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Laylan Copelin

Laylan Copelin is a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.

Latest from Laylan Copelin

Texas Comptroller Hegar charts low-key approach to state finances

6:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 07, 2015

Few politicians volunteer to trade a little limelight and power to oversee someone else’s troubled government program. Glenn Hegar, the new state comptroller, did just that last week. If the Legislature is willing, Gov. Greg Abbott will oversee the Major Events Trust Fund and its sibling, Events Trust Fund, that reimburse local governments...
ACC adding biotech lab, which may boost Austin economy

4:12 AM Friday, Feb. 06, 2015

Austin Community College is adding a critical piece to support Central Texas’ biotechnology industry and Austin’s future medical school. Today, regional leaders will celebrate receipt of a $4.96 million state grant that will fund a combination accelerator/wetlab space to address a shortage of regulated lab space for companies...
Abbott seeks $70 million for film, video gaming incentives

11:28 PM Tuesday, Feb. 03, 2015

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday revealed more about his priorities for economic development, asking for $70 million for film and video gaming incentives while transferring the state’s portfolio of investments in tech startups to the Texas comptroller’s office. Abbott already had previously made public his intention to break up the...
Backer drops plans to buy troubled Austin tech firm

11:20 PM Monday, Feb. 02, 2015

Texas taxpayers’ chance of getting their $1 million investment back out of an Austin technology company on Monday moved from slim to closer to none. Tom Pickens, son of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, pulled the plug on his company’s plans to buy Austin-based Image Trends out of bankruptcy. That leaves Image Trends, whose original...
Bankruptcy tale shows perils of investing taxpayer money in startups

12:33 AM Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015

On the same day that Gov. Greg Abbott declared that taxpayers should stop investing in technology startups, a bankruptcy proceeding in an Austin courtroom was Exhibit A about the perils of investing public money in entrepreneurship. The cast of characters in this tale, as told in court documents and testimony, includes a company CEO convicted...
Abbott: Time to kill state’s Emerging Technology Fund

1:37 AM Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

Moving to stop using state money to fund startup businesses, Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday proposed killing the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and using part of the fund’s unspent balance to bolster research at Texas universities. Abbott’s proposal — which would need approval from the Legislature — comes after an audit...
Gov. Abbott calls for eliminating Emerging Technology Fund

4:29 PM Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday announced a proposal to eliminate the Emerging Technology Fund and use half of the fund’s unspent balances to establish the Governor’s University Research Initiative. Abbott’s office says there is slightly more than $100 million available. Under the proposal, the research initiative would...
Austin economic leaders push for bigger piece of space industry

12:17 AM Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015

If Google is going into space, can Austin be far behind? The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the University of Texas don’t think so. After almost a year of study, the chamber is staking its claim to a piece of the emerging space economy as the university opens up a master’s degree program to the next generation of space...
Lenders who focus on back taxes now under fire from bankers

6:00 AM Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015

Chandra Monnett was in a fix. A Travis County court had summoned her for not paying property taxes on the two-bedroom house she had inherited from her grandfather. Her husband had lost his job. Her credit union wouldn’t lend her the money because of her bad credit record. Travis County’s repayment plan — set by state law...
In Texas visit, Elon Musk lobbies for his cars, floats test track idea

9:58 PM Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015

Elon Musk brought his hyper-entrepreneurial agenda to Austin on Thursday, telling a Central Texast audience that he wants to build a hyper-loop test track — maybe in Texas — while persuading lawmakers to change how Texans buy his Tesla cars. Speaking at Texas Transportation Forum, the California billionaire said he envisions a...
Elon Musk lobbies for his cars, floats hyper-loop test track idea

9:04 PM Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015

Elon Musk brought his hyper-entrepreneurial agenda to Austin Thursday, telling an audience he wants to build a hyper-loop test track — maybe in Texas — while persuading lawmakers to change how Texans buy his Tesla cars. Speaking at Texas Transportation Forum, the California billionaire said he envisions a five-mile test track...