In This Weekend Update
A Note from ATC’s CEO and President
Guest Post from Mark Wilson with Norton Rose Fulbright
News from the ATC Foundation
Upcoming Tech Events
From the CEO’s Desk
A Final Word by Julie Huls, CEO and President, Austin Technology Council
It is with lots of emotion that I pen my final Weekend Update. Six years ago, ATC was being described as a “networking organization,” our community possessed zero information about the economic importance of tech, we were struggling to define a common vision and the community itself was fragmented. The broader Austin community complained of tech’s lack of engagement, while tech complained of a community that didn’t understand their industry needs, demands or dynamism. Tech at the time had strong feelings about engagement (“we love our community but have no use for advocacy or any interest in policy”), and had a dire need to attract and recruit local technical talent but had a pretty narrow definition of what they needed. Brags about poaching one another’s top talent were commonplace.
The work plan we laid out in those first few months was the most daunting I had experienced in my career. I was truly unsure if we were ever going to be successful in uniting such a disparate community– and one that had been fragmented for twenty-five years. Over the years we added membership, created new programs such the CEO Summit and the first-ever Life Sciences Summit and began to grow our relationship and partnership with the City of Austin. In addition, over the years, we have collected data. Lots and lots of data. That information and understanding galvanized tech, enabled better connectivity, and will serve as the foundation the organization and Austin will use to execute initiatives that will continue to make our region more competitive and better connected.
We’ve experimented with various forms of advocacy (e.g., federal), only to learn that although federal issues impact tech a great deal, in today’s environment, we can move the needle faster and more effectively in our own backyard. We know how many jobs tech creates every year and the types of skills required for those new hires. We’ve sparked a whole new conversation about the industry’s needs for investment capital that is healthy and sure to foster effective future outreach. Life sciences technology is integrated and fully accepted as “technology” although admittedly this sector is less familiar to our market and more in need of support than we originally understood. We also now understand and agree– this sector will play a much larger role in Austin’s tech future.
Next week, ATC will unveil the next President and CEO and I believe you are in for a treat. This leader’s collaborative approach, depth in the industry and commitment to our community is exactly what we need to take ATC and tech to the next level. My greatest desire as I move on to “what’s next” is that you, the Austin community, and tech in particular, support this person with investment in membership and sponsorships, personal engagement and your commitment to move technology forward in our region. While ATC, and Austin, have made great strides, the need for meaningful initiatives that support continued tech growth and engagement have never been greater. Local advocacy and tech’s commitment to lock arms to work collaboratively with those who lead our city has never been more important.
I will be forever grateful to those of you who supported our cause– most especially those who took a bet on our bold vision in the early days– and am happy to count hundreds of you as not only professional colleagues but friends. This chapter in my life has undoubtedly become the most meaningful to me both professionally and personally. Because of all of you, I look forward to continuing on a trajectory very closely related to the work we’ve completed together here in Central Texas.
Under ATC’s new leadership, I am confident this organization and this community will take Austin to even greater heights. I very much look forward to watching and cheering you on with pride.
News from the ATC Foundation
The Austin Technology Council (ATC), the voice of the technology industry in Central Texas, is pleased to announce that six visionary leaders have made the commitment to become founding partners of its philanthropic arm, the ATC Foundation (ATCF) and support efforts to inspire the future workforce. Partners include: Under Armour, The Susanne Bundy Bowen Giving Fund, SailPoint Technologies, AT&T, The Society of Information Managers, Austin Chapter and Intel.
TechFest 2.0 Panel + Party
Guest post by Mark Wilson, Head of IP Transactions and Patent Protection (US), Norton Rose Fulbright
In celebration of technology, live music, and SxSW, three things that define Austin, the global law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright will host the TechFest 2.0 panel + party on Wednesday, March 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, at the Rattle Inn (610 Nueces, Austin, Texas 78701). A lively and script-free panel discussion will center on “Disruptive technologies and their impact on Austin businesses and beyond.”
After the panel, local singer and songwriter Jonny Gray will perform. Food and drinks will be provided. If you would like to attend this event, please email Crystal Wallingford at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, as space will be limited.