The Silicon Bayou recently received a mention in the well-known business publication Fast Company because of an interview David Zax did with John Grindley, Executive Director of CoHabitat Foundation. He proudly supported the economic and technological growth in Shreveport and explained why one should start a startup there.
When asked how Shreveport became a tech hub, Grindley said, “There was a big oil bust in the ’80s, and a lot of industry left. We had a hangover for 20 years, with not much diversity in our economy. Louisiana decided they wanted to attract a diverse, creative economy, and gave tax credits to film and digital media. Then further tax credits kicked in for software development. Initially that seemed to only apply to video games, but we got the law changed to be interpreted as applying to all software development in the state, and that blew the doors wide open. Originally when the film industry came seven or eight years ago, they landed in New Orleans, but Hurricane Katrina made people shift focus to other parts of the state.”
Additionally, Grindley’s ‘pitch’ to bring someone from the other tech hubs across the country to the Shreveport Bossier area is simple. He said, “you can be a big fish in a small pond, and develop ideas in a nurturing environment. Here, people want to help you succeed. The culture here is great: fun music, Cajun culture.”
For the entire interview with Grindley, visit FastCompany.com.