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The Dallas/ Ft. Worth Metroplex is a World Class Tech Hub! Print E-mail
by Roman Kikta    Thu, Sep 14, 2006, 12:47 PM

A recent article from the Associated Press (AP) appeared in the Dallas Morning News titled “Silicon Valley a top tech hub? That’s so over”. The article states that Silicon Valley, CA ranks LAST in an annual ranking of 12 U.S. technology hubs.

The article rightfully cites Silicon Valley’s notoriously high housing costs, traffic congestion, unemployment rate and other quality of life problems which contribute to the migration out of the region resulting for this down fall from the top.

Top 12 Tech Hubs (as listed by AP):

  1. Raleigh- Durham NC
  2. Seattle
  3. Denver
  4. Austin
  5. Portland OR
  6. New Jersey/ Pennsylvania
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Chicago
  9. Boston
  10. New York
  11. San Diego
  12. Silicon Valley, CA

I am perturbed that the Dallas/ Ft. Worth Metroplex has not made the list! Over the years I have personally visited every one of the cities and regions listed dozens of times. While they are all pleasant places with qualities, resources that warrant their inclusion on such a list, it is a great bias that the DFW Metroplex has been omitted from such distinction. It is clear to me that someone has made a grievous oversight when preparing the list. So let me help set the record straight on why the DFW Metroplex should be included on all listings of Top Technology Centers.

First, let me point out that the Information Age was born in Dallas with Nobel Laureate Jack Kilby's invention of the monolithic integrated circuit-the first microchip-at Texas Instruments in 1958. Furthermore, DFW's early leadership in the semiconductor industry paved the way for the area to become a world presence in telecommunications, especially with TI's introduction of the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) in 1982.

Second, I want to point out that our Metroplex is undeniably the leading center in the world for communications wired and wireless. The Telecom Corridor located in Richardson and the Metroplex as a whole offers the single highest concentration of the world’s leading communications companies. These companies transcend the entire ecosystem, from handsets & devices to infrastructure, to semiconductors, components, software and services. These include world giants: Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Alcatel, Siemens, Cisco, Ericsson, NEC, Fujitsu, Texas Instruments and hundreds of emerging others.

3. DFW Metroplex has been dubbed the RFID capital of the world

4. Nanotechnology: The Nanotech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas is a pioneer making break through discoveries in the field and has earned a world wide reputation as an innovator; leading nanotech company Zyvex is based in Richardson.

5. We have local governments that foster innovation, embracing high tech companies offering financial incentives for businesses including fee rebates, enterprise zones, freeport tax exemptions, foreign trade zones and expedited permitting.

6. The DFW Metroplex accounts for nearly one-half of Texas' high tech workforce, employing nearly a quarter million high tech workers.

7. Texas as a state has been consistently the third largest recipient of venture capital funding, on an annual average of 1.9 Billion (1996 – 2005). Dallas’ portion is over 40% of that figure.

So, I’ve put together my own list based on metrics system comprising innovation, the number of start-ups & early stage companies, amounts of venture capital investing, quality of education, institutions of higher education, quality of (affordable) housing & living, infrastructure-established business community, access to markets; pro-economic development governments, tax structure, skilled work force……

Roman’s Top 12 US Technology Centers (in Alphabetical Order)

Atlanta

Austin

Boston

Chicago

Dallas/ Fort Worth

New Jersey/ SE PA 

New York Metro 

Raleigh/Durham/ Research Triangle

San Diego

Seattle

Silicon Valley

Washington D.C. Metro (includes & N. VA/MD)

Some interesting statistics:

  • AeA’s (American Electronics Association) Cyberstates 2005: A State-by-State Overview of the High Technology Industry dubs Texas the second largest cyberstate in the nation with a total of high-tech workers, of which almost half reside in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth offers the largest number of college and high school educated residents of any metro in the state of Texas and among the highest in the nation.)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth has a young, diverse and growing population with a median age of 32.6 compared to the U.S. average of 36.0
  • DFW claims 26 percent of the state's population, 27 percent of all wage and salary jobs and produces 33 percent of the state's total product as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). (Economy.com) Total GDP for the DFW metro reached $290 billion in 2005. If DFW were a nation, it would rank 21st in the world in Gross Product between Turkey and Austria. (Economy.com)
  • Twenty-two Fortune 500 headquarters called DFW home in 2006. (Fortune Magazine)
  • Dallas ranks nineteen and Fort Worth ranked as the best places for business and careers in 2005. (Forbes Magazine)
  • Dallas ranked among the “Best Performing Cities: Where America’s Jobs are Created and Sustained”
  • Great Location and accessibility: DFW is a major hub for air and ground transportation
  • DFW's central U.S. location is equally close to North America's five largest business centers: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport is the third largest in passenger activity in the world. DFW airport handled over 711,878 operations in 2005 and served over 59 million passengers to approximately 160 destinations.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth consistently ranks in the top 20 as the best places for entrepreneurs in the US. (Entrepreneur Magazine)
  • The DFW region is home to some of the most exclusive and high quality educational and training institutions in America, together Dallas and Fort Worth Independent School districts ranked 4th among the largest school districts in the nation. (National Center for Education Statistics)
  • Over 240 accredited private and parochial schools are in the DFW area and enroll more than 90,000 primary and secondary students. (Texas Education Agency)
  • In 2005, over 450 public schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area are recognized as exemplary campuses by the Texas Education Agency.
  • DFW Enrollment in both public and private 4-year institutions is approximately 150,000.
  • DFW's public universities led key competing metro areas by substantial margins in the production of Business and Management doctorates and they ranked second only to Silicon Valley schools in engineering and Ph.D. students.
  • DFW is a major medical center health care supported by aggressive research and education programs ... The DFW area is home to Fifteen members of the National Academy of Sciences and four active Nobel Laureates are on faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UTSWMC).

The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex has a lot going for it. And when it comes to quality of life, our area has a multitude of cultural and recreational amenities, great restaurants and world class shopping. Coupled with a low cost of living, (DFW has no personal or corporate income tax and no state property or unitary tax), typically several points below the national average, and considerably lower than Silicon Valley or east coast cities, makes it attractive for young high tech workers and their families to want to live here. Thus, it comes as no surprise that both high tech workers and companies are relocating to this epic center of high tech once dubbed “Silicon Prairie”. For all of these reasons it is justifiable to include our home area, The Dallas/ Fort Worth Metroplex as a high tech center.

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written by DFWforhire , September 17, 2009

DFWforhire.com is a Dallas based tech startup. Operated by two Dallas natives.



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