Austin Startup Week, spanning from September 22-26, flourished with learning opportunities and thought-provoking discussions that left us wanting more. From tips on international expansion strategies to using XR as a musical instrument, these sessions at Capital Factory showcased some amazing innovation in Austin’s startup community.
. . .
Opening Night Happy Hour and Keynote with Scott Kupor: Secrets of Sandhill Road | Fundraising Track
Joshua Baer, Founder and CEO at Capital Factory, delved into the transforming realm of venture capital with Scott Kupor, Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. In his book, Secrets of Sand Hill Road, he explains exactly how VC’s decide where and how much to invest, and how entrepreneurs can get the best possible deal while making the most of their relationships with VC’s. As the cost of starting a company goes down over time, VC’s have become more than just money providers— they also help entrepreneurs gain customers and grow their teams. Scott advises that when you pick investors, you have to have compatible alignments and incentives.
“You couldn’t start a company with less than 5 million dollars then two big things happened. The unit cost fell and this idea of pay as you go. Those two things dramatically changed the business.”- @skupor, Managing Partner at Andreesseen Horowitz while talking with @JoshuaBaer. pic.twitter.com/7KIeRmOH3K
— Capital Factory (@CFStartupEvents) September 24, 2019
Applications of Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Blockchain for Healthcare | Blockchain Track
Picture this: IoT devices and wearable sensors used by patients to gather health information that augments the data stored by their physicians. We heard about these developments, among other tech applications, from three industry professionals: Emmy Sobieski, Former Chief Investment Officer at Alderan Capital, Aman Quadri, CEO at AmChart, and Kristen Johns, Partner at Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis LLP. They discussed how technology combinations present an unprecedented opportunity to protect health data, provide improved care, and streamline the path to innovative services for wellness.
Top EdTech Trends to Look Out for in 2020 | Edtech Track
Panelists analyzed how long sales cycles aren’t appealing to investors, which makes it tough to get technology into schools— and in a reasonable way. Audrey Cisneros, Educator at IDEA Public Schools HQ, made a blunt conclusion: “Is the world equitable? No, but at least we’re talking about it.” Other trends you should keep on your radar include developing kid-friendly robots, scaling STEM learning statewide, and applying design-thinking within schools.
— Noah Hart (@NoahHartBos) September 24, 2019
The Successes (and Failures) of Experimentation and Personalization | Digital Experience Track
“If you make a change, you’re going to make someone upset— which is a good thing! If someone gets mad, that’s usually a good sign. You found someone that really cares about something,” says Pete Kooman, CTO at Optimizely. Instead of stressing about frazzled customers, use that passion to reflect on your work and continue modifying and improving.
Overlooked Features in your MVP | Developer Track
Scott White, VP of Engineering at HUVRdata, had great advice for developers with an MVP (minimum viable product) that are alpha/beta testing with real users. Focus on these four components as you move forward: Analytics, Error Tracking, Automated Testing, and Automated Deployment.
“Analytics are supercritical for your app. You want to understand how your app is being used so that you know what to do next.” – Scott White, VP of Engineering at HUVRdata during the Overlooked Features in your MVP at the Developer Track for #ASW19 pic.twitter.com/DlRkbfhFpI
— Austin Startup Week (@AtxStartupWeek) September 24, 2019
A Fireside Chat & Happy Hour: The Value of Strategic Partners for Startups | SAP Evening Event
Dr. Ram Jambunathan, SVP and Managing Director at SAP.iO, reflected on the networking connections he made with different partners to raise money and build a company: “Nowadays, you can effectively rent your infrastructure, but a decade or more ago you had to build your own.” SAO.iO currently helps connect relevant innovation to customers by working with entrepreneurs like Natasha Frank, Founder and CEO of EON.
When asked why @sap_iO started working with @eon_connect, @ramjets said “Someone who demonstrated complete command of their subject. When we bring startups in front of customers. They look at a subject matter proficient in that subject and @natashafranck had it.” pic.twitter.com/aLKr0s7HoN
— Austin Startup Week (@AtxStartupWeek) September 25, 2019
Understanding Your Options for Global Expansion | International Track
The primary driver for global expansion is to capture a new market— but, with growth comes challenge. According to Annie Thompson, Director of Partnerships at Velocity Global, in order to start developing a successful expansion strategy, companies should run a proper market analysis, plan ahead for possible failures and exit strategies, and consult a local expert who can help navigate cultural and compliance considerations.
Creating Body Movement: 3D Spatial Interaction | XR Track
What if you could use body movement and spatial technology to create music? Tim Arterbury, a graduate student in Computer Science from Baylor University, is working on this software to improve audience visualization, performer communication, and customizability of the performance.
— CF Virtual Reality (@CFVRLab) September 25, 2019
Remarks from General Murray, Commander of Army Futures Command | Defense Innovation Track
According to General Murray, the government is nowhere near where they need to be in terms of working and developing relationships with startups, but they’re trying to get there through initiatives like Army Futures Command. He’s interested in expanding boundaries with new solutions and non-traditional thinkers. General Murray also expressed his appreciation towards entrepreneurs for their continued passion and participation while the Army adapts to the startup world.
Gen. Murray spoke about the future of AFC during a panel about how startups in @DeptofDefense can impact the future of #flight and national security during @AtxStartupWeek with @BellFlight & @FVLCFT at the @CapitalFactory. #ASW19 pic.twitter.com/Z6QWSeKyoy
— Army Futures Command (@armyfutures) September 25, 2019
. . .
Did these topics catch your interest?
Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or just recently entered the tech community, keep up with our events throughout the year at Capital Factory! Subscribe to our Austin Tech Live or Dallas Tech Live newsletters for exclusive updates on our community, events, and announcements.
Couldn’t make it this year? Check out the footage below from Austin Startup Week 2019. See you next year!