DALLAS-Changes are under way for Andersen Consulting, which is opening its fifth location in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex.

In anticipation of a Jan. 1, 2001, name change to Accenture, Andersen Consulting has leased space at Dallas’ Infomart for a Texas Business Launch Centre to service North Texas, Austin and Houston. The Texas Business Launch Centre is one of 25 such operations worldwide. “It’s a good opportunity for e-business,” an Andersen spokeswoman told GlobeSt.com.

The centers provide first round-funded IT startups and spin-offs with expertise in management, marketing, finance, administration and technology in their business undertakings. John Romanow, a partner in Andersen’s communications practice, and Mitch Cline, a partner in the firm’s electronics and high-tech division, have been selected to head up the center.

The Texas center will serve as the brick-and-mortar hub for Andersen’s e-business strategy while servicing Austin and Houston electronically. The three target cities have been chosen, says Romanow, because they are among the fastest-growing high-tech markets in the nation. The operation is structured to solidify Andersen’s role in the “new economy,” taking equity in the businesses in lieu of a significant portion of fees. “The equity arrangement allows the startup to manage its cash flow at a time it needs it most,” says Cline.

Other Andersen centers are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Milan, New York, Oslo, Silicon Valley, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington, D.C.