Barbary Brunner, CEO

The wildflowers are out in force, and SXSW has just wrapped, so that means that Spring is upon us here in Austin.

ATC Hosted our annual Gateway party at the Belmont on Thursday night before SXSW Interactive. We had almost 500 folks join us for an evening of live music, custom cocktails, and great networking. Circuit of the Americas decked out our lounge area with racing simulators and gave attendees the opportunity to win race tickets and sign up for tours. The feedback from everyone I spoke with was that it was a terrific party, with all the right people, and a resounding success. Plus, thanks to several of our sponsors, we had some of the coolest swag at SXSW.

I had a number of speaking opportunities during SXSW, including as part of the lineup at Smart Cities Day, as well as having the pleasure of moderating a panel of civic and business leaders from three leading global digital economies at Quebec House. Dominique Anglade, Quebec’s Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation; Siegfried Schneider, President of the Media Authority of Bavaria; and Austin’s Mayor, Steve Adler, spoke about the digital economy in their regions, the progress that Quebec, Bavaria, and Austin are making as emerging regional tech centers, about how they are working to enable access to technology and stem education for all their residents, and how these three regions could work together as global partners in using tech to solve civic issues. It was a truly interesting and important conversation, and all three had quotable moments, but my favorite by far was when Mayor Adler said, “everybody wants change until things start changing.”

We had a lot of other ATC-related activity as well. Grover Bynum, our Senior Policy Advisor, hosted a few different events with Representative Eric Swalwell from California and other members of Congress, as well as a speakers panel for visiting startups from the EU and local global program leaders from UT, Capital Factory and others.