ATC Weekend Update | June 11, 2016

In this Weekend Update

Michele introduces herself as the newest member of our board.
Britton Gallagher discusses the challenges life science companies face due to the increase of securities suits.
PwC shares their new cyber attack simulation experience.
Avison Young gives their insight into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
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Michele Skelding: The Newest ATC Board Member

In response to addressing the need for tech engagement and a stronger voice of business in Central Texas, the Austin Technology Council and Austin Chamber of Commerce have announced they will work together to encourage and engage tech companies on policy matters and other strategic efforts.

Michele Skelding is appointed to the ATC Board of Directors and Barbary Brunner is appointed to the Austin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

I’m thrilled to join the Board and begin working more closely with ATC to strengthen our efforts to more powerfully represent the voice of the tech and innovation community.

One of the best attributes of Austin is our spirit of collaboration, a huge driver of what attracts smart, creative people and companies to our entire region. With our work through Opportunity Austin, we’ve learned that when we, as an entire five-county region came together in partnership, that’s when we truly have found our success in economic development. Now more than ever, working strategically with ATC is imperative to continue fostering polices and business engagement to forward the brand of Austin as an innovation leader.

The Chamber, through its Innovate Austin initiative, will continue its mission of creating jobs, attracting and retaining talent, increasing capital, growing and diversifying the innovation ecosystem, and leveraging local universities for increased commercialization.

The Chamber will also continue to market Austin nationally and internationally through targeted recruiting and proactive outreach. This includes the activation of existing companies, alignment to targeted engagement opportunities, building on its annual A-List Award program, and legislative work to continue to bring jobs and investment, that build upon our robust tech and innovation ecosystem.

In order to create an environment where Austin’s most promising companies can reach their full potential, we need to make a concerted effort to engage our tech community to continue the momentum of the strength of Austin.

We have a strong blueprint in place. We welcome and look to our financial, tech, life science, academic and political leadership to take a seat at the table and bring their ideas, expertise and enthusiasm as we educate the local, national and international innovation community about opportunities in Austin.

By aggregating our efforts, we will be able to fully leverage the Austin story as we rise to our next level of growth.

Why the Increase in Securities Suits Means a Challenging Insurance Market for Life Sciences Companies


As has been the trend in prior years, life sciences companies have seen a greater number of securities class action lawsuits than those in other industries. In 2015, of the 191 total class action lawsuits, 39 of them involved companies in the life sciences sector. No other sector experienced anywhere near this number of securities class action lawsuit flings. There are several reasons for the high number of securities suit filings against life sciences and the frequency and severity of these lawsuits have important insurance implications, specifically with directors and officers (D&O) coverage.

‘Game of Threats’ Simulation Allows C-Suite to Experience the Midst of a Cyber Attack

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PwC recently hosted an interactive simulation called ‘Game of Threats’ for C-Suite executives to experience the midst of a cyberattack, on both the offensive and defensive sides of the scenario. ‘Game of Threats’ gave executives the adrenaline-pumping experience of what it might feel like in the board room when a cyberattack strikes their business. With PwC’s cybersecurity headquarters in North Texas, local clients benefit from incident response readiness services to advance the conversation around crisis management. Locally, PwC already works with several companies across the Austin area to help mitigate cyber threats and plans to execute the next ‘Game of Threats’ simulation in Austin in September.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution


The theme of the January 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. This term refers to the current stage of automation, data exchange and process transformation in which the Internet of Things (IoT), the Internet of Services and cyber-physical systems are being increasingly drawn together. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterized by a range of technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds. Smart machines, virtual reality, real-time health data analytics and optimization logistics are just some application examples. And just as with previous industrial revolutions, this latest wave of innovation will profoundly impact all corners of society – including the real estate industry – in ways we are only beginning to understand.