City of San Antonio Economic Development

The Culture of Business

Geekdom Noted in Fast Company for Tech Education

Great publicity for local collaborative workspace and tech startup hub, Geekdom!  It’s great to see our tech industry highlighted and to see great development in our center city.

From Fast Company:

“America has too big of a challenge ahead to have its tech growth concentrated in only in a few of our cities,” says Graham Weston, chairman and cofounder of Rackspace, a $7.57 billion provider of hosting and cloud-computing services based in San Antonio. Weston founded Geekdom last December with fellow tech entrepreneur Nick Longo on a hunch: that technology, collaboration, and education form a virtuous circle that can kick-start a city’s economic growth in a big way.

“We saw Geekdom as an opportunity to organize all the tech startups in the city,” Weston says. “People didn’t know each other. Investors with money to invest didn’t know the companies that needed funding. So first we brought people out of the woodwork.” Longo and Weston structured Geekdom from the beginning to encourage collaboration: In exchange for dirt-cheap rent ($50 per month, $10 for students), entrepreneurs joining Geekdom must contribute at least one hour of their time weekly to sharing their skills with other members.

“We’re not a rental play,” Longo says flatly. “We’re about building human equity–this is a grand experiment that’s long-tail.” Weston adds: “Most coworking spaces and accelerators try to take equity in the companies in exchange for cheap rent. But you won’t give away a truly great idea just for rent money. We may make no money off of the successes that arise within Geekdom. But we’ll measure success through the impact we see in the city a decade now”–a future Weston hopes will be teeming with thriving startups.

And of course, great mention of our economic competitiveness:

San Antonio makes a compelling case study for Geekdom’s recipe for tech innovation: It’s a large city with a solid economic base, but hardly a creative-class darling or obvious tech mecca. The nation’s seventh largest city, San Antonio is already home to two Fortune Global 500 companies (Valero Energy and Tesoro Petroleum Corp) and five Fortune 500 firms (those two plus USAA, Clear Channel Communications, and NuStar Energy). The city’s strong military presence explains why Fitch rates San Antonio’s long-term bonds triple-A, and the Milken Institute named San Antonio No. 1 in its 2011 Best-Performing Cities survey, up from No. 14 the year before. Unemployment in May is correspondingly low: 7.3% according to BLS data from June.

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This entry was posted on September 12, 2012 by in San Antonio.

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