Texas CEO Magazine
By Michael Agresta
The past year has run roughshod over millions of Americans, yet the tech industry in Texas is seemingly riding higher than ever. Austin has tended to hog the hype, thanks to announcements such as plans for new high-tech factories (Samsung semiconductors, SpaceX antennae, Tesla trucks), but it was Dallas that placed first in the U.S. in tech investment growth rate in 2020, and Houston and San Antonio are trending up too. Mike Smerklo, cofounder of Austin-based Next Coast Ventures, says that while the well-known names grab the attention, newcomers like Sun may make an even greater impact.
“A lot of the headlines going into the Austin media are: this venture capitalist moved here, or this wealthy person or celebrity moved here,” he says. “That’s fun and interesting and all, but what’s really happening is entrepreneurial talent—both those who start companies and the executives who help build them. That influx is almost unbelievable, how strong it’s gotten. That’s less of a sexy headline, so to speak, but I think it’ll be that element that really drives the Austin start-up scene to the next level.”
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