Strategy to Accelerate Technology Growth in Houston

The Houston Technology Center (HTC) aims to accelerate the growth of new technology companies in the Houston area. On a pro bono basis, McKinsey & Company worked to develop a growth-acceleration strategy for the City of Houston in the Fall of 1999. This memorandum summarizes McKinsey’s perspective on Houston ‘s technology growth opportunity. In sum, Houston could significantly increase the development of technology-related start-ups by catalyzing a virtuous growth cycle that builds on Houston ‘s distinctive strengths. The HTC can and should play a critical role in catalyzing this virtuous cycle but cannot do it alone. The remainder of this document is broken into three parts:

  1. Houston has a strong starting point in technology, but also has several notable weaknesses
  2. There are several important learnings from other clusters that are relevant for Houston
  3. As a city, Houston should pursue a broad three-pronged strategy to unleash the technology potential in Houston , with the HTC playing a leadership role in several efforts:
    • Have the HTC build on its accomplishments to date and continue to lead the development of a distinctive area-wide infrastructure to enhance local technology connectivity
    • Have the HTC catalyze development of (but not always own) a local network of sector-specific “new game” accelerators offering distinctive tailored services

Mobilize sector leaders to initiate sector-specific efforts in Life Sciences, Energy, and Space-Derived Technologies.