Arizona Technology Council President and CEO, Steven G Zylstra, spoke to KJZZ’s Lauren Gilger on The Show regarding the recent New York Times article about Silicon Valley companies that are moving here, as well as the positive outlook for Arizona’s technology industry.
Here is an excerpt from Steve’s interview (story by Lauren Gilger, KJZZ):
September 15, 2016 –
“Our member companies are not having a hard time attracting talent here,” he said. “This is a terrific place to live and to work, it’s a relatively low-cost quality of life, standard of living.”
That’s not always the case anymore in traditional technology hubs like Silicon Valley and Boston, Zylstra said.
But, he said, “Economic developers will tell you that when you’re trying to attract an entire company, these kinds of political positions can really inhibit their ability to do that.”
Zylstra said companies don’t necessarily care about politics, but they do care about policies — and how those policies could affect their business.
“I do think policies like Senate Bill 1070, later on Senate Bill 1062, which dealt with religious freedom, can have a negative impact on the impression of Arizona across the U.S. and globally,” he said. “That’s a detriment to the folks that are working hard to attract people — the workforce — and [companies] here to Arizona.”
But, overall, Zylstra said he thinks the stars are aligning for tech companies in the Valley. He said we have a really pro-business governor and a corporate tax situation that’s great for businesses.
And, he thinks all of that means Phoenix is on the way to becoming the next big hub for entrepreneurship in the country.
“I equate it to sort of a tipping point,” he said. When Apple made a $2 billion investment here by taking over the Sapphire Glass Factory and turning it into a global command center for all of its data centers around the world, Zylstra said that was an indication to him that we had made it.
“The current governor also gets this new economy,” he said. “He’s been a strong supporter of Airbnb and Uber and Lyft and really disruptive technologies that are changing our economy, and I’m sure that sends a positive message to people who are looking to move here to Arizona.”…