San Antonio and Austin have always had something of a sibling rivalry, most recently involving tacos. But you can forget the tacos.
Now, it’s a tech war of sorts that could be developing between the two cities as San Antonio looks to lure away tech businesses from the capital.
The Vogue Building in downtown San Antonio is the new home of tech start-up EasyExpunctions.com. The company’s CEO, Yousef Kassim, said that it wasn't hard convincing him to move to San Antonio, but he had to think about his employees.
“My initial concern was having all of my employees agree to want to move as well,” he said.
Bexar County offered him a $50,000 grant to relocate. In exchange, EasyExpunctions.com must create at least 20 new jobs and stay in Bexar County for at least three years. The City of San Antonio made the offer even sweeter by throwing in $100,000. Once again, the company had to promise to stay in San Antonio for three years and create jobs.
EasyExpunction.com’s eight employees are now living and working in San Antonio, and two additional people have been hired.
“What has won my employees over is how welcoming everyone has been since we got here,” Kassim said. “Whether it's members of the business community, members of the government, just people walking down the street.”
Bexar County's Director of Economic Development David Marquez said that this is just the beginning.
“It's capitalism, it's the free market,” Marquez said. “It's in our benefit to populate this entire corridor.”
San Antonio isn't trying to steal a Dell or an Apple away from Austin, but local leaders are also expanding their search beyond the capital. San Antonio believes that this friendly competition could end up benefiting both communities as the entire region becomes known as a place where tech companies thrive.