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Apple announces $1 billion Texas campus

Apple's current facilities in North Austin. Photo courtesy of Apple

Apple is embarking on a massive expansion in the Austin area. On December 13, the Cupertino, California-based company announced it is investing $1 billion to create a North Austin campus and adding 5,000 potential new jobs.

Though an exact location was not revealed, the company said the new 113-acre campus will be located "less than a mile" from its current office on Parmer Lane near the Domain. Initially the new Austin Apple will be designed to accommodate 5,000 employees, with the possibility to grow to up to 15,000 employees, the company says.

According to a release, the new facilities will house a broad range of job functions, including engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales, and customer support. Currently, Apple employs 6,200 Austinites, the largest group outside of the tech company's California headquarters.

"Apple has been a vital part of the Austin community for a quarter century, and we are thrilled that they are deepening their investment in our people and the city we love," said Mayor Steve Adler in a news release. "Apple and Austin share a creative spark and a commitment to getting big things done. We share their commitment to diversity and inclusion. We're excited they are bringing more middle-skilled jobs to the area."

Apple says the new North Austin property will also feature 50 acres of preserved open space, and will be run on 100-percent renewable energy.

Austin isn't the only city receiving a windfall. Apple says that in addition to creating a new Capital City campus, it plans to add 1,000 new jobs in Seattle, San Diego, and Culver City (near Los Angeles). It's also making a dedicated push into other cities and promising to bring "hundreds" of jobs to Pittsburgh; New York; Boulder; Boston; and Portland, Oregon. The company also recently announced a new office in Nashville.

"Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs, and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "Talent, creativity, and tomorrow's breakthrough ideas aren't limited by region or zip code, and, with this new expansion, we're redoubling our commitment to cultivating the high-tech sector and workforce nationwide."

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This story originally appeared on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Madison Long of Clutch, Ty Audronis of Tempest Droneworx, and Juliana Garaizar of Greentown Labs. Photos courtesy

Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from drones to energy tech— recently making headlines in Houston innovation.


Madison Long, co-founder and CEO of Clutch

Madison Long joins the Houston Innovators Podcast to discuss Clutch's recent national launch and the role Houston played in the company's success. Photo courtesy of Clutch

Houston-based creator economy platform Clutch — founded by CEO Madison Long and CTO Simone May — celebrated its nationwide launch earlier this month. The platform connects brands to its network of creators for reliable and authentic work — everything from social media management, video creation, video editing, content creation, graphic design projects, and more.

When the company first launched its beta in Houston, the platform (then called Campus Concierge) rolled out at three Houston-area universities: Texas Southern University, Rice University, and Prairie View A&M. The marketplace connected any students with a side hustle to anyone on campus who needed their services.

Long shares on this week's Houston Innovators Podcast that since that initial pilot, they learned they could be doing more for users.

"We recognized a bigger gap in the market," Long says. "Instead of just working with college-age students and finding them side hustles with one another, we pivoted last January to be able to help these young people get part-time, freelance, or remote work in the creator economy for businesses and emerging brands that are looking for these young minds to help with their digital marketing presence." Read more and listen to the episode.

Ty Audronis, co-founder of Tempest Droneworks

Dana Abramowitz and Ty Audronis co-founded Tempest Droneworks. Photo courtesy of Tempest Droneworx

Ty Audronis, fueled by wanting to move the needle on wildfire prevention, wanted to upgrade existing processes with real-time, three-dimensional, multi-spectral mapping, which exactly where his company, Tempest Droneworx, comes in.

That software is called Harbinger. Audronis explains that the real-time management and visualization solution is viewable on practically any device, including mobile or augmented reality. The system uses a video game engine for viewing, but as Audronis puts it, “the magic happens” on the back end.

The company was just the two founders until five weeks ago, when Tempest’s size doubled, including a full-time developer. Once Tempest receives its SIBR check, the team will grow again to include more developers. They are currently looking for offices in the city. As Audronis says, Tempest Droneworx is “100-percent made in Houston.” Read more.

Juliana Garaizar, chief development and investment officer and head of Houston incubator of Greentown Labs

Juliana Garaizar is now the chief development and investment officer at Greentown Labs, as well as continuing to be head of the Houston incubator. Image courtesy of Greentown

Greentown Labs named a new member to its C-suite. Juliana Garaizar, who originally joined Greentown as launch director ahead of the Houston opening in 2021, has been promoted from vice president of innovation to chief development and investment officer.

"I'm refocusing on the Greentown Labs level in a development role, which means fundraising for both locations and potentially new ones," Garaizar tells InnovationMap. "My role is not only development, but also investment. That's something I'm very glad to be pursuing with my investment hat. Access to capital is key for all our members, and I'm going to be in charge of refining and upgrading our investment program."

While she will also maintain her role as head of the Houston incubator, Greentown Houston is also hiring a general manager position to oversee day-to-day and internal operations of the hub. Garaizar says this role will take some of the internal-facing responsibilities off of her plate. Read more.

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