Since the early 80’s when the Microelectronics & Computer Technology Corp., or MCC Consortium, chose to locate here, Austin has been a welcoming city for innovators and early adopters.
Our educated workforce, entrepreneurial spirit, infrastructure and quality of life have made Austin home to some of the world’s leading technology companies and a thriving start¬up scene.
With hundreds of people choosing to move to Austin daily, our success has engendered a host of new challenges. As innovators and early adopters, Austin welcomes the outside-the-box thinkers that are needed to help address the city’s biggest challenges, including transportation issues, infrastructure, and affordability.
Google opened our first office in Austin in 2007, and we have continued to grow since then. We love living and working among forward-thinking residents with city leaders who understand the value of technology.
We have found Austin welcoming for some of our most exciting innovations.
Austin was the second city – and the first outside of California – where we began testing self-driving cars. Austin has both embraced this technology and given us some great feedback, too. We believe this technology has the potential to make our roads safer and less congested, while increasing mobility and lowering transportation costs for our citizens.
Similarly, Austin was the second city chosen for our Google Fiber investment. Austin leaders aggressively pitched Austin as the right place to truly explore what’s possible with a gigabit connection.
We can't wait to see what the next generation of the Internet looks like in the hands of Austin’s creative and entrepreneurial class. (And, for those who haven’t had a chance to sign up yet, we’re building as fast as we can!)
Our community is a collaborative one, where groups are often willing to work together to address our needs.
Google has had the opportunity to work with the University of Texas at Austin and the Austin Independent School District to build programs to better prepare our teachers.
Through programs like OnRamps and the Computer Science Professional Development Pipeline Project, AISD has trained over 70 teachers on 16 campuses and successfully helped address student misconceptions of computer science fields.
But what ultimately, and most importantly, makes Austin special is its people. Today, we’re building on the legacy begun by individuals like Pike Powers, Michael Dell, Bob Metcalfe, and Admiral Bobby Inman.
It’s organizations like GirlStart, with whom we’ve been proud to partner to help give thousands of girls an opportunity to develop their passion for math and science.
We hope to one day be able to call some of these young women Googlers.
It’s also organizations like Austin FreeNet, which works tirelessly to provide technology training and access to the community, fostering skills that enable people to succeed in a digital age.
As a community, we are working to address these issues by making digital inclusion a local priority, finding new ways to collaborate, and meeting non¬internet users where they are.
The city’s investment in addressing this problem is a national model; the White House and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have shaped their ConnectHome initiative based on the success of a partnership led by the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, with support from Austin FreeNet, Austin Community College, Google Fiber, and many others.
In short: Austin has a collaborative approach, a can-do attitude and solution-driven, consensus-oriented leaders who are eager to work to improve our city rather than limit it.
Google is committed to Austin, as evidenced by the roots we’ve put down with the Google Fiber Space on 2nd St. downtown and the new office space under construction for Austin Googlers down the street near the new central library. The Austin model has worked for Google, and we are glad to be a part of Austin’s future.
Also, the barbecue is pretty darn good.
Gerardo Interiano is head of external affairs for Google in Texas.