliant cloud software developer ClearDATA Networks repped Austin in the security department in 2,097th and 3,082nd place. Praetorian also made the list in 3,712nd place.
Both software companies WebForce and Pushnami were well within the top 1,000. Webforce came in 152nd place and saw 2,776% growth, while and Pushnami was just a bit behind in 554th place with 869% growth.
AlertMedia (624), Bucket.io (922), IIIMPACT (1,043), Invoiced (1,172), ActivTrak (1,606), Zuar (1,804), ESO Solutions (2,137), Digital Pharmacist (2,337), SecureLink (2,645), Aurigo Software Technologies (3,061), Khoros (3,188), Bloomfire (3,275) and SBDP (4,700) also made the list.
Telecommunications and cybersecurity provider Select Communications held strong in 3,390th place with a modest 104% growth rate.
Travel & Hospitality
Finally, remote hotel sales support company Jacaruso Enterprises was the sole travel company that made the list. Towards the tail end, Jacaruso Enterprises secured spot number 4,181 and grew by 70%
You can view the rest of the Inc. 5000 list here.
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As summer temperatures continue to increase, so does Austin's "Party Island"—a hundreds-strong army of kayakers and paddle boarders who gather each weekend in the middle of Lady Bird Lake.
Born from the pandemic, the swarm of paddleboarding partiers has continued to grow each summer and can be seen from the nearby Lamar Boulevard Bridge. And while "Party Island" certainly lives up to one half of its name, it's not actually an island at all: instead, it's located at a shallow sandbar near Lou Neff Point.
With beers, burgers from portable grills and even DJ turntables in hand, more friends and strangers continue to beat the heat in new ways at the distinct Austin hangout.
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If you are a committed, grunge-wearing resident of the Pacific Northwest, it is easy–almost automatic–to look at Texas as an extraordinarily dry, hot and culturally oppressive place that is better to avoid, especially in the summer. Our two granddaughters live with their parents in Portland.
Recently we decided to take the older girl, who is 15, to Dallas. Setting aside the summer heat, a Portlander can adjust to the vibes of Austin without effort. So let’s take Texas with all of its excesses straight up. Dallas, here we come.
Our 15-year-old granddaughter and her sister, 12, have spent summer weeks with us, usually separately so that we could better get to know each individually. In visits focused on Austin and Port Aransas, the girls seemed to be developing an affection for Texas.
Houston and Dallas are two great American cities, the 4th and 9th largest, each loaded with cultural treasures, each standing in glittering and starchy contrast to Austin’s more louche, T-shirts and shorts ways.
Three hours up I-35, Dallas loomed before us as a set of gray skyscrapers in a filmy haze, accessed only through a concrete mixmaster of freeways, ramps and exits. I drove with false confidence. Be calm, I said to myself, it will all end in 10 minutes under the hotel entrance canopy. And it did.
The pool at the Crescent Court Hotel in Dallas. (Crescent Court Hotel)
We stayed three nights at the Crescent Court Hotel ($622 a night for two queens), a high-end hotel in Uptown, patronized by women in white blazers, business people in suits, and tall, lean professional athletes, their shiny Escalades and Corvettes darting in and out, and other celebrities like Bill Barr, the former attorney general who shoe-horned his ample self into a Toyota.
Each morning as I walked to Whole Foods for a cappuccino, a fellow identified by a bellman as Billy the Oilman arrived in his Rolls Royce Phantom. Where does he park? “Wherever he wants to. He likes the Starbucks here.”
We garaged our more modest set of wheels for the visit. We were chauffeured for tips by Matt Cooney and Alfonza “The Rev” Scott in the hotel’s black Audi sedan. They drove us to museums, restaurants and past the enclaves of the rich and famous. In Highland Park, The Rev pointed out the homes of the Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman along with the family compound of the Hunts, oil and gas tycoons.
The Dallas Museum of Art’s “Cartier and Islam” exhibit (until Sept. 18) attracted an older crowd; the nearby Perot Museum of Nature and Science was a powerful whirlpool of kids’ groups ricocheting from the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the oil fracking exhibit. Watch your shins.
A Geogia O'Keeffe oil painting called "Ranchos Church, New Mexico" at the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art. (Rich Oppel)
For us, the best museum was the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, a 50-minute, madcap drive away via a 75 mph toll lane along I-30. Don’t try it during rush hour. The Carter has an exquisite collection of Remington paintings and sculptures and an excellent array of 19th and 20th-century paintings as well. Pick one museum? The Amon Carter. Peaceful, beautiful, uncrowded, free admission and small enough to manage in two hours.
The Fort Worth Stockyards, a place of history (with a dab of schmaltz), fun and good shopping, filled one of our mornings. The 98 acres brand the city as Cowboy Town, with a rodeo and a twice-daily (11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.) cattle drive. We shopped for boots, drank coffee and watched the “herd” of 18 longhorns. So languid was their progress that if this were a real market drive the beef would have been very tough and leathery before it hit the steakhouse dinner plate.
The cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards. (Rich Oppel)
But we could identify: the temperature was 97. “I saw a dog chasing a cat today,” said the emcee, deploying a very old joke. “It was so hot that both were walking.”
With limited time, we chose three very different restaurants:
- Nobu, in the Crescent Court Hotel; Jia, a modern Chinese restaurant in Highland Park; and Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth. Nobu’s exotic Japanese menu set us back $480, with tip, for four (we had a guest), but it was worth it.
- Jia was an ordinary suburban strip mall restaurant, but with good food and a reasonable tab of $110 for four.
- Joe T.’s is an 85-year-old Fort Worth institution (think Matt’s El Rancho but larger), a fine Mexican restaurant where a meal with two drinks was $115.
Sushi at high-end restaurant Nobu. (Crescent Hotel)
It was all a splurge for a grandchild’s visit. Now we will get back to our ordinary road trips of Hampton Inns, where a room rate is closer to the Crescent Court’s overnight parking rate of $52. And to corner cafes in small towns.
Did Dallas change our 15-year-old’s view of Texas? “Yes. I think it’s a lot cooler than I did. The fashion, the food.” So, not only Austin is cool. Take Texas as a whole. It’s a big, complex, diverse and wonderful state.