Austin Under 40

Austin Under 40

Austin is known for its thriving music scene, Tex-Mex cuisine, and outdoor spaces that residents can enjoy year-round. A booming Austin real estate market and population growth show just how popular this city has become. Beyond the city’s amenities, however, are the people who help shape it into the coveted urban destination it has become today.

While Austin is home to many successful entrepreneurs, philanthropists, entertainers, and executives, it is important to honor those who have gone above and beyond to make the city great. Each year, the Austin Under 40 Awards is a platform to do just that. This annual event celebrates the achievements and community contributions of the city’s best.

The origin of Austin Under 40

Austin Under 40 took shape under the collaborative leadership of the Young Women’s Alliance (YWA) and Young Men’s Business League (YMBL) in 1998. The YWA is a non-profit focused on helping ambitious women excel in their careers and serve as leaders in the community. The YMBL also aims to develop strong community leaders through intentional connections and philanthropic efforts. Both organizations sought to create an awards event that could honor those in the city who have achieved career success while also contributing to community betterment. Additionally, the event is unique for honoring the mentors who have helped Austin’s Under 40 high achievers reach their potential with a Mentor of the Year award.

Since the inaugural year, Austin Under 40 has blossomed into a high-profile event that draws over 700 guests to the culminating gala. Strong publicity, sponsorships, and an engaging mission have helped Austin Under 40 grow into a series of events. Among others, award categories include journalism, marketing, and public relations; real estate; nonprofit service; medicine and healthcare; technology; and people and operations. The gala also recognizes an Austinite of the Year.

How nominations work

With so many local, regional, and state awards ceremonies centered on industry achievements, Austin Under 40 seeks to define itself as the best. It does this by committing to a thorough review process for all nominees. Unlike many professional competitions, nominees here receive scores that are split between career achievement and community involvement. Career achievement accounts for 60% of a nominee’s score, while contributions to the betterment of Austin account for 40%. The Austin Under 40 wants to see evidence that its winners are civic-minded individuals as much as they are career-driven professionals. The event’s judges represent over 100 community leaders with track records of success in business and community development.

To begin the process, an individual must be nominated. Once nominated, that person must complete an application consisting of short essays and submit a resume and letter of recommendation. The nominee selects the category for which they would like to apply from among the 17 awards categories. From there, each nominee’s application will go before several judges before five finalists are selected for each category.

The annual gala’s impact

Austin Under 40 does far more than recognize the city’s top achievers. The black-tie gala also serves as a fundraiser supporting two local non-profits. Tickets for the gala come at a steep price to help fund the work of the YWA Future Women Leaders Fund and Austin Sunshine Camps (ASC). Austin Under 40 splits the money from the gala evenly between the two non-profits.

ASC provides overnight camping experiences for youths who receive free or reduced school lunches or are in foster care. ASC has been doing this since 1928, largely through the efforts of volunteers, but additional funding from Austin Under 40 helps the organization stay in operation. In nearly 100 years of operation, ASC has given 56,000 youth the opportunity to go to camp at no cost. The YWA Future Leaders Fund awards scholarships to motivated young women who may otherwise be unable to afford educational opportunities. The YWA also gives out grants to other Austin non-profits aimed at helping support a new generation of female leadership.

What Austin Under 40 says about the city

With past winners including Michael Dell, Kendra Scott, and Andy Roddick, Austin Under 40 is a who’s who of Austin’s highest achievers. Some nationally-known names dot the list of finalists in each category, but plenty of professionals better known within their specific industries get an opportunity to shine during the awards process.

For the past eight years, the gala has been a sold-out event with hundreds in attendance. A cross-section of Austin’s leaders works on a planning committee alongside community partners and marketing experts to ensure the event continues to thrive. Through its rigorous planning and growing clout as an awards event, Austin Under 40 shows that community support and industry achievement are priorities. Anyone looking to make their mark professionally and civically can feel at home in Austin.

Find opportunities in Austin

Austin Under 40 celebrates the work of top community leaders at the pinnacle of success. Perhaps more importantly, the event represents the sense of ambition and community that permeates Austin and showcases why so many want to move to this fantastic city. In fact, Austin real estate agent and YWA member Nina Seely was among the initial developers of the event. Under Austin 40 began as Nina’s idea 25 years ago, and it is still going strong.
For individuals considering a new home, Austin is the place to be, but you will need an established agent to help you navigate a competitive real estate market. No one knows the Austin market better than the Nina Seely Real Estate Team. The team prioritizes client care and has amassed 25 years of industry experience as a boutique agency in Austin.

Choosing an experienced real estate agent is critical when searching in an in-demand market. Nina’s team has proven results, strong testimonials, and the drive to help you find your dream home or investment in our flourishing city. Contact Nina today if you have questions or wish to explore the Austin real estate market.

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