Texas CEO Magazine has published a look at the origins of Austin as a tech center, focusing on George Kozmetsky and the founding of the IC² Institute and the Austin Technology Incubator.
Austin Mayor Lee Cooke was on his way to give a speech when the mobile phone in his car rang. It was George Kozmetsky, the dean of the business school at the University of Texas. He asked Cooke to swing by.
“He came downstairs and I rolled down the window and asked, ‘Dr. Kozmetsky, what can I do for you?’” Cooke said.
“I need $300,000 from the City, and I need $300,000 from the Chamber and I’m either going to find $300,000 from the university or from the Kozmetsky Foundation,” Kozmetsky replied.
Cooke knew he didn’t have the authority to do it without the support of City Council, and he didn’t have authority from the Chamber of Commerce, although he had been its president a few years earlier. Nonetheless, “I said, ‘You have the $300,000 from the City and you’ve got the $300,000 from the Chamber.’” Cooke rolled up the window and drove off, and the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) was born — the first technology incubator in Texas.
Read the full article:
The Genesis of Austin’s Brand, Texas CEO Magazine, July 10, 2017