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Houston Matters

Why Didn’t Houston Make The Cut For Amazon’s New HQ?

Dallas and Austin made the list of finalists. Ed Egan from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy gives us his take on why Houston did not.


Houston did not make Amazon's short list for the company's new second headquarters. Amazon announced 20 finalists this morning. That's down from the nearly 240 proposals the company received from all over the country.

The Greater Houston Partnership was spearheading Houston's bid for Amazon's headquarters. In a statement released to us this morning, GHP President and CEO Bob Harvey says he’s “disappointed,” and that “our strengths in the area of innovation are not widely recognized.” He added that the city has “much more work to do as a region to grow our digital economy.”

Ed Egan joins Houston Matters to discuss why Houston didn’t make the cut. He’s director of the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Bob Harvey’s Full Statement:

“Of course we are disappointed. Unfortunately, our strengths in the area of innovation are not widely recognized, as was evident in Houston's absence from the many national rankings that came out over the past few months attempting to handicap Amazon's selection.

I believe this is a wake-up call for Houston. While there has been growing momentum in the innovation space over the last couple of years, this is a clear indication that we have much more work to do as a region to grow our digital economy.

We need to move forward with developing the Innovation Corridor and our digital start-up community, as well as the idea of a Houston Data Science Institute.

While we are the number one market in the country for STEM talent, we need to bolster our pipeline of digital tech talent that is relevant to tomorrow's digital economy. This means working with our higher education partners across the region to develop and invest in programs that will produce the talent we need to succeed.”

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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