Can Houston Become a Tech Town?

by CoyDavidson on May 6, 2012

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Houston’s Growing Tech Community

When you think “technology” in Texas, the first place that comes to mind is Austin and without question Houston is an Oil and Gas town, but despite wearing the crown as the “Energy Center” of the world, there is a significant and growing tech employment base in the nation’s 4th largest city. Some of you, if you are old enough may have even had a Compaq computer sitting on your desk once upon a time, a company founded and headquartered in Houston until its acquisition by Hewlett Packard. Houston is not the home to any social networking giants or developers of trendy consumer oriented mobile applications, but we are not devoid of notable technology employment.

Today, our most prominent technology company is likely BMC Software but there are many other technology companies throughout Houston ranging from large companies to start-ups who are developing enterprise software many specifically for the energy industry and recently Surge Accelerator, a Houston-based incubator for tech-energy startups was formed. Beyond, oil and gas Houston is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Texas Medical Center and notable technology employment exists in support of healthcare and aerospace.

As a percentage of the total workforce technology jobs in Houston is still relatively small but one of our fastest growing sectors. In fact, the fastest growing in the nation according to a recent survey.

When it comes to locations for tech companies in Houston, their hasn’t been any significant cluster form in a particular area of town and you won’t find any slides or very many ping pong tables in their office space. Houston will never be the next “Silicon Valley” and we likely never will have something similar to the “SoMa” District in San Francisco, but the Geeks are coming to help us extract oil and gas from the ground and ocean floor and serve Houston’s large enterprises, just don’t expect to see them in a Stetson.

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