san antonio

The "San Antonio Solution" to Ride Share

The "San Antonio Solution" to Ride Share

Ride share companies are important to cities like San Antonio for many reasons.  These include safety, enhanced livability, reduction in traffic, cost savings, jobs and even infrastructure efficiencies.  But one key reason ride share is important to San Antonio is the significance to the tech community.   For San Antonio to become a tech hub and grow our jobs base, we must embrace technology companies.

What Surprised Me About Ivy Taylor

Featured image: Mayor Ivy Taylor attended the 19th annual Walk & Roll Rally. Photo by Scott Ball.

San Antonio has been my home for more than 20 years. We are blessed with a wonderful city that has a growing economy, great weather and a diverse and lively community.

What we don’t have is a strong vision for the next 20 years. San Antonio lags behind other cities in transportation, higher education and a connected, vibrant urban core. To strengthen the economic base, we need to draw technology companies, attract and retain educated people and diversify our industry footprint.

I became interested in the mayoral race a few months ago when Uber announced they were leaving the city. I wanted our leaders to understand the importance of Uber, Lyft and other technology companies. Services like this are good for our city and enhance the livability of San Antonio. I was mad and so I got involved.

When I first met Mayor Ivy Taylor in March, several things surprised me. First of all, she is an excellent listener. She listens first and speaks later (a trait not often found in political leaders). She seeks to understand and asks great questions. The Mayor looks through a single lens in leading this city, “what is best for San Antonio.” She has no political ambition, no desire to please everyone and dislikes politics in general. She refused to take money from those with whom she is negotiating. I respect that she is neither intimidated nor influenced by special interest groups. I trust that Ivy Taylor puts San Antonio first in every decision she makes.

I wanted to be sure she understood my perspective so I shared my story. My co-founders and I launched a technology company in San Antonio in 2005. Click Forensics was founded here and built to help advertisers get what they pay for. We were solving a complex data problem and needed both funding and technology talent. Despite our best effort, these did not exist in San Antonio at that time. With an investment from a venture capital firm, we relocated to Austin. Over the next seven years, Click Forensics became Adometry and grew significantly. The company gained global recognition as the leader in advertising attribution technology. In 2014, Adometry was acquired by Google. All of this occurred in Austin, not San Antonio.

This experience has made me take a hard look at the city I love most of all. I don’t want other companies to have to leave San Antonio in order to grow. Many young people are moving out after graduation and I want our city to be one that can attract and retain talented and educated young people. We need to make changes that will position our city as a leader in the years to come. Ivy Taylor shares that vision.

Every month, I spend more than 100 hours with 40 CEO’s, business owners and senior leaders. I feel equipped to recognize the traits that make a leader great, and those that make poor leaders. I’ve met the candidates and have an open mind. Ivy Taylor is the perfect leader for San Antonio today and tomorrow. She has a willingness to listen, has a deep background and education as an urban planner and a sound process for decision making. defines a politician as:

  1. a person who is active in party politics
  2. a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles.

By definition, Ivy Taylor is an awful politician. After getting to know her, I’ve found that she is a wonderful leader. San Antonio needs someone to help us become all we can be. We don’t need a politician to lead this city. We need a visionary leader who will listen, lead and get things done. I look forward to supporting Mayor Taylor in the runoff election and working with her to make this city truly great.

Austin, San Antonio once again make Forbes “top” list

Austin, San Antonio and other cities in Texas have ranked high on numerous lists for places to do business and quality of life in recent years. A June 6, 2011 Forbes article ranks Austin as the top city in the country for future population growth. San Antonio is ranked forth, Houston fifth, and Dallas seventh.

Several months ago, ABC News reported that Texas has been responsible for 40% of all new jobs grown in the U.S. since the recession began in late 2007. Clearly those of us who commute interstate 35 at rush hour know how popular Austin is becoming. The U.S. Census department reports that Austin has sustained a 20.4% growth rate since 2000.

For several decades Texas has been pro-growth and pro-business. Dallas is the home for more large company headquarters than any other city in the country. Texas is responsible for 8.09% of the nation’s gross domestic product as of February 2011.

Geography, demographics, quality of life, weather, regulatory climate, and aggressive recruitment of businesses to move to the lone star state have all contributed to our state’s growth.


Austin and San Antonio sit on Interstate 35, one of the nation’s busiest highways for moving goods from Mexico and Texas to all points north including Canada. San Antonio and Houston sit on Interstate 10 which is a major highway from Florida to Los Angeles, while the Dallas/Ft. Worth area have Interstate 20 and 30 running east and west through them. When you look at a map of the U.S. Texas is pretty much centered strategically to locate distribution centers. Ports along the Texas Gulf Coast are responsible for approximately 15% of the nation’s imports and exports flowing through them, and Texas has more oil and natural gas pipelines moving through it than any other state in the country.


Austin has a highly educated workforce as many University of Texas students have found Austin the city they want to live in after graduation. As a result, wages for many fields are lower than the national average but there is a bountiful supply of knowledge and technology workers here to satisfy companies desiring to settle here. San Antonio also has an increasing supply of knowledge workers as well as tradesman and craftsman that work in the aviation and aircraft maintenance industry.

Quality of Life

One of the first things people think of when they think of Austin is quality of life. We have six major lakes within an hour of the city. Austin is a 3 ½ hour drive to the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and the Texas Hill Country divides Austin in half. During the last ten years, the Austin Chamber of Commerce and Visitors and Convention Bureau have made Austin a destination for many large national and international conventions. Austin’s live music and nightlife are known worldwide for their homegrown eclectic variety of entertainment. 80 miles south, San Antonio sports a different but equally attractive quality of life. San Antonio is one of the America’s top vacation and convention spots because of its history, a quaint downtown tourist district, and the San Antonio river walk. Like Austin, much of San Antonio is built in the Texas hill country. It is hard to find two better cities to live, visit, and do business in.


Most of Texas and especially Austin and San Antonio experience sun and a mild climate most of the year. Austin and San Antonio both average about 300 sunny days a year. Weather is a major draw for population growth and commerce.

Regulatory Climate

Some sources claim it costs about 20% more to do business in California than the rest of the country. At the other end of the spectrum Texas has one of the lowest costs of doing business. We have no individual state income tax. Business franchise taxes are collected but there are enough loopholes in the franchise tax law that many companies don’t have to pay them. Many businesses that relocate to Texas do so citing the low regulatory cost of doing business here, the lower average wages, and the pro-business climate.

Business Recruitment

During the last ten years, Texas has spent hundreds of millions of dollars recruiting businesses to move here. The focus has been on high technology, information workers, and those industries that planners view as desirable and adding to the tax base by employing higher paid, educated workers. Some outside the state have criticized Texas for “poaching” but the truth is every state and major city lobby businesses to move to their jurisdiction. Texas has simply been better at it than other states.

All of the factors mentioned above have helped Austin and the rest of Texas grow larger and smarter while mostly preserving the reasons why many of us who have been here our whole lives. As long as planners and regulators don’t forget what attracted us here, the future should be bright for Austin, San Antonio and Central Texas.

Leslie Thacker is a partner in Austin Texas based Business Finance Solutions