May 26, 2022

It’s difficult Jim Breuer has never spoken a critical word about anything in public, so it’s no surprise that when asked why he moved to Austin from his old Silicon Valley headquarters two years ago, he spent some time working on it before. . Talk about the Bay Area and its many benefits, including Stanford University and the many “intelligence platform companies” it has supported over the years, including the famous Facebook.

“Austin, in my humble opinion, will never be the deep technological backbone of Silicon Valley. The most passionate deep tech entrepreneurs are still in Silicon Valley,” Breuer said during a recent hour-long chat.

However, Breyer is clearly very pleased with Austin, a city he traveled to for many years as a Dell board member between 2009 and 2013 and where he says he “just fell in love with the city” and which as he “thought” the opportunity presented itself. too high.” That was something I would move on to at some point.”

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Indeed, he ends up calling the move, a plan he initiated before the pandemic, “a great decision.” Austin, he says, “encourages a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration more than almost any city in the country”, meaning that unlike the Valley, which remains deeply technical, Austin is said to be home to a wide variety of professionals. “These are not just technologists, but artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, doctors, professors from the University of Texas. There’s a spirit of collaboration there that I find really unique. Austin also continues to attract “young, talented entrepreneurs from across the country and in many cases the world” through a combination of energy and experience, he adds.

What Breyer finds Austin most attractive from an investment standpoint is that he points to the city’s strengths when it comes to fintech startups in particular, but says his investment firm Breyer Capital has made 20 investments both commercial and non-profit organizations. Today’s profitable organizations range from employment startup Workrise to EverLevel home lab testing kit and ZenBusiness, which offers a business registration service tailored specifically for small business owners.

He also noted that Austin is home to a burgeoning crypto scene driven by Multicoin Capital, an investigative investment firm that invests in crypto, token and blockchain companies emerging from the Texas fifth scene. a year ago. (Bayer, who worked closely with IDG as an early investor in Coinbase and Circle Financial, says he is “very active” in supporting crypto.)

And Breuer noted that Austin is home to a large number of data management-focused startups, including an offshoot of Dell. As an example of “opening new horizons in data management for small, medium and large enterprises,” he cites Data. World, which this week announced $50 million Series C funding led by Goldman. Saks Asset Management.

Last but not least, Breuer says that “the intersection of computing and medicine” may have long been and still is his biggest area of ​​interest, and there is no shortage of interesting work in the Austin area. part, the eight-year Dell School of Medicine, as Breuer explains, “works very closely with the University of Texas campus.”

Of course, investors like Breuer have flocked to Austin in recent years not only for the usual reasons—low cost, politics, the fact that Texas has no capital gains tax—but also because it is relatively unknown compared to the territory. . Silicon Valley.

While several VC firms have ruled over the years, including LiveOak Venture Partners and, on day one, Austin Ventures (a company that broke up in 2015), there are still investors in Austin who don’t face the majority. venture capitalists. Sharp elbow.

Asked what he sees in terms of potential syndicate partners as well as competitors, Breyer says he is “close friends” with several former Austin Ventures partners, many of whom are still angel investors. He noted that companies like LiveOak and Capital Factory are “doing a great job” and that he became friends with Joe Lonsdale, whose 8VC company also moved to Austin in 2020.

He also says that, in his opinion, “while the venture capital community is not necessarily very large, in many cases entrepreneurs are very active as angel investors, so investments made by Breyer Capital are important to early investors.” Startups Charan. , From [the backing of] Entrepreneur “In that sense,” he continues, “the community is really interesting because entrepreneurs support other entrepreneurs.”

Breuer expects many more entrepreneurs to enter the field soon. “I see more [operators] Decide if they are interested in working in the Austin offices of Google, Facebook, Apple or Tesla and if they are the entrepreneurs of the future. When they are in their early thirties and want to do something for themselves, we usually prefer to deal with that kind of background. ,

“Very exciting for Austin,” he says.

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