10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Bill Austin’

If you have an interest in audiology or philanthropy, chances are, you have come across the name Bill Austin. He is an influential figure in both sectors, having dedicated a significant part of his life to restoring and improving human hearing abilities. Nevertheless, there might be a few surprising facts about this esteemed entrepreneur and humanitarian that may not be common knowledge. This article will reveal ten things you might not know about Bill Austin.

1. Humble Beginnings

Bill Austin began his illustrious career in a small hearing aid repair shop, based in Minnesota, in 1961 – an enterprise he started when he was only in his twenties. It’s hard to imagine that one of the most influential figures in audiology began his journey in a small, obscure establishment. This humble beginning is testament to his self-belief and dedication.

The modest repair shop that was the launchpad for his illustrious career is a stark contrast to the multinational conglomerate that Starkey Hearing Technologies is today. This proves that one can start small and still make a significant impact on society given time, determination and hard work.

2. Philanthropy is His Passion

Bill Austin does not just run a successful business, he is passionate about uplifting humanity. It is a passion that sparked the creation of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. The foundation is estimated to have donated over $1 billion in hearing aids to individuals who cannot afford them in more than 100 countries.

Impressively, Austin has managed to infuse his philanthropic outlook into the core operations of his business, reflecting that the mission of improving lives goes beyond the confines of his foundation. His ideology is a shining example of how businesses can bring about social change while remaining profitable.

3. Bill Austin is a High School Dropout

Austin might be a prominent business figure today, but academic achievements did not pave the way for his success. Bill Austin is one of the most successful high school dropouts in the world. He dropped out of high school to start his own business at an early age.

Despite missing out on formal education, Austin made up for it through his love for learning, intense tenacity, and hard work. His story is a tangible example that formal education doesn’t necessarily determine one’s success -ongoing self-education, perseverance, and a clear vision do.

4. He is Self-Taught

Beyond the business world, Austin has extensive knowledge in the field of audiology. Surprisingly, he taught himself the art and science of hearing aid design, measurement techniques and fitting strategies, as there were no comprehensive courses available when he first ventured into the field.

By teaching himself, Austin was able to push the boundaries of hearing aid design and implement revolutionizing techniques that are still commonly used today. He found that when there’s a will, there is indeed, a way.

5. Pioneered Invisible Hearing Aids

When it comes to innovation, Austin has been at the forefront. In 1973, under the name of NuEar, Austin invented the first custom in-canal hearing aid. This marked the start of invisible hearing aids that users could enjoy without the fear of stigma and embarrassment.

With his invention, Austin pioneered a revolutionary approach to the design and making of hearing aids. This innovation had an incredible impact on how society viewed hearing aids and those who used them.

6. A Regular Speaker at Major Audiology Conferences

Due to his vast knowledge and groundbreaking insights, Austin is a regular speaker at major audiology conferences where he inspires a new generation of audiologists and industry practitioners. His speeches resonate with the audiences due to his innovative thinking and captivating storytelling ability.

Through his speeches, Austin continues to foster the growth of audiology by sharing his learned wisdom and experiences, advocating for advanced research, and inspiring innovative ideas to improve hearing healthcare.

7. Honorary Degrees Holder

Despite dropping out of high school, universities and colleges have recognized Austin’s contributions to audiology and humanity. He holds numerous honorary degrees and has earned recognition in numerous platforms for his works in the field of audiology and his philanthropic efforts around the globe.

This is clear evidence that one doesn’t necessarily need to excel in academics to contribute futuristically towards society and business. Austin’s story conveys that their acceptance and recognition can be determined by your commitment and passion to make a difference.

8. He is an Ardent Traveller

Austin’s philanthropy takes him on trips around the world. He travels close to 200 days a year, fitting hearing aids to children and adults in need. His philanthropic work allows him to indulge in his love for travel, and vice versa.

Many might see this as a burden or part of the job, but Austin looks at it as an opportunity – to interact with people, understand their needs, and make a tangible difference to their lives. This approach underscores the fact that business and pleasure can indeed mix.

9. Passionate Advocate for Hearing Health

Austin believes that hearing health should be included in general health checks worldwide. He is a fervent advocate for promoting hearing health, to the point where he interacts with world leaders and international organizations to increase awareness on the issue.

His advocacies aim at improving hearing health through proper diagnosis, innovative solutions, and more importantly, addressing the issue well before it becomes a major problem. His is a clear illustration of passion feeding into purpose.

10. Recognized by Forbes

For his dedication towards making the world a better place, Forbes acknowledged Austin as one of the top 50 American givers in 2015. Acknowledgment from a reputable business magazine like Forbes is a clear testament of Austin’s tireless efforts towards improving humanity.

Such recognition is not just an honor for Austin, but it further underscores his work and the immense contribution he has made in the world of audiology and beyond.

While this list provides some interesting facts about Bill Austin, his remarkable life cannot be fully encapsulated in ten points. Bill Austin has built an empire not just to thrive as a business but to have a significant impact on humanity – a principle we can all learn from and aspire to.

Useful links:

Starkey Hearing Technologies
Starkey Hearing Foundation