Austin City Council OKs incentives for Dropbox, Websense

Feb 21, 2014
Austin American Statesman

The Austin City Council on Thursday approved incentive packages for a pair of technology companies. The vote was 5-2, with Council Members Kathie Tovo and Laura Morrison voting against the incentives for Websense and Dropbox


Combined, the companies say they plan to add 640 jobs in Austin


In exchange for a performance-based grant of $438,000 to be paid by the city over a 10-year period, Websense will move its headquarters from San Diego, Calif., to Austin, create at least 470 jobs with an average annual salary of $82,000 and make a capital investment of $10 million. City officials said about 200 of those jobs would be created in the first year


In addition to money from the city, the state-operated Texas Enterprise Fund has committed to giving $4.5 million to Websense, a company that protects businesses from cyberattacks


In documents filed with the city, Websense said it is in discussions to locate its offices at 10900 Stonelake Blvd. in the Arboretum area


Jim Hagan, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Websense, told council members that several cities are in the running for the company’s headquarters and that incentives would play a key role in the company choosing to relocate here. He declined to name the other cities being considered


Dropbox, which already has a small office at 501 Congress Ave. in downtown Austin, stands to receive a performance-based grant of $244,500 from the city that would be paid over a 10-year period. The company is also in line to get $1.5 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund


To get the incentives, Dropbox, a San Francisco-based software company, must create 170 jobs with an average annual salary of $59,000 and make a capital investment of $5.5 million


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