Yesterday, I had a chance to visit a new and magical place that’s just been built out on the 11th floor of a downtown office building in what is now the nation’s seventh largest city.
The idea is to bring together the geek community to collaborate, as well as to attract other geeks to consider moving here and do something very meaningful that goes beyond building a new company. Co-located in this magical place is a new venture, based on the existing TechStars model, known as TechStars Cloud.
For TechStars Cloud, things are being ratcheted up a bit, as this is going to be the place on planet earth where a startup that is selected to be part of the class will have a chance to be part of buiding and making new platforms, services and technologies that will power the next buildout of the cloud.
Yesterday afternoon, a group of successful technology entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, service providers like myself, and some of the leadership from companies in the cloud and hosting markets were on hand to greet a group of new entrepreneurs applying for entrance in will become the first class of the newly formed TechStars Cloud.
I met startup entrepreneurs who came to this new place from the UK, Seattle, Toronto, Sacramento, San Francisco, Madison, and Austin.
Each entrepreneur I spoke to, all pretty much told me the same thing: they came here because they wanted to be in the center of the hosting / cloud ecosystem, and felt that by being here, it would increase their chances of meeting other industry thought leaders and hopefully gain acceptance into the TechStars Cloud program.
Drum Roll Please…
In case you have not figured it out, (or hit the links provided) Geekdom is located in San Antonio. While logic would dictate that a place like this should be in Silicon Valley, New York, or Tel Aviv, it makes tons of sense to be clustered in the epicenter of the hosting and cloud ecosystem: Rackspace.
A Legacy Of Innovation
As I walked around inspecting Geekdom, I looked out the window, thinking back on some the great technological innovations which were born in San Antonio.
Though not well known, history documents that the true origins of what became the personal computer were actually born in this very same town. Ditto about the idea of a computer network, the laser printer, video conferencing and a few other really big things that are now a part of our everyday, geekie lives.
Oh, and some pretty smart people like the guy who has contributed more than anyone on the planet to the standard that became WiFi, or this really amazing person who was a core member of the ARPANet design team who built out what would become the Internet as we know it today, live here. I could go on and on about the other innovations and disruptive breakthroughs and people that make this place home, but that might be in another post.
Yup. I’ve lived here for 22 years and have had a great and prosperous life doing PR for U.S. and Israeli technology companies that are changing and disrupting he world.
We have everything every other major city has, except it’s easier to get around, a home will cost about 1/3 of what it will cost you elsewhere, and our Mexican food reigns supreme. The sun shines here, and even though our summers are pretty toasty, you can chill out citywide. We have cool places to hang out, an arts community, great schools, world class universities, no state income tax, and (without having another way to say it) people are just more real here.
Even way back in 2004, I was profiled in Rich Karlgaard’s book, Life 2.0, based on the same premise pointed out on why I lived here by choice. Now, almost eight years later, my premise remains the same: given the ubiquity of broadband, access to an international airport, having a much lower cost of living, and without sounding like a cheerleader for the local Chamber of Commerce, I can pretty much run a global consulting practice, hang out with nice people, and stay grounded.
Go Geekdom. Go!
If yesterday’s event was a sneak peak at the future, I recommend you keep Geekdom on your radar.
If you wanna come and visit, or hang out, reach out to Jason and Nick.
They, like the other million or so nice people who live in the neighborhoods around the magical kingdom of Geekdom, will welcome you with open arms, smart minds, and a burning desire to disrupt, build, and make something great.
TechCrunch: The Foundations of a Startup Community