CEO Summit 2019 – Scaling Companies and the Austin Ecosystem

On Monday, ATC hosted over 150 tech executives at the annual CEO Summit, held at the J.W. Marriott. CEO Summit is the premier event for Austin C-Level executives in the Austin technology community.

Our two panels discussed AI implementation for growing companies as well as scaling employee benefits along with scaling businesses.

RSM LLP facilitated a panel discussion on “Using AI to Achieve Operational Efficiencies in a Global Environment.” Panelist Prabhakar Thanikasalam had this to say about where the focus of scaling companies should lie in the world of AI, “AI/ML capability is a key competitive advantage for organizations today and will increasingly be more so in the future. This capability cannot just be bought ‘off the shelf’. Leaders will need to alter their processes and strategy to take maximum advantage of this game-changing technology.”

Another sponsor—Humana—facilitated a panel discussion on “Healthcare Insights for Scaling Companies.” Both offered great insights that our C-Level attendees can use to help aid the growth of their scaling companies.

Robert Alvarez, CFO and COO of BigCommerce, joined our keynote speaker Brian Sharples, Repeat Entrepreneur, in a Fireside Chat. In their discussion, Sharples and Alvarez touched on everything from building a team and maintaining a great culture, to navigating competition and opening the doors to the next chapter of growth. In one instance, Sharples exemplified how he created a culture of inviting and navigating  healthy competition in the market with recurring “Table Talks” that took place on a 1950’s era kitchen table where innovation and dedication were celebrated, and healthy competition was invited. Sharples is a successful serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and executive with extensive experience in startup and well-established technology and e-commerce companies, both as a board member and in leading operations and executive roles. He has founded and scaled several high-growth startups and overseen their strategic exits. 

“Amber Gunst and the ATC team continue to up their game providing the best networking and knowledge events for tech leaders in town. This year’s CEO Summit delivered great value for everyone who attended, with content specifically directed at helping our Austin technology companies grow to hit those $100 Million and $1 Billion revenue goals in ATC’s ecosystem BHAG,” said Barbary Brunner, Executive Vice President of Denary. Through this value-based summit, ATC is committed to helping Austin companies scale along with the entire Austin ecosystem. 

Thank you to all our sponsors, speakers, and guests for supporting ATC’s work.

New Member Highlight: Movability – National Recognition For Employers That Help Employees Connect with Commute Options

Austin tech companies are known for entrepreneurial innovation. That might be why more and more tech companies in Central Texas are offering their employees robust commute benefits that help both employers and employees take back their time from traffic. 

And for employers that help employees connect with commute options – from flex hours and teleworking to transit subsidies and bike facilities – there’s a national recognition that establishes workplaces as healthy work environments and community stewards.

Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) is an innovative membership program that provides qualified employers with national recognition and an elite designation for offering outstanding commute benefits. Employers and developments that meet the National Standard of Excellence in commuter benefits can get on the list of Best Workplaces for Commuters. 

Whether your company is concerned with recruitment and retention, company finances, or improving the quality of life in Central Texas, there are myriad reasons to adopt commute benefits – and to tout them. 

Transportation Demand Management (TDM), which means using travel modes beyond driving alone during rush hour, is linked to greater productivity and job satisfaction, better health outcomes, and cost savings for businesses. In short, it’s an effective and affordable way to make our transportation system more efficient without waiting for new or expanded infrastructure. By joining BWC, you’re letting Central Texas and the nation know that your company is actively working to make a better workplace for your employees and better region for everyone. 

If you’re an Austin tech company interested in promoting your workplace’s great commute benefits, Movability can help you apply for the 2020 BWC list! Recognized companies get a spot on a national list, and will also be honored by Mayor Adler at our Feb. 5 Mayor’s Mobility Breakfast and Award Ceremony.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 30, 2019. Learn more here about becoming a BWC company. Watch a recording here of a webinar outlining how how Movability can help you, and hear from two local companies who were recognized this year. Get more information on the Mayor’s Mobility Breakfast and Award Ceremony here.

Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do Podcast Episode 8: “ATC 2019 Scaling Series”

ATC & Thom Singer present the eighth installment of Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do Podcast: “ATC 2019 Scaling Series”

Thom Singer, podcast host, interviews thought-leaders from  ATC Member Companies regarding their unique advice for startups, thoughts on Austin’s tech ecosystem, and personal heroes every first Thursday of the month. The September 2019 through November 2019 dates mentioned in this podcast have been updated to reflect the new dates for the 2020 Scaling Series which are January 2020 through March 2020.

2020 Scaling Series

ATC is proud to partner with Rice Alliance, St. Edward’s University, and Baker Botts L.L.P. to present the 2020 Scaling Series. The Scaling Series is designed to propel companies currently within $1M-$5M in revenue to $10M-$100M in revenue.

To apply, please send an email of interest to Amber Gunst.

Series Overview with Thom Singer – Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do Podcast!

The 2020 Scaling Series is designed to equip your executives with the MBA-Level skills necessary to transform your company into a $10M-$100M in revenue enterprise. During this 10-week curriculum-based seminar series, you will learn from MBA professors and expert practitioners who provide thought leadership around critical growth, operations, and governance issues to executives who are growing and scaling their business.

Classes will comprise of:

  • Lectures from academics, practitioners
  • Q&A session with experts
  • Group project-based learning opportunities

The Scaling Series will cover six major subject areas:  Finance & Accounting, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Human Resources, and Global Expansion. The types of topics will include How to Read Financial Statements, Understanding the Marketing Funnel, Sales Organization Structures, Development Processes, Hiring the Right People, and Overseas Business Structures.

When & Where

The Series is every Tuesday from January 7 through March 10
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Calavista Software – 3700 N Capital of Texas Hwy #450, Austin, TX 78746


  • The CEOs of participating companies are encouraged to attend all sessions. An executive from your company MUST attend the session that covers the function for which the executive has responsibility (e.g., The CFO would attend the accounting and finance sessions)
  • Executive team must be located in Central Texas as this is primarily an in-person seminar.
  • Executive will review reading materials and short exercises before their assigned seminar to be prepared with questions and for the group project.

EMAIL Amber Gunst for more information and to apply.

Special thanks to our sponsor Baker Botts L.L.P.

What is Cool ThingsEntrepreneurs Do?

Thom Singer has interviewed over 400 CEOs, entrepreneurs, business leaders, solopreneurs, and others on his popular “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast (named on as one of 8 business podcasts to listen to in 2018). Through these in-depth conversations he learned there is no single thing that holds people back from achieving more, nor is there one solution to reaching the top levels of success.  It is unique for each person.

Interested in how ATC can bring opportunities like this to your company?

Austin Technology Council is our member companies’ biggest cheerleader. Our organization is frequently contacted to source thought-leaders for high-visibility media opportunities like:

  • live interviews with local & national new outlets
  • guest appearances on radio & video podcasts
  • community highlights in printed publications
  • expert speaker/panelist invites to distinguished community events
  • and many more

Members: email Jessica to tell us about your expertise so we can connect you to the right opportunity

Future Members: email Brandon to discuss this and more member benefits like it and how ATC can help your company reach its goals.

The September 2019 through November 2019 dates mentioned in this podcast have been updated to reflect the new dates for the 2020 Scaling Series which are January 2020 through March 2020.

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