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There’s no question that technology is huge in Austin. Forbes called the city the new tech frontier, with the country’s best record of technology job creation during the past decade.

Within that broad category, there are also plenty of other hot business trends. David Altounian, director of the MBA program in The Bill Munday School of Business, and Russell Rains, associate professor of Digital Media Management in The Bill Munday School of Business, shared four Austin-based trends to pay attention to now.

Trend: Today’s best and brightest are launching and leading social ventures.

Companies to watch:

PenPal Schools, Blue Avocado

What you need to know:

Surveys consistently show that young workers want to work not just for profitable companies but for socially responsible ones. “Whether they’re nonprofit or for-profit, Austin is becoming a magnet for companies that are doing social good,” says Altounian. This map showcases many of the companies in Austin that are focused on social entrepreneurship.

Trend: Health and life sciences technology companies are ready for launch.

Companies to watch:

PotentiaMetrics, Visible Health

What you need to know:

With a vast new medical center opening in Austin in 2017, companies are already gearing up for the influx of healthcare related jobs and needs. “We’ve already seen growth in the area,” says Altounian. The Austin Technology Council, for example, recently created a whole new dedicated life sciences sector.

Trend: Incubators are guiding entrepreneurs on paths to massive growth.

Companies to watch:

Capital Factory, Techstars

What you need to know:

Politicians from across the spectrum — including President Obama and Senator Ted Cruz — have made tech incubators like Capital Factory must-visit sites during their trips to the city because of its role in growing the local economy. “Incubators have a great deal of support from the local community, including both direct and indirect support from the state and city government,” says Rains. “There are so many ways we’re trying to encourage, train and shepherd digital entrepreneurs through the process of building a great company.”

Trend: Venture capital companies are hitching their wagons to Austin startups.

Companies to watch:

Silverton Partners, Sevin Rosen Funds

What you need to know:

As digital entrepreneurship has exploded in Austin, so has the desire to invest in startup companies. “In the past, money for these companies has come primarily from the West Coast, and then it’s gone back to the West Coast,” says Rains. “Now we’re starting to see startup seed capital come from the local venture capital community. That process starts here, and it stays here.”

The MBA program at St. Edward’s University connects students to the Austin business community through partnerships and internships, so they’re ready to join the city’s vibrant economy.

Erin Peterson is a freelance writer.

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