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Texas named a best state for remote work

A new list Texas at No. 6 among the best states for people seeking remote jobs. Photo vie Getty Images

Economic development boosters regularly tout Texas as a business-friendly state. Now, they can add another positive attribute: Texas ranks as one of the top remote-work-friendly states in the U.S.

A new list from the CareerCloud career platform puts Texas at No. 6 among the best states for people seeking remote jobs. Utah leads the ranking, followed by Colorado, the District of Columbia, Washington, and Virginia.

Helping lift Texas toward the top of the ranking is its No. 3 spot among the states projected to see the most growth (26 percent) in remote-friendly jobs from 2018 to 2028. Utah ranks first (41.7 percent) and Colorado ranks second (30.8 percent).

CareerCloud judged states on two other factors: broadband internet access, with Texas holding the No. 23 spot, and employment per 1,000 remote-friendly jobs, with Texas at No. 24.

These are the 14 jobs that CareerCloud deemed remote-friendly:

  • Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Computer network architect
  • Computer systems manager
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Information security analyst
  • Management analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Marketing manager
  • Mathematician
  • Software developer
  • Statistician
  • Web developer

A list published last year by TheStreet, an investment website, backs up Texas' position in the CareerCloud ranking. The Street names nine places in Texas among the 30 best U.S. cities for remote work during the pandemic: El Paso, Plano, Garland, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas. Houston didn't make the cut.

By contrast, not a single city in Texas appears on a list published by Money Crashers, a personal finance website, of the 20 best places in the U.S. to live and work remotely in 2021. Likewise, Livability.com leaves Texas cities off its list of the country's top 10 remote-ready cities for 2021.

A March 21 post authored by Tory Gattis, editor of the Houston Strategies blog and founding senior fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, makes the case for and against Houston as a remote-work hub.

Gattis lays out these factors in favor of Houston as a remote-friendly place:

  • Most affordable global city in the U.S., offering big-city amenities at a reasonable cost
  • Lots of Houston ex-pats who might come home to be closer to family and friends
  • Strong community culture for such a large, diverse city
  • Healthy immigrant ecosystem

According to Gattis, these are some of the unfavorable factors for Houston as a remote-friendly spot:

  • Not a classic "lifestyle" destination like Austin, Denver, or Miami
  • Big-city problems like traffic and crime
  • Climate susceptible to hurricanes, flooding, heat, and humidity

"Overall," Gattis writes, "I'd say we're likely to come out fairly well — not as good as the popular lifestyle cities, but much better than the unaffordable superstar cities like SF and NYC."

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Building Houston

 
 

Craig Lawrence and Neal Dikeman co-founded a new venture capital firm focused on funding technology as a part of the energy transition. Photos courtesy

Two Texas entrepreneurs recently announced what they say is the first venture fund in Texas exclusively dedicated to investing in energy transition technologies.

Houston-based Energy Transition Ventures — led by Craig Lawrence and Neal Dikeman — officially emerged from stealth mode with anchor investment from two operating companies from the GS Group of Korea. The fund closed its first capital in February this, completed its first investment in March, and looks to close new investors for a total fund size of $75 million, according to a press release.

"In the near future, energy is going to be delivered and used completely differently. Marginal and average energy and CO2e prices are now on a long term deflationary trend," says Dikeman in the release. "There are 500 multi-billion dollar energy companies globally, and massive portions of global GDP, that are going to get disrupted in the energy transition, from energy & power, transport, real estate, industrial to consumer to agriculture."

Dikeman, who is the managing partner at Old Growth Ventures, a family office investor, also chairs the board at nonprofit cleantech accelerator Cleantech.org, virtual research institute. In 2001, he co-founded San Francisco based cleantech investment firm Jane Capital in 2001.

"We've been successful being highly selective as investors, and using our deep networks and understanding of energy and technology to avoid pitfalls other investors faced. It is exciting to be off the bench to do it again," he continues.

Lawrence, who's also been a part of the cleantech revolution for a chunk of his career, previously started and led the cleantech investing effort at Accel Partners and was previously vice president of product at software company Treverity. The duo chose the Energy Capital of the World to headquarter ETV.

"Texas is the energy capital of the world, and outside of corporate venture capital, there are not many venture funds in the state," says Lawrence. "So it makes sense to start an energy transition focused fund here as the latest wave of clean technology investing accelerates."

ETV will fund from seed to series B with select late-stage opportunities, according to the release, and will colocate a Silicon Valley office with GS Futures, the Silicon Valley-based corporate venture capital arm of energy, construction, and retail conglomerate GS Group of Korea.

"We're excited to be investing in ETV and in the future of energy," says Tae Huh, managing director of GS Futures, in the release. "Energy Transition Ventures is our first investment from the new GS Futures fund, and we've already run successful pilots in Korea with three US startups even before this fund closed an investment – we are working to accelerate the old model of corporate venture dramatically."

Jon Wellinghoff, former chair of FERC, and Deb Merril, president of EDF Retail and co-founder and former co-CEO of Just Energy, have also joined ETV as advisors. GS Energy executive Q Song moves from Seoul, Korea, to join the Houston ETV investment team, according to the release.

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