How the Texas Snow Crisis Will Impact Austin’s Tech Future

Published on March 11, 2021

Austin is not only the capital city of Texas, but also a rapidly growing tech hub as well. Tesla is building a gigafactory in Austin with construction estimated to be completed by the end of this year, and many other tech companies are moving to the state to escape skyrocketing living costs in coastal cities. Some major company offices already established in Austin like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, PayPal and more were the catalysts of Austin’s reputation as a tech hub, and the industry is only expected to grow in the future. This past February the entire state of Texas was hit with an unprecedented snow storm that knocked out the power and water supply for millions of Texans.
With many citizens still reeling from the storm, will the historic Texas snow impact Austin’s status as a prominent and expanding tech hub?


The Impact of the Texas Snow

February’s snow storm was historic for the city of Austin, with the city seeing the most snow it’s had since January 1949. The company Samsung Austin Semiconductor donated 750,000 dollars for winter storm relief in Austin, and other companies like the Bank of America contributed 100,000 dollars to help Austin residents who had house damage from the winter storm. Samsung was among the computing chip-making companies in Austin that were asked to shut down their factories a few days after the snow hit, in order to conserve power.

Nothing appears to be stopping a branch of another Elon Musk-owned company, Starlink of SpaceX from the company’s plans to build a manufacturing plant in Austin.

GritDaily also recently spoke to Joe Haugen, the Director of Power Supply at IGS Energy, who revealed his own suggestions on how Texas could be better prepared for crises like February’s unprecedented storm in the future.

David Cao, the Managing Partner of F50 Ventures, a venture capital and private equity company, remains optimistic about Austin’s tech hub status after the Texas snow storm.

“I lived in Silicon Valley for 20 years. My company legally moved to Austin at the end of 2020 and I moved to Austin this past January. The storm may change people’s perceptions about Austin weather, but has no impact on Austin’s status as the biggest booming tech hub in America.

Indeed, it’s getting even stronger in March!”

I moved to Austin because I believe Austin is the clear winner as the biggest tech hub next to the Silicon Valley in the next 10-20 years which I would like to be a part of so I can connect and invest in the next generation of founders in Austin who can make a global impact.

Austin is well positioned to have fast growth in the tech field, because Austin not only has a great culture to support creative minds and ventures but the city is also far more affordable for tech startups. Austin also has a great tech talent pool because of the migration of big tech companies, and is more business friendly.”

There’s a saying about Austin. “Keep Austin Weird.” Perhaps it’s that attitude the city has of embracing the weird, the unknown, the imaginative and the artistic that makes it such a great spot for well-established tech companies and tech start-ups.

There is no doubt that the Texas winter storm was a disaster and tragedy on many levels but hopefully growing tech hubs like Austin can mold the next generation of future leaders like Cao stated in tech, energy, and more so a tragedy like the Texas storm won’t ever happen again and impact so many people across the state.

Katherine Stinson is an award-winning journalist and Staff Reporter at Grit Daily News, where she covers Texas and Southern states' startup and entrepreneurship news. Based in San Antonio, Texas, she also contributes to ScreenRant, Outlander TV News, and San Antonio Magazine.

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