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Booming Businesses in Austin and How They Got Here

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Austin, Texas is the perfect place for any company to find a workforce that values innovation, quality of life, education, and diversity. Not only is Austin the cultural hotspot of Central Texas, the metropolis also boasts a multitude of big-name companies who have set up shop right in the area! Keep reading to find out who we’re talking about, how they got there, and prepare to be amazed!

Austin’s Heavy Hitters

There are several tech and software giants that call Austin home. Much like Austin residents, the companies on this list are a fair mix of long-time locals as well as more recent transplants. Let’s take a look at who they are and how they got here:

Apple – Apple was founded in 1976 in Palo Alto, California, but has had a steady presence in Austin since 1992. The company has occupied numerous office spaces since then, but official plans were announced to build a new, $1 billion campus in 2018.

Google – California-based company Google made their official move to Austin in 2007 with a new office space, and has continued leasing properties all around the area since then. Most recently, Google has announced that they are leasing two whole office buildings on the East Side of Downtown Austin.

Dell – Unlike many of its Silicon Valley contemporaries, Dell was founded and started right here in Austin. Dell was founded by Michael Dell in 1984, when he was a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Since its inception, Dell’s headquarters have stayed within the Austin area — you know what they say, home is where the heart is.

IBM – IBM’s journey in Austin is similar to that of Apple. They have also maintained their existence in the city since the early days – 1937, in fact. Over time, there have been shifts in the operations and specializations of their Austin campuses, but since 2017 every facet of IBM’s business has a presence in Austin.

Bazaarvoice – Bazaarvoice allows businesses and marketers to better target consumers by providing online and offline behavioral data. Like Dell, Bazaarvoice was founded in Austin by Brett Hurt and Brant Barton in 2005. The city continues to be the company headquarters to this day.

National Instruments (NI) – Surprise! We’ve got another homegrown tech giant! National Instruments was founded in 1976, in the garage of one of its three co-founders – James Truchard, Jeff Kodosky, and Bill Nowlin. Though they recently changed their name to NI, their presence in Austin remains strong.

Now, let’s welcome some newcomers!

Oracle – Oracle announced its plans to build a new campus in Austin in 2015, officially stating that they are moving their headquarters out of Silicon Valley. Oracle saw this as an opportunity to provide their employees with a more flexible approach when it comes to where and how they work, and Oracle continues to support other campuses around the world.

Tesla (and SpaceX) – In July of 2020, Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, announced that plans were in the works for building a new Tesla manufacturing plant in Austin, as well as a manufacturing facility for SpaceX. Since then, Musk has also relocated to a new home in Texas.

Canva – Australian-based design company Canva has recently announced that it will be making its move into the United States by opening an office in Austin, Texas. Though they have admitted that the pandemic made it difficult to acquire real estate and make any set plans, the move is still in the works.

VISA – Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, has recently opened a new, almost 125,000 square foot location in Austin.

Did you think that was it? Think again, because some of your favorite products might be made by brands that are also based right in the heart of the Lone Star State:

Kendra Scott – Fashion designer Kendra Scott started her jewelry business out of a spare bedroom in her apartment in 2002. Today, that business brings in an annual revenue of over $360 million. Their headquarters are located on South Lamar boulevard.

Whole Foods – Whole Foods is America’s largest grocery retailer that specializes in natural, organic foods. They have stores located not just in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom and Canada. Their headquarters have been located in Austin, Texas since their inception in 1980.

YETI – YETI is an American outdoor brand founded in 2006 by brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders. YETI’s flagship location opened in 2017, and though they now have thousands of stores all over the world, the original flagship location continues to be an embodiment of the brand’s (and Austin’s) culture.

General Motors – Though General Motors did not move its headquarters to Austin, they did purchase a large office building to house one of four existing “IT Innovation Centers” in the United States.

Amazon – Amazon, the world’s largest retailer of, well, anything you could possibly need, has satellite offices located in the Domain area of North Austin. The company opened its doors in Seattle 2015, and has recently announced plans to open 15 more buildings in the Austin area, including a fulfillment center in Pflugerville.


And last but not least, how can we forget the world of digital and social media? Here are some of the digital giants who decided Austin was the place for them:

Facebook – Founded in 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Facebook came to Austin in 2010 with just seven employees. Today, that number has grown to over 2,000 across several office buildings, making Austin Facebook’s fourth-largest hub.

Indeed – Indeed is a worldwide employment website that connects candidates to employers. Austin shares the title of “official headquarters” with Stamford, Connecticut, but that doesn’t mean we won’t count it on our list. 

Vrbo – Standing for “Vacation Rentals by Owners”, Vrbo was founded in Aurora, Colorado in 1995. In 2019, they opened a new, 16-story space in the Domain area. Fun fact: the Vrbo sign displayed on the building is the largest instance of the Vrbo logo in the world.

eBay – Though popular online shopping platform eBay was founded in San Jose, California, they have enjoyed their time in Austin since 2007. More recently, in 2018, they launched their “Retail Revival” program in the Texas capital, encouraging small businesses to “stay local, sell global”.

A City of Consistent Expansion

We’d like to say that this is the definitive list of Austin’s booming businesses, but when things change, they change fast – and Austin is the perfect place for any company — where it’s a start-up or a  Fortune 500 — to find their home. So grab yourself a job at your dream company, and let Dochen Realtors take care of the roof over your head.

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