Resources for Austin Entrepreneurs
Austin has been ranked #1 in “America’s Best Places To Start A Business,” according to CNBC. This is largely due to the significant amount of resources available state-wide.
Resources for Austin entrepreneurs abound, with phenomenal resources such as Austin Startup Week, BIGAustin, and Austin Women in Technology.
Austin-based nonprofit, PeopleFund, posits that more than 99% of companies in Travis County are considered small businesses—so entrepreneurs in Austin are in good company and at a great vantage point to find phenomenal support systems.
We posted a list of resources for entrepreneurs in Boulder and Denver, and since we also have team members in Austin, we felt a similar list could be useful for our friends in Texas. This post will touch on the same four areas of assistance for entrepreneurs in Austin:
- Legal Resources: As an Austin entrepreneur starting out on your business journey, you can benefit greatly from hiring an attorney as well as learning fundamental laws that impact entrepreneurs, such as intellectual property.
- Financial Resources: There are many active organizations that dedicate themselves to providing you with helpful resources to assist you in building the startup of your dreams.
- Networking Resources: Networking opportunities prove to be invaluable to getting acquainted with fellow entrepreneurs and immersing yourself in the tech world.
- Educational Resources: Austin entrepreneurs can utilize these resources to empower themselves and innovate for the future.
Whether you are just starting out or are in the midst of your business journey, these resources will provide excellent value for every stage of entrepreneurship.
Legal Resources for Austin Entrepreneurs
RWR Legal: Entrepreneurial Law
With offices in both Austin and San Antonio, RWR Legal focuses on entrepreneurial and investment areas of the law. The firm specializes in intellectual property, real estate law, and corporate services, among other legal needs of startups. As they put it: “We are passionate about building businesses—our own and our clients’—to help innovators achieve success.”
Legal Garage: Business Law
Legal Garage offers similar services to entrepreneurs. They cover areas of law, including filing confidentiality agreements, trademark licenses, and website terms and conditions. The company wants to ensure that entrepreneurs can find the legal services and resources they need at an affordable price point.
Lawyer Referral Service: Lawyer & Community Resources
Although not specific to entrepreneurs, the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas also offers a way to find the right lawyer for your business. They have an online form for an immediate referral, or you can contact them to ask questions if you need clarification on the type of legal help you need.
CooleyGO: Legal Assistance
Finally, as noted in our blog post about resources for entrepreneurs in Denver and Boulder, CooleyGO is a valuable online resource that can help you to identify and create all the key legal documents you need to get a business started.
Whether you want to incorporate or want to protect IP with a non-disclosure agreement, you’ll find their free, easy-to-use document generator indispensable. They also create and curate outstanding content on everything from creating a board of directors to selling your company.
Financial Resources for Austin Entrepreneurs
CTAN Austin: Helping Startups Get on Their Feet
Financial concerns weigh heavily on many startups. The most active angel organization in the US, Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), helps young startups get on their financial feet. The group helps entrepreneurs secure early-stage investment.
CTAN also offers mentorship opportunities and business resources. CTAN operates through a dedicated group of local business people who dedicate their time to helping entrepreneurs but also has a full-time executive director and an investment associate.
BiGAUSTIN: Assisting Austin Entrepreneurs With Financial Options
BiGAUSTIN is another excellent resource that has a quarter century of experience supporting local small businesses. A micro-lender, BiGAUSTIN helps entrepreneurs find the right loans and financing options for their startups. The nonprofit organization understands the unique financial needs of entrepreneurs during each step of building a company. Likewise, BiG houses Women’s BiZ Inc., a group specifically geared to support the female leaders of Central Texas.
Accion: Providing Loan Advice & Assistance
Similar to BiGAUSTIN, Accion assists entrepreneurs and small businesses with loans. Just fill out their hassle-free online application that outlines your business goals and the type and amount of financing your young company needs. Need help determining what kind of loan or the amount you need? Accion provides one-on-one advice and solutions.
SCORE Austin: Answering All Your Business Questions
SCORE Austin, an organization that offers free counsel in multiple cities, assists local entrepreneurs in confidently tackling financial questions. They do everything from pairing you with a mentor in the business world to helping you enroll in workshops on a variety of topics to providing free financial resources. SCORE relies on a dedicated group of local business people who volunteer their time and experience to help those just getting started. Mentoring is free and entirely confidential.
USDA B&I Eligibility Map: Checking if You Qualify for USDA-Backed Funding
Small business owners/entrepreneurs may want to know if they are eligible for a business loan or a specific loan in relation to what they do. To do this, they can check out a USDA B&I eligibility map to see if it is available in their area. The USDA B&I eligibility map finds out if you qualify for funding in a matter of seconds.
Networking Resources for Austin Entrepreneurs
Austin Chamber of Commerce: Nonprofit Member Organization
It’s always so helpful to “find your people,” and that’s never more true than when faced with the challenges of startup life. Austin Chamber is a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs meet other startup leaders while focusing on developing businesses as a community.
Part of the mission of the Austin Chamber is the growth of the local economy; they believe that when entrepreneurs thrive, so does Austin, and thus are eager to help create community.
Capital Factory: Entrepreneurial Co-Working Space
Capital Factory is a prime co-working office space home to many entrepreneurs and startups. Beyond offering desk space, they sponsor numerous community events, many free of charge. Whether you have just started down the entrepreneurial path or want to expand your startup, Capital Factory provides valuable workshops and networking opportunities to help your business excel.
Expansive is another shared workspace and is a personal InspiringApps favorite. Expansive is just as it sounds—an expansive and thriving workspace.
Networking Austin, BuiltIn: Local Professionals Club
Networking Austin is a club of local professionals from various industries and companies worth checking out. Membership is broader than just entrepreneurs, but the events offered can still help you build your business and make quality connections.
- BuiltIn Austin is a tech-oriented meet-up to meet new people and build relationships
- LinkedIn Local Austin Networking has a strong membership and is a great way to expand your network.
- Austin Technology Council is a fantastic group with which to network, engage, and share ideas.
Educational Resources for Austin Entrepreneurs
Austin Technology Incubator (ATI): Bootcamps for Startups
Austin Technology Incubator invests itself in the tech solutions of the future. Part of the University of Texas at Austin, the ATI enjoys access to university affiliations as well as corporate partners. You can attend a diverse set of boot camps and workshops with ATI, such as their “Health Care Startup Boot Camp” or “The Art of Combining Social Purpose with Profit.”
The City of Austin also has a Small Business Program that offers “business training, educational events, and coaching to empower entrepreneurs.” Events cover topics from how to hire the right employees to understanding business loans. Their website also includes a comprehensive list of outside resources for entrepreneurs.
Utilizing Your Resources as an Austin Entrepreneur
As you continue to grow your business and face new challenges, we hope you keep some of these resources in mind for future use. No matter what stage you find yourself on the entrepreneurial path, these legal, financial, educational, and networking organizations are great places to turn to for guidance and assistance.
We encourage you to utilize these resources as a starting point to connect with other techies, immerse yourself in knowledge, and attend leading events. At InspiringApps, we believe shared collaboration is the key to creating immersive and transformative solutions.
Looking to dig deeper? We created this free eBook on app development from a business perspective geared to help innovative entrepreneurs like you succeed.
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There’s a feature in the Apple mobile ecosystem that can dramatically enhance how you market your app. Custom product pages allow you to segment your digital products in ways that will increase conversions and revenue. You can tailor your landing pages and create custom search ad campaigns that match customer demographics. The App Store hosts over 2 million apps, and users have short attention spans. Employing custom product pages can ensure a uniform and uninterrupted journey for users throughout their acquisition experience—from Apple Search Ads to the App Store. With the right approach, custom product pages can be a game-changer for your app’s success. How can you get the most out of custom product pages with a new or existing app? If you aren‘t currently using custom product pages, now is a great time to implement them to gain an edge over your competition. Beyond user targeting, you can promote a seasonal event, showcase culturally relevant content, and more. What are Apple custom product pages (CPPs)? Every app on the App Store has a product page, also known as an app store listing. Beyond this main page, Apple‘s custom product pages enable you to customize the look and feel of your Apple product for specific audience segments, keywords, or promotions. With Apple’s custom product pages, you can design up to 35 different versions of your app’s store listing. You can use these variations to optimize search ad campaigns and promote unique listings through shareable URLs. Key Features Customization: You can change three assets on the variations of your product page: screenshots, app previews, and promotional text. Discoverability: You can optimize each page using specific keywords for search and messaging that expands your reach. Localizability: You can use different languages, so custom pages reach audiences in multiple countries. Control: You can use the App Store Connect API to make changes across multiple custom pages simultaneously. Android vs. iOS Apple has always been known for its strict control over the user experience of iOS apps. Apple custom product pages enable greater control and creativity to market your app. While Google’s Play Store provides more flexibility through its custom store listings, Apple is catching up with custom product pages. Here, we’re focusing on Apple‘s feature set, but the benefits and best practices apply across platforms. Benefits of Custom Product Pages Improved App Marketing Metrics Custom product pages are crucial in conversion rate optimization (CRO) and app store optimization (ASO). Custom pages can help you to: Increase CRO: By tailoring your messaging and visual design to your target audience, you’ll increase the likelihood that users will download your app. Improve ASO: Multiple versions of your store listing can capture more promotional traffic and improve keyword and engagement metrics. With the right strategy, customer product pages can significantly boost user acquisition and marketing ROI. Targeted Search Ads Custom product pages in Apple’s App Store and Search Ads allow for different ad variations and strategic campaigns targeting different types of users. These features help potential customers better understand the app before downloading it. For instance, the app Mountain Climber can run separate ads targeting cyclists, hikers, and rock climbing enthusiasts. Based on the URL clicked, those ads drive potential users to three tailored custom product pages for the same app. You’re increasing the chances of app conversions by corresponding the custom App Store page with the ad creative that attracted the customer in the first place. Tailored Testing It’s important to note that custom product pages won’t appear in organic search results on the App Store. Of course, the organic experience is still important, and you can improve it using Apple features for testing tailored to your marketing goals. Split Testing Through Product Optimization Using Apple’s product page optimization feature, you can perform split tests on up to three distinct “treatments” of your default page. However, the elements you can adjust are limited to visuals—app icon, preview video, and screenshots. After determining the most successful treatment, you can apply it to your app’s default page, ensuring all users receive the most impactful organic search result. Variable Testing With Custom Pages While Apple‘s split testing tool for product page optimization has benefits, custom product pages may offer a more reliable approach to testing theories about your app page. By designing multiple custom pages with unique designs or copy, you can evaluate which version performs better in engagement metrics, conversion rates, and return on investment. You can then apply those learnings to improve your organic default page. Creating a Custom Apple Product Page Apple provides a detailed technical guide when you are ready to configure your product pages. Before taking that leap, consider the following insights to guide your efforts to success. Identify Your Target Audiences Designing effective pages that resonate with multiple target audiences requires a deep understanding of each audience’s specific needs and preferences. For example, a TikTok user’s preferences will vary based on specific demographics like age. You’ll want to learn those preferences in depth to get the most out of any customized versions of these landing pages. Before embarking on a custom product page project, researching your target audiences is an obvious first step. You can effectively focus your efforts where they’ll have the most impact through user surveys, testing, and analysis. Surveys User surveys can help you gather feedback and insights from your target audience on their needs, preferences, and pain points. You can use online survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to create and distribute surveys to your target audience. Testing User testing involves observing users as they interact with your app to identify areas of improvement and gather feedback. You can use remote user testing tools like UserTesting or Userlytics to conduct user testing sessions with your target audience. Analysis App Store analytics can provide valuable insights into your target audience’s behavior and preferences. By analyzing App Store data such as user reviews, ratings, and search queries, you can better understand your audience‘s needs and preferences. Impact Creating multiple versions of your app page can be time-consuming and may require additional resources. Consider focusing your efforts on your most valuable audience segments, where you can maximize the impact of your custom product pages while minimizing the resources required to create them. Choose Strategic App Previews & Screenshots The key benefit of custom product pages is the ability to segment what each user sees when they preview your app. Here are some tips to choose assets that will attract and convert your target user. Emphasize features: Use your media to highlight your app’s key features and benefits. Targeted images and videos can catch the attention of different user segments. Keep it concise: Use short video clips and images. Quickly and effectively communicate your app’s target value proposition to each of your audiences. For instance, let’s consider a “Fitness Tracker” app targeting two user types: gym enthusiasts and busy professionals. For the gym enthusiast audience, you can use app previews to show users how to set up and customize their workout plans, track their progress, and view their stats and achievements. For the busy professional audience, you can use screenshots to showcase the app’s meal planning and nutrition features. For either audience, users can see firsthand how the app can help them achieve their fitness goals at first glance. Provide Relevant Content & Keywords in Promotional Text Content about your app and relevant keywords in the promotional text help you attract the right users and increase conversions. For example, if you’re developing three custom product pages for a healthcare app—one for patients, one for doctors and clinicians, and one for health organizations—here is how the promotional text and keywords might vary per page. Custom Page for Patients Promotional Text: Take control of your health with our intuitive healthcare app Access personalized health information and track your progress Connect with healthcare professionals and schedule appointments easily Keywords: Healthcare app, personalized health information, track health progress, connect with healthcare professionals, schedule appointments Custom Page for Doctors & Clinicians Promotional Text: Streamline your practice with our advanced healthcare app Efficiently manage patient records and appointments Access medical resources and collaborate with colleagues Keywords: Advanced healthcare app, practice management, patient records, appointments management, medical resources, collaboration tools for doctors Custom Page for Health Organizations Promotional Text: Transform your healthcare organization with our comprehensive app Improve patient outcomes and streamline operations Gain insights through data analytics and reporting tools Keywords: Comprehensive healthcare app, patient outcomes, streamline operations, data analytics, reporting tools, health organization management Measure & Optimize After your customized product pages go live, you can gauge their effectiveness using App Analytics in App Store Connect. You can track product page impressions, downloads, re-downloads, and conversion rates to assess how well each page motivates app downloads. You can also measure retention and the average proceeds per paying user for each custom product page. Another way to gain insights is to compare your custom product pages to your default. Doing so lets you determine whether users who downloaded your app through a custom product page tend to stay engaged longer or spend more on in-app purchases. This information can help you make informed decisions on how to optimize your app‘s marketing strategy. Promoting Your Custom Product Page Reach Broader Audiences With Distributed Campaigns After developing a custom product page, you can share it through your promotional communications and marketing efforts with its distinct URL. Your app‘s marketing channels might include email marketing, social media, digital advertising, influencer programs, and promotions—the possibilities are endless. For instance, an app that caters to sports enthusiasts might showcase the latest Superbowl champions in an email promotion and connect to the tailor-made product page that spotlights that team. The exclusive URL incorporates a new product page ID parameter into the standard product page URL. Increase Impressions With Apple Search Ads Apple Search Ads enable you to produce ad variations for App Store Today tabs and search results for eligible custom product pages. When you establish your ads campaign, you can customize your ad message and visuals for different audiences, product launches, or seasonal promotions. Tailored product pages can greatly enhance the effectiveness of Apple Search Ads and thereby increase the ROI of your paid campaigns. Giving users a more relevant and individualized experience boosts the conversion rate of keywords and reduces the cost per install. Ultimately, you‘ll obtain more downloads—while paying less for each. Promote Events for Maximum Exposure Certain seasons, holidays, and events present great opportunities for increasing downloads. To capitalize on these moments, you can create custom product pages that showcase them. These pages can be tailored to highlight relevant features, promotions, or content related to the specific occasion, making your app more appealing to visitors. There has been a lot of excitement around in-app events, as well. Adding to the iOS marketing arsenal are these timely in-app experiences, such as challenges, competitions, or special content launches, featured on your product page. In-app events have unique promotional capabilities and App Store discoverability. Notably, all visitors to the custom or default product page will see the same in-app events. Understanding the diverse needs and motivations of your target audience can help in tailoring your marketing approach accordingly. These are just a few examples of how in-app events and custom product pages can be used together strategically: Engage existing users: You can re-engage existing customers through a pairing that piques their interest and encourages further engagement. For example, a user-targeted custom product page alongside an in-app event challenge. Attract new users: You can target an untapped demographic by marketing specific promotions that expand reach. For example, a seasonal custom product page alongside a special in-app event featuring new holiday releases. Whether for seasonal promotions alone or combined with in-app events, the specific implementation of custom product pages is in your hands. It’s important to adapt to your unique business context, promotional timelines, creative assets, and advertising approach to ensure success. Final Thoughts Improving Conversion Rates With Custom Product Pages Custom product pages offer powerful freedom and flexibility, allowing you to segment your digital products in ways that boost conversions and increase revenue. You can use custom product pages to engage with users at any level and tailor your approach to your specific marketing goals. With the fast-paced and competitive app landscape, innovating and adapting are crucial. By embracing the power of custom product pages, you can stand out from the crowd, captivate your target audience, and achieve significant growth for your app. List of Additional Resources For implementation support, Apple’s developer site has a step-by-step technical breakdown to configure multiple product page versions. Learn more about the unique promotional opportunities and guidelines for Apple in-app events. InspiringApps’ Complete Guide to the App Store & Google Play is the ultimate technical playbook for setup and navigation of the digital marketplace. For more insights on identifying your target audience(s), download our free ebook InspiringApps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps.
7 days ago
Generation X has become an important demographic for businesses and app developers alike. They have a higher spending power compared to younger generations. Gen Xers are known to be independent, resourceful, and pros at maintaining a work-life balance. This generation has a strong desire for convenience and efficiency in their daily lives. To successfully develop apps for Generation X, developers should consider the unique needs and preferences of this age group. This includes creating intuitive interfaces, prioritizing data transparency, and offering real-time solutions. To stay ahead, businesses have to leverage their greatest tool—intuitive features that hit the mark. What We Know About Generation X Born between 1965-1977, Gen X makes up the smallest generation. They grew up with little to no supervision and lots of independence. This generation spent much of their youth exploring brilliant cinema like Star Wars, video games like Atari, and the premiere of MTV. As a result, they have a special relationship with pop culture that remains unique to this generation. Gen X witnessed the rise of personal computers, video games, and other technological advancements. They were the first generation to grow up with home computers and video game consoles. Ever-evolving technology advances allowed Generation X to be connected like never before. More than a whopping 80% of Gen Xers report that they are online daily. In terms of social media, they gravitate to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and Instagram. Many are surprised to hear that Gen Xers spend about 2 ½ hours on phone screens daily—that’s less app time than younger generations, but still significant in terms of hours of screen time. Generation X has strong brand loyalty and will be lifelong users of products they feel add real value to their lives. Although initially skeptical, once they’re hooked, they’re hooked. Gen X grew up during a time of change and uncertainty. Their experiences shaped their attitudes and values, including their focus on independence, self-sufficiency, and resilience. They look to apps that fulfill a specific purpose and provide meaningful value in their lives. How Gen X Uses Technology Differently Gen X is a generation that values efficiency, productivity, and simplicity. Collectively, Gen Xers are known to be independent and resourceful individuals. They tend to mistrust large corporations and are often skeptical at first. But once you earn their trust, you’ll find this generation to be exceedingly loyal. Gen Xers bring a critical component to the table and the economy at large—a wealth of experience. Because of their years in the workforce, they have a lot of purchasing power. Additionally, Gen X has very specific circumstances and interests unique to their collective experience. Parenting, health, travel, and lifestyle are often at the forefront of their minds. The people in this generation tend to be collaborative, experienced, and hard-working, which makes for strong leaders. That said, they are less likely to casually browse their smartphones like their younger counterparts. In terms of phone surfing habits, Gen X is a pragmatic generation and tends to use technology for practical purposes, such as communication, productivity, and entertainment. They are less likely to use social media for personal creative expression and more likely to use it for networking and professional purposes. They prioritize privacy and security and are more concerned about data privacy than other generations. App developers need to specifically address a need and create apps that reflect their browsing habits. They will need to develop feature-specific apps that solve problems and offer real convenience to users. Attracting the Elusive Gen X When Developing Your App Smarter, Not Harder Gen X is managing a heavy load and holding down the fort. Make their lives easier by streamlining their tasks and creating solutions to accomplish their everyday undertakings. While Millennials value convenience, Gen X values practicality. Gen Xers aren’t married to their work and appreciate a positive work-life balance with time away from work. They also appreciate disconnecting from their phone at times to avoid being constantly occupied online. Consider incorporating features such as notifications, “time limits,” or project tracking to make the app useful for their work and personal lives. Example: Pomodoro Method Take Asana’s Pomodoro app, for instance. Pomodoro is a time management method that uses a timer to break down work into intervals, split into short breaks. The PomoDone app helps people boost their productivity with scientifically proven timeboxing and Pomodoro techniques on top of Asana’s project management features. A win, win app with a killer benefit for the busy Gen X generation. Informed Transparency around sensitive information is important for Gen Xers. With increasing cybercrime and digital literacy, Gen X users are concerned about security threats online. Be sure to communicate with direct notifications and be explicit about what their data will and won’t be used for. Gen Xers are natural skeptics of unfamiliar brands. Rightfully so, as they’re also parents looking to keep their kids safe. It’s important to keep Gen X users in the know and in control of the way their data is used. Example: Customizable Privacy Tools Google manages customers’ data quite brilliantly by putting the user in the driver’s seat. Google offers customers controllable and customizable privacy tools so that the user can keep constant tabs on their privacy settings. Combine Real-Life Value With Real-Life Solutions While Millennials intrinsically value being connected, Gen X values “real life” experiences. This generation spent decades without technology, growing up in a tumultuous time in which they were mostly on their own. This generation is known to have the greatest brand loyalty and will be lifelong users of products they feel add *real* value to their *real* life. Consider anticipating the solution and providing the content they seek before they ask for it. Evaluate how your product can anticipate Gen X users’ needs. Shine a light before Gen Xers even enter the room. Example: Smart Technology Take Apple HomeKit, smart switches that turn on and off, open and close, with the snap of your fingers—or rather, your voice. Apple’s broad ecosystem offers powerful smart home controls, features, and monitoring, including a smart lock, smart lights, and much more. Whether you want to optimize your lighting to your preferences, grow a small indoor garden, or are just plain tired of carrying keys, smart tech has you covered. Let Your Solutions Shine Known as the “worker generation,” they’ve gathered years of invaluable work experience. Gen Xers are busy. They’re tackling matters like homeownership and child care and are reaching the heights of their careers. Save your product from their frustration and know that a straightforward approach is your best bet. Think less ornamentation and more functionality. Lose those few sentences of the fluffy copy. Ditch the long animations and unnecessary time. Create a simple, practical design; a good user experience connects Gen Zers to your product’s valuable solution as quickly as possible. Build an app that’s designed with a familiar UX for Generation X users, such as buttons, checkboxes, and dropdown menus. Avoid trendy design elements that may be confusing or distracting, allowing for your technology to shine. Example: Innovation & Impact For example, with the Cancer Exercise app, we collaborated with our client to create the first mobile exercise app for iOS designed specifically for cancer survivors. The innovation lies within the solution created by our client, Anna L. Schwartz, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAAN, who is a world-renowned pioneer in cancer research. The app provides individual exercise prescriptions through a custom exercise program tailored based on daily fatigue, current treatment, treatment type, and more. The app is innovative, straightforward, and impactful—and brings great value to their target audience. Respect the Values & Identities of Every Generation Gen Xers bring a critical component to the table and economy at large: a wealth of experience. Although this generation is sometimes overlooked, they’re responsible, resourceful, and loyal once they believe in the technology and brand they’re consuming. Developing and addressing Gen Xers will prove to be beneficial in scaling your app’s success. You’ll attract pragmatic customers that will stay loyal to your brand through and through. Every person is unique in how they relate to technology and the world around them. At the same time, there are similarities between generations and how they use technology. Deeply understanding your audience and market is an important prerequisite to developing a successful app. Respecting the values and identities of every generation is key to developing apps that will resonate with your target audience.
8 days ago