IGDA Attends the Austin Technology Council CEO Summit

Ceo summit

On May 28th, I had a chance, along with Leandro Gonzalez, CEO of Trick Game Studio, to join top executives in Austin at the Austin Technology Council’s CEO Summit.  The day long, invitation only event connects Austin leaders to discuss a vision for the local technology industry, to share best practices, and to connect with colleagues facing the same challenges and opportunities in growing their companies.  Best of all: for the first time, the video game industry was recognized for it’s ongoing contributions!

Key lessons learned include:

1. The Collaborative Economy:  “In the age of the collaborative economy, companies will need to learn how to adapt through creating membership models and diversifying their physical goods into services.”  – Jeremiah Owyang, CEO, Crowd Companies

2. Lessons in Leadership: “Entrepreneurs need to be bold, have courage and take risks. They also need to understand that there is nothing more important than the team that they build.”  – Kevin Plank, CEO, Under Armour

3. Austin’s Capital Landscape: Second stage funding is beginning to come into Austin from all over the country. The city is in a stage of fast growth and Austin should pursue those prospects.

4. Attracting Tech Talent: Austin companies are not paying enough to compete with the companies moving in from out of market. Austin needs to provide better opportunities to attract entry level candidates.

5. Austin’s New Opportunities: “Medtech is on the rise, and Austin is the place to be for innovation in the industry. With the advent of 3D printing and other technologies, medical devices are cool again.” – Kerry Rupp, COO, Medical Innovation Labs

Great event!


IGDA Austin Attends the Game Developers Conference

The Game Developers Conference returned to San Francisco in early March and I was there.  As the chair of the Austin chapter, I was pleased to have a chance to represent Austin and our community at the world’s largest annual gathering of video game developers.  IGDA was also out in force, sponsoring numerous panels, social events, student attendees and a booth.   Some of the IGDA events I attended include:

  • Volunteer banquet where more than 100 chapter leaders, dedicated volunteers and student participants were feted for their support of the organization.  
  • IGDA networking event at the San Francisco Children’s Museum.  One of the biggest and eagerly anticipated events of GDC, the IGDA networking event brought together hundreds of attendees in a terrific space adjacent to the Moscone Center for an evening of music, food and great conversation.  We also celebrated Kate Edwards (IGDA’s exec director) 50th birthday!
  • IGDA chapter meetings.  Leaders from around the world met with the executive leadership of the IGDA and discussed how to make the organization better and more responsive/valuable to its membership.  I was stunned by the extraordinary breadth of the IGDA, meeting leaders from Europe and Asia.
  • IGDA board meeting.  The official annual meeting of the IGDA board of directors surfaced some interesting and eye-opening information about the organization.  Slides are here: IGDA Annual Meeting 2015 (PDF).
  • Overall, my first GDC was terrific and I was honored to represent Austin!

You can read more here about IGDA and the GDC:  https://www.igda.org/news

IGDA Austin Joins Tech Executives at the Governors Mansion

On March 14, I joined over 300 tech executives to hear Governor Greg Abbot talk about Texas’ booming technology economy.   The video game industry in Texas (and especially Austin) is a critical piece, and sadly, one that doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves.   Helping to change that, IGDA Austin joined with the Entertainment Software Association and other tech leaders, investors and entrepreneurs in an event with the new governor of Texas.  While Governor Abbot’s remarks were brief, they were focused on how Texas is out-competing other states for tech talent and investment. 

You can read more here:  http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/14/capitalizing-sxsw-greg-abbott-touts-texas-economy/

IGDA Austin Meets with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY)

SXSW attracts national leaders to Austin for more than a week of fun. That makes it a great opportunity to meet with visitors from around the country, learning about Austin and Texas. The Entertainment Software Association sponsored a round-table breakfast with Congressman Hakeen Jeffries and local game industry leaders. Joining me, was Adam Creighton from Panic Button. The informal discussion touched on many topics including STEM education, diversity, “women in games,” immigration and the impact of gaming on the national economy.