AUSTIN, Texas -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Austin Technology Council (ATC), representing the common vision and expertise of over 1200 technology executives and investors in Central Texas, today announced a comprehensive, two-year roadmap to secure the region’s position as a global leader in technology and life sciences. Eight executives from top Central Texas companies join the Board of Directors to guide the execution of the roadmap and initiate a new era of thought and market leadership.
“ATC has evolved with Austin for 20 years and today represents the largest and most organized group of technology leaders in the country. Never before has a tech community come together with such force and common, clear vision for its region,” said Julie Huls, ATC President and CEO, and a board member of the Technology Councils of North America.
“While ATC has made great strides in organization and awareness over the past few years, 2014 is a year for execution and tangible results,” said Joel Trammell, four-year ATC Chairman of the Board, longtime technology entrepreneur, and Chairman and Founder of Khorus.
“Now is the time to make Central Texas a globally recognized market for technology talent and innovation. We have come a long way as a regional tech hub, but we must think bigger. That means gaining the support of organizations and leadership outside of tech and beyond Austin who stand to benefit from our success,” said Lynn Atchison, ATC board member and HomeAway CFO.
The Roadmap for 2014 and 2015
The ATC Board, members and community stakeholders completed a comprehensive strategic planning process in 2013 to guide ATC’s support of Central Texas tech through a focused regional roadmap. To achieve the vision of Central Texas as the best and lowest-barrier-to-entry-market for technology and life sciences businesses, ATC will embark on this roadmap to study and solve tech leaders’ highest priorities: tech talent, capital, life sciences, and market visibility. ATC’s Board of Directors and 32 additional executives come together to establish four Advisory Councils addressing each priority.
1. Access to Tech Talent – ATC’s recent economic impact study found that 26% of jobs in Austin are supported by the technology sector and 9,000 new local tech jobs are expected by 2017. The Talent Advisory Council will analyze the existing and growing talent gap, prioritize programs, and secure funding for short-term and long-term solutions such as national recruitment efforts and local efforts to retrain citizens and empower students at all stages to gain in-demand skillsets for high-paying, tech jobs. The ATC Foundation will also aggressively encourage STEM education and careers.
2. Access to Capital – ATC research indicates that of the Central Texas technology businesses seeking funding, 35% are looking for working capital (Series B) and 26% are seeking an expansion or mezzanine round (Series C). While ATC and the Capital Advisory Council will continue to support early stage businesses through its work with incubators and accelerators like the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), Capital Factory, and Techstars, the organization will aggressively lobby for increased access to later stage capital, which is a great need in the market.
3. Life Sciences Development – In anticipation of coming growth, ATC is accelerating its work to strengthen and integrate the life sciences sector. The Life Sciences Advisory Council is working to identify and solve challenges facing these companies, develop shared objectives with the greater tech community, and ensure life sciences interest and expertise are included in relevant Central Texas development discussions. Said Gary Sabins, ATC board member and President & CEO of Renascent Medical, Inc., “With the medical school clearly on track to happen, the life sciences sector has large potential for growth and a continued positive impact on our community. Our priorities, which are quite similar to those identified by traditional technology companies, need to be heard and incorporated into future plans. ATC provides that avenue as well as a gateway we need to the broader business community.”
4. Market Visibility – Austin has the potential to be a globally recognized market for technology, but it is not Silicon Valley. It is uniquely Austin. As ATC works to study and amplify Austin’s technology brand nationally and globally, it will not only tout the low cost of living and taxes and access to talent and capital, but also leverage the visceral reaction people have to Austin’s culture. “Austin is this unique mix of tech strength with leaders who are willing to help and support existing and up-and-coming tech businesses. We want to attract the right talent, investments and companies to Austin but still preserve its uniqueness and that is that people are accessible. ATC is a strong reflection of that value,” said Kevin Callahan, ATC board member and co-founder of MapMyFitness.
The Leadership to Get There
The ATC Board of Directors increases by over 50% in experience, leadership and support with eight new members:
Returning Board of Directors members include:
About Austin Technology Council
The Austin Technology Council (ATC) is the voice of Central Texas’ diverse and thriving technology and life sciences industries, representing 1200 technology executives, 200 companies and over 60,000 employees. The Austin technology sector contributes $21 billion annually to the regional economy and supports 26% 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.
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