To be more specific, how can a city and university collaborate to create a robust local economy?
The ATI (Austin Technology Center), the ‘real world implementation’ program of IC2 (Innovation, Creativity & Capital), a think tank founded at the University of Austin in 1977. IC2 is focused on innovative science and technology economic development that allows “communities (and nations) to grow and prosper in a sustainable manner that promotes an improved quality of life”. If only every university had such an endeavor for their own host city.
First, the results. Since its founding in 1989, the nonprofit ATI has graduated 65 businesses, currently hosting 38, creating over 2820 jobs, generating over $1.2 billion in revenue from 1989 to 2001, raising over $300 million in capital in the past 3 years including 5 companies that have gone public and over a dozen that have been acquired.
What’s the recipe for success? The ATI’s member businesses are supported by a professional community of innovation and capital: the University of Texas, the City of Austin, and the Austin community, including a variety of investors, professional service providers, industry experts from around the world. How can you not succeed?
Next step is to locate the ATI in a creative venue and neighborhood (thus the lack of photos), which is exactly what C3 (notice the name influence) did via their loft in historic Shockoe Bottom, Richmond.