Austin economist to debut accelerator at SXSW Interactive

Mar 3, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Longtime Austin economist Angelos Angelou is unveiling his International Accelerator at SXSW Interactive

“The International Accelerator will promote the U.S. as the best place to start a business,” he said. “If any foreigner has an idea, this is where it will take off.”

A native of Greece, Angelou has worked in Austin since the mid-1980s when he was the first international director at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Today, he runs Angelou Economics, an economic development and site selection firm

He is setting aside 2,200 square feet of his office building on Bee Cave Road to house 20 to 25 foreign startups. Austin entrepreneur Bob Fabbio and lawyer Carmelo Gordian are on the accelerator’s board of directors

The International Accelerator will offer foreign entrepreneurs a year-long program. They will be helped with finding a board of directors, clients and investors

Angelou said he decided now is the time for such a business accelerator after reading that a third of the U.S. entrepreneurs were foreign-born

The National Venture Capital Association recently released a study showing that 33 percent of the venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder. That compares with 20 percent before 2006, the last time the study was commissioned

At SXSW Interactive, Angelou is bringing 24 foreign entrepreneurs, mostly from Greece but also from Singapore and Iran

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