Austin, TX - June 28, 2016 - In support of Austin’s tech community, entrepreneurs, and the policymakers who represent them, the Austin Technology Council (ATC) today introduced the ATC Policy Coalition. This group will bring together leaders from the tech and entrepreneur community, business advocacy groups, elected officials, and the voting public with the mission to aid in the creation of a policy and representative environment that reflects Austin’s economy and innovation brand.
The announcement comes at an important time. As the intersection of innovation and regulation becomes an increasingly regular occurrence in Austin, we recognize the critical need to better educate elected officials about this new innovation in order to maintain and build our hard-won reputation as a leading technology hub and a top city for entrepreneurs. Recent votes on housing and mobility confirm the need for education and dialog as our elected officials work to meet the needs of a 21st century economy through regulation and policies that foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The depth of Austin’s tech and entrepreneur community has given us an incredible reputation across the globe as a leading regional economy in the US,” said ATC CEO Barbary Brunner. “I’m very excited that through the creation of the ATC Policy Coalition, the Austin Technology Council and our partners will begin work to engage and educate all of Austin’s stakeholders on the real value of our unique tech and entrepreneur culture. This is a great opportunity to create a new framework of policy and political support for Austin’s innovation brand.”
The ATC Policy Coalition will be co-chaired by Dan Graham, Founder and CEO of BuildASign, and ATC Board Director Lawrence Waugh, Co-Founder of Calavista Software. Joining Graham, Waugh, and Brunner in setting priorities as founding members of the ATC Policy Coalition are entrepreneurs and community leaders including David Altounian,Kevin Callahan, Chelsea Collier, John Howard, Gerardo Interiano, Bryan Jones, Joseph Kopser, Joe Ross, and Chris Skyles.
The ATC Policy Coalition will report on regional and state activity related to entrepreneurship and technology, and make recommendations to its members and the broader community on how best to further the goal of enhancing Austin’s position as a leader in these areas.
“It’s critical that Austin’s tech and entrepreneur community provide support to our still-new City Council structure in meeting the rising expectations of their constituents as they develop policies that reflect Austin’s pro-innovation reputation,” said co-chair Graham. “The Policy Coalition is a brand new commitment by the tech community to support Austin entrepreneurs, policymakers, and the community we all share.”
SailPoint CEO and current ATC Chair Mark McClain said, “ATC is committed to driving progress in entrepreneurship and technology in the Austin and welcomes the support of new colleagues and organizations to maximize our impact for this effort.”
As part of this initiative, in addition to the support already provided to established tech companies, ATC will enhance its support of Austin’s entrepreneur hubs, welcoming them as Entrepreneur Partners and showcasing their role in and commitment to the Austin community. Founding Entrepreneur Partners include Galvanize, Impact Hub Austin, Owen’s Garage, Tech Ranch, Techstars Austin, Urban Co-Lab, and WeWork.
From an established calendar and on a rotating basis, these partners will host community and executive roundtables, issue and candidate forums, community events, and other opportunities for policymakers and the tech and entrepreneur community to develop shared priorities and expectations.
A launch event and community calendar will be posted on the ATC website.
“Innovation is a part of Austin’s DNA, and there is almost no better city in the country for startups,” said Mayor Steve Adler. “This is a vital part of who we are as a city, so I’m looking forward to working closely with the new ATC Policy Coalition as we develop new perspectives and new solutions to old problems.”
About Austin Technology Council
The Austin Technology Council (ATC) is the voice of Central Texas’ diverse and thriving technology and life sciences industries, representing more than 200 companies and over 60,000 employees. The Austin technology sector contributes $22.3 billion annually to the regional economy and supports more than one third of local jobs. By convening Austin’s top technology executives, ATC is leading the effort to meet the future needs of the industry through increased access to capital, new and diverse technical talent in the region, mentorship for emerging companies, and connectivity across the industry and with key stakeholders in Texas and around the world.
INK PR for Austin Technology Council