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A Brief History of Austin’s Technology Scene# A Brief History of Austin’s Technology SceneAustin, Texas | © KBaucherel / PixabayAustin, Texas, is one of the most vibrant tech hubs in the United States andit owes a lot to an organization formed over 60 years ago.Texas is well known for its oil. While the likes of Houston and Dallas owemuch of their economic prosperity to discoveries of black gold, Austin hastaken a different path to becoming one of the most important cities in thestate, and the country.Austin is among the many cities vying for a place at the top table oftechnology in the United States. The undisputed champion of tech is, ofcourse, Silicon Valley in California, but many other cities, like New YorkCity and Chicago, are attempting to forge a reputation as technology hubs.Austin, however, is ahead of most of them.The city’s ambitions to be an important location for the technology industrybegan in 1957, according to a report titled A History of High Tech andTechnopolis in Austin. Back in the ’50s, a group of private leadersestablished the Austin Area Economic Development Foundation, which sought toattract companies manufacturing electrical and scientific equipment.The plan worked, and the big name companies started to flock to Austin.Tracor, a major defense electronics contractor, began operation in the city in1962. IBM followed in 1967, opening a facility to produce its Selectrictypewriters. Texas Instruments moved there two years later and Motorola set upmanufacturing facilities in 1974.In 1977, the University of Texas set up its IC2 Institute, as a “think-and-dotank” that aspired to create regional economic development throughtechnological innovation. The institute has since researched entrepreneurialwealth creation and has helped grow Austin as an innovation and technologycenter.Microelectronics and Computer Consortium (MCC) started operating in Austin in1982, and Dell moved to the city in 1984. In 1989, the IC2 Institute launchedthe Austin Technology Incubator, which has helped Austin-based technologystart-ups add nearly $1 billion (£756,905,000) in economic value to the areaand create approximately 7,000 jobs.Since then, low state taxes and the relative low cost of living have attractedcountless entrepreneurs, who presumably also appreciate the fact there is nopersonal income tax in the state.Austin at night | © Skeeze / PixabayIn 2016, Austin was named the top destination in the CNBC Metro 20: America’sBest Places To Start a Business, which evaluated the cost of doing business,quality of life, labor force and diversity.Austin hosts the South by Southwest festival which, besides showcasing thebest of music and film, also attracts a large number of start-ups every yearin its interactive media segment. The festival was credited with givingTwitter the boost it needed to achieve fame and success in 2007, while thelikes of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk have beeninterviewed on stage.Austin has achieved its goals of becoming a major technology hub, thanks inpart to the efforts of a group formed over 60 years ago. Now it looks set togrow rapidly in the future.