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Group working to promote Tyler as a destination for technology growth

Tyler 4 Tech is at South by Southwest promoting the advantages of technology in Tyler. Tyler 4 Tech is at South by Southwest promoting the advantages of technology in Tyler.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Thousands of people are in Austin this week promoting films and music, but one group is there to bring more jobs back to East Texas. Tyler4Tech is at South by Southwest (SXSW) promoting the advantages of technology in Tyler.

Members who just returned from Austin on Wednesday told us how this will impact our economy.

"There's Internet companies, software companies, telecommunication companies that are growing and prospering in Tyler, and they want to make it more of a tech center," said Tyler Economic Development Council president and CEO Tom Mullins.

Mullins and Beth Womack are both back in Tyler after attending SXSW for the first time this year at the tech trade show. They helped their group set up the $50,000 booth that competed against not just other cities but countries.

"Canada was represented there, Germany, Chile, other Asian countries and so Tyler began getting the word out that we have the same ingredients that are helpful to small town companies that you'll find anywhere in the world," Mullins said.

Womack moved from New York to start her tech career in Tyler in the 80s.

"We're small enough so that we can still work with and be supportive of new companies but also we're large enough so that we can give them their needs and you're not like a fish out of water here," Womack said. "I think that's real important to a young business company."

As a member of Tyler 4 Tech, Womack knows that businesses are interested in knowing three things before they decide to move to East Texas.

"They need to know about  the lifestyle, infrastructure, and the educational aspect," Womack said.

Tyler4Tech is currently working with dozens of tech companies and they hope to bring in more new businesses while keeping local employees such as recent graduates.

"If we have that kind of trained labor force, you're going to see more and more technology companies looking at us," Mullins said.

Tyler4Tech says this won't be the last year they attend SXSW and they already have some potential investors they met in Austin this week.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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