The Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC) was launched by four past chairs of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce in August 1994. Its purpose was to provide leadership and promote collaboration among area technology companies on issues vital to their industry. The four founders were:
- Jim Carmichael, Rockwell International
- Joe Snayd, Fujitsu
- Max Kee, Nortel
- Frank J. Kozel, Jr., MCI
The Richardson Chamber began exploring the idea of the council in 1993, following a period of explosive growth among local high tech companies. After consulting with several out-of-state technology councils, the Chamber conducted a nine-month feasibility study which confirmed the need for a local technology association.
The founding leaders invited 80 high tech companies to become charter members, and all of them joined. The board of directors held its first meeting in January 1995. Since its founding more than a decade ago, the MTBC has become the largest pure technology association in the southwestern United States with a comprehensive portfolio of member services.
Telecom Corridor History
The strong technology business presence began in the north Dallas suburb of Richardson in the 1950's. In 1956, Texas Instruments selected the east side of U.S. 75 just north of Interstate 635, for its corporate campus. In 1957, Collins Radio, a well-established electronics company from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, built the first building of what would become a multi-building campus on a 400-acre site north of Texas Instruments near US 75 and Arapaho Road. Both companies attracted a cadre of engineering talent and eventually spawned a number of new technology-based enterprises. Collins Radio was acquired by Rockwell in 1971.
The pace accelerated even further in the 1980's with the deregulation of the telecommunications industry. First came MCI, whose microwave network relied on the products and technical expertise of Collins Radio/Rockwell, which was acquired by Alcatel in 1991. At that time, Nortel, Fujitsu and Ericsson created major operations in Richardson to benefit from the technical expertise and attractive cost-of-living that have made this region a world-class center for both telecommunications and technology businesses.
Today, the Dallas/Fort Worth region is one of the largest technology centers in the United States. A variety of high-tech companies in the region employ about 230,000 people. Telecom, IT biomedical, semiconductor and nanotechnology are all represented in the area of Dallas/Fort Worth that has come to be known as the Telecom Corridor.