Cities like Miami, Denver, and Dallas have become attractive destinations for entrepreneurs and companies during the coronavirus pandemic. Texas, in particular, has become home to high-profile figures like Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and podcast host Joe Rogan — Oracle (ORCL) recently moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin.
But Billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is perhaps the most high-profile advocate for the Lone Star State. Originally from Pittsburgh, Cuban moved to Dallas nearly four decades ago, and has consistently contended that it’s a great place to do business. He reiterated that point on Tuesday, while speaking at the annual SXSW conference, which is typically held in downtown Austin but is all-digital this year.
“Particularly in Dallas, there’s so much less friction doing business here than in Silicon Valley or other tech destinations. Put aside the tax element, you’ve got a great workforce, you’ve got a willing workforce that wants to work, people who like coming to the job every day. You’ve got a young, vibrant, educated community. You’ve got universities. You got University of Texas at Dallas, which has the largest engineering school in the country — there’s a strong development core there,” he said on Tuesday.
“What’s not to love about doing business in Dallas, Texas? The real estate is far cheaper. You got a better chance of making money in Dallas and Texas generally,” he added.
Cuban, who owns or is an investor in over 250 companies, says he definitely puts his thumb on the scale when looking at pitch decks for Texas-based startups, and finds it to be an organic, authentic ecosystem of collaboration.
“No one is shy in the state of Texas — everybody seems to be your best friend unless you’re a direct competitor. We’re always sharing ideas. Dallas is such a great community to get expertise — it allows us to show some of my companies in other cities that ‘Look, we’ve got that expertise here,’ and several times we’ve had companies move here to Dallas,” he said.
Cuban spoke during a session called “Beyond the Tank: Investing in Your Community,” at the annual SXSW conference, which also featured the fashion designer Kendra Scott, who’s based in Austin. During the talk, she rejected the notion that one has to be on the coasts to succeed in fashion.
“This is a breeding ground,” she said. “It’s an exciting place to start a business.”
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