Texas A Top State For Tech, Innovation

Texans have a lot of home-state pride. And so does Rackspace. When we started putting together the building blocks of Rackspace, Texas wasn’t seen as a technology hub. Launching a hosting company in San Antonio was met with a lot of raised eyebrows.

But over the last 13-plus years Rackspace has grown, and so has Texas as a haven for tech. This week, CNBC took notice, ranking the Lone Star State as No. 2 in the country for technology and innovation in its special report “America’s Top States For Business 2012.” Texas was edged out only by New York, which captured No. 1 in the tech and innovation category. Texas beat out California, Massachusetts and other tech-savvy states.

“Succeeding in the new economy — or any economy — takes innovation,” CNBC wrote. “The top states for business prize innovation, nurture new ideas, and have the infrastructure to support them. We evaluated the states on their support for innovation, the number of patents issued to their residents, and the deployment of broadband services. We also considered federal health and science research grants to the states.”

Rackspace is instrumental in helping Texas flex its technology and innovation muscles. We bring top tech talent to our various Texas locations: our San Antonio headquarters, aka, The Castle; our Austin office; and our Texas-based data centers. We’ve made Texas the nerve center of our trademark Fanatical Support and the home of the Open Cloud. We build products and services here that are not only innovative, but also help fuel innovation.

And tech and innovation isn’t the only place Texas shined. Overall, CNBC honored Texas as the No. 1 state for business in 2012.

In the sixth annual “America’s Top States For Business” study, CNBC scored all 50 states on 43 different measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. From there, those scores were broken into 10 categories in which each state was ranked: cost of doing business, workforce, quality of life, economy, transportation and infrastructure, technology and innovation, education, business friendliness, access to capital and cost of living.

Texas racked up a whopping 1,604 points out of a possible 2,500 with finishes in the top 10 of six of the 10 categories of competitiveness. It’s also worth pointing out that Texas has never finished below second place since CNBC began the study in 2007.

Not only did Texas take the No. 2 spot in technology and innovation, but it also nabbed No. 1 for infrastructure and transportation; No. 3 for cost of living; No. 4 for economy; and No. 7 for workforce. Texas also placed No. 12 for business friendliness.

Texas has truly established itself as a center for business, and a destination for technology and innovation; and we at Rackspace couldn’t be happier.

John Engates joined Rackspace in August 2000, just a year after the company was founded, as Vice President of Operations, managing the datacenter operations and customer-service teams. Two years later, when Rackspace decided to add new services for larger enterprise customers, John created and helped develop the Intensive Hosting business unit. Most recently, John has played an active role in the evolution and evangelism of Rackspace’s cloud-computing strategy and cloud products. John meets frequently with customers to hear about their needs and concerns, and to discuss Rackspace’s vision for the future of cloud computing. John currently serves as the company’s Chief Evangelist. John is also an internationally recognized cloud computing expert and a sought-after speaker at technology conferences, including CA World, the Goldman Sachs Techtonics Conference and Cloud Expo. He speaks on the future of cloud computing, enterprise cloud adoption, data center efficiency, green data center best practices, and more. Prior to joining Rackspace, John was a founder and General Manager at Internet Direct, one of the original Internet service providers in Texas. John is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio and holds a B.B.A. in Accounting.


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