Is San Antonio on the Verge of Achieving 'Critical Mass' in Tech?

San Antonio City Council on Thursday gave the green light to the relocation of a UK based e-commerce company, The HUT Group to open its North American corporate headquarters downtown, and today another cyber security company is announcing plans to open its doors at Port San Antonio.

Lorenzo Gomez, one of the fathers of San Antonio's tech industry, says it appears the city is reaching that point of 'critical mass' that it is a self sustaining tech center.

He says that's what he has dreamed of and worked to achieve ever since the San Antonio native helped start Rackspace, which is considered the first major tech firm to put down roots in the city.

"So, I think you are going to see a tidal wave of companies and events and people moving in to participate in our tech scene, because people are starting to see how livable it is," Gomez said.

Gomez has probably worked as hard as anybody in the city to make this 'critical mass' happen.  After leaving Rackspace, Gomez helped start Geekdom, a unique tech training center and incubator which is responsible for the growth of many local start-ups.

Gomez says the city's tech 'brand' is spreading through the ecosystem, and that is great, especially for recruiting the skilled people needed to move the tech industry forward.  The number one problem facing tech start-ups today, according to several studies, is a lack of employees.

"San Antonio is embracing the culture which makes it unique," he said.  "We are also embracing many different lifestyle amenities."

Gomez points to the Pearl Complex, the growing 'tech corridor' downtown, as well as the city's growing collection of world class restaurants and recreational opportunities.

"The amount of companies getting started and the number of people joining is becoming too hard to track," he said.  "That to me is another way of saying we are about to reach critical mass."

Gomez warns that San Antonio has grown largely because of its affordability, especially when compared with tech centers like San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle.  But he says the city must move forward with affordable housing initiatives to make sure that affordability edge is not lost.

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