November 2018

As we close out 2018, we want to learn about who you are!
please take our community survey!

Hi Friends and Colleagues! 

A lot has been happening since our last update and we are excited to share what’s been going on. We’d like to tell you how we are beginning to share our collective vision of Austin’s Innovation District with the nation. And we’d like to share some of the conversations and projects we’ve been working on relating to design, patient access to health services, and health equity. And of course we have exciting news to share from our partners across the district! 

I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank all our partners, supporters, and friends for a great first year. We’ve travelled so far with you all that it’s difficult to believe it’s been only a year! In the first quarter of 2019, I look forward to sharing with you CCI’s annual review of everything we have achieved together in starting to get the innovation district up on its feet. So look out for that.

In the meantime, have a fantastic set of winter holidays – please accept our best wishes to you and your families!

Engaging in Innovation

This past year we’ve been working with partners across our community and in various industries as we develop Austin’s Innovation District.

Austin’s capacity to innovate and to create new models of health and economic growth opportunities for all is determined by YOU – our community!  

Since the start of the year this is who you are:

  •  5,000+ visitors through our website

  • 450+ followers across Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook

  • 720+ subscribers from email

  • 1500+ attendees at hosted, sponsored, and partner events 


But now we would love to learn more about you! Who are you? Where do you live? What do you do? And, most importantly, what do you want us to do? We would really appreciate it if you would please participate in our 2018 Community Survey – it will take less than five minutes.

As always, we encourage you to share and support Capital City Innovation and Austin’s Innovation District on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn. Please take a moment to go on to each site and “like” or “follow” us. And please tell your friends!

Community Joins CCI and Ford on a Smart Mobility Workshop Focusing on Patient Access to Health Services  

On November 13th we hosted a one-day workshop with Ford Smart Mobility at the Austin Central Library. The goal of the workshop was to engage public and private sector stakeholders in the Austin region around the challenges associated with mobility and healthcare access.


We had 33 attendees ranging from a variety of organizations such as Central Health, Meals on Wheels, the City of Austin and many more. We’re currently working on synthesizing all the information and insight gained from the day with our partners. We’re looking forward to working with participants to develop some ongoing projects that will move the needle on this important topic!

Were you there? Tag yourself in the facebook album and stay tuned for updates!

Austin’s Innovation District Joins a National Movement

On November 9, Austin became a member of the National League of Cities’ innovation ecosystem program. With support from Schmidt Futures, the NLC program highlights commitments by urban partnerships to support local entrepreneurship, STEM education, and innovation.

Capital City Innovation was proud to coordinate a number of academic, civic, and government organizations in making Austin’s commitment to an Innovation District where diverse innovators collaborate on models of health and economic growth for all.


Across the country, Innovation Districts co-locate academic, business, and civic innovators in close proximity within physical environments that help them to more easily collaborate and turn new ideas into new products. They actively promote creativity and facilitate collaboration.

Austin’s opportunity is an innovation district that leverages our known strengths in software and devices with our growing capabilities in health and life sciences, within a creative and entrepreneurial environment. Austin’s innovation district is committed to the principles of inclusively improving health, the safety net, and economic opportunities that grow community vitality. It will not only bring to market new products that change people’s lives, but it will also prepare and connect the local workforce – across all skill levels - in the new economy.

Commitment Partners Include:

  • Capital City Innovation
  • Central Health
  • City of Austin
  • Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
  • The Downtown Austin Alliance
  • The Office of Texas State Senator Kirk Watson
  • Opportunity Austin
  • Seton Ascension Texas
  • Travis County

 Many innovation districts start by aggregating large tracts of property. Austin’s approach must be different. Capital City Innovation is coordinating a hub-and-spoke model based on an alliance of partners who have committed, for 2019, to adopt a charter for collaboration, to complete an evaluation of cluster development, initiate a community program strategy, initiate an infrastructure plan, and begin physical preparations on the district’s first development.

This would be the first time such a coalition approach has been used to define a consolidated innovation district linking physical development and community vitality.

Announced at their annual summit, more than 50 cities made commitments through the National League of Cities Innovation Ecosystem program. In addition to Austin, these included Charlotte, NC; Denver, CO; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; Washington, DC; and our Lone Star neighbors in San Antonio and Waco. So while I feel very confident in Austin’s story – we’re in good company, and we need to keep on top of our game!


Share our invitation to collaborate!

Know a company that might like to get involved in Austin’s Innovation District?

Austin Design Week

This year we participated in the 3rd Annual Austin Design Week. ADW Celebrates Austin design through a week of free workshops, talks, studio tours, and events in November. Upstream Thinking hosted the panel Why Our Biggest Challenges Require The Design Of Systems and I was happy to participate as a panelist. It was a great opportunity to talk about how University of Texas at Austin, Central Health, Seton, Downtown Austin Alliance, and Opportunity Austin are collaborating to create the framework of our innovation district!

Austin Design Week hosted over 100 events that spanned across multiple design disciplines. Event host included partners such as The City of Austin, Design Institute for Health, Downtown Austin Alliance, and many other great organizations. If you missed this year consider going next or putting in a proposal for your own event.  

Health Equity Hackathon

In mid-October we sponsored the First National Health Equity Hackathon hosted in Austin at Capital Factory. The hackathon was organized by CareSet Systems and was a 2-day event where participants were given access to unique health datasets and challenges. You can read the full event recap on the CareSets Systems site.


ACC BioScience Incubator

Our friends at ACC BioScience Incubator recently welcomed 2 new member companies, En Solución and Newormics. En Solución is working on the next generation of food security and was awarded a 2018 Phase I SBIR grant from the FDA to pursue its research and development. Newormics is a developer of the first high-throughput, high-content drug screening platforms for use with in vivo small animal models as well as in vitro 3D tissue constructs.

Texas Health Catalyst

Texas Health Catalyst held it’s invitation-only Demo Day in early November where 13 early stage ventures showcased their new projects that focused on devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, and digital health. 

Over the past year, participants have been working with the program and the help of volunteer clinical and business advisors to develop and refine their ideas.

Couldn’t make the event? Check out the live stream that was recorded.

If you would like to join the Texas Health Catalyst advisory panel or get involved with the program, please email

Workspaces @ Texas Health CoLab

Texas Health CoLab recently hosted its last Learning Series event of the year.

We covered the learning series in one of our blog post, highlight the value of this community resource. Keep an eye out for 2019 programming.

Star Park

There’s a lot going on over in San Marcos! But most recently Steve Frayser, Executive Director of Star Park, organized for the Italian-American Chamber to visit our Affinity Group. We’re excited to explore the opportunities that might come by building relationships with MInD, the Milano Innovation District.

Steve also recently penned an article for our blog that might be beneficial to read if you’re seeking investment for your startup. Read his post on the new foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act.

On the 4th of December, STAR Park residents petaOmics announced that they received a $280,000 Phase I SBIR from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH) for sequence enrichment of long DNA enabling new modes of genomic analysis.

petOmics is located in Texas State's STAR One incubator and is focused on functional genomics, epigenomics and DNA methylation sequencing. petaOmics technologies are used for biomedical research, pharmaceutical drug discovery and development of diagnostic tests.

SanMarcosStarPark-51 (1).jpg

Looking to open a lab? STAR ONE recently had a 793 sq. ft lab suite become available. The monthly lease covers all operating expenses other than telecommunications and chemical/hazmat waste management. All leases are month to month. Firms locating in STAR One engage in interactions with Texas State.

For more information on the Space and reach out to the folks at Star Park.

Austin Tech Incubator

Recently, Austin Technology Incubator member company Yotta Solar was covered in the Austin American-Statesman with their innovative approach to harnessing solar energy.

And this past October ATI also announced its Circular Economy Incubator. This is the incubators fifth vertical that aims to support entrepreneurs and startups whose mission is to provide solutions that contribute to a zero-waste world. The is exciting news with the National League of Cities recently recommending circular economies to improve municipal waste management practices, boost local green jobs and help address climate change. Austin is already recognized as a national leader in these efforts!


There are several upcoming events from our partners and across the community!


Christopher Laing, MRCVS, PhD Executive Director, Capital City Innovation
As Executive Director of Capital City Innovation, Chris leads an organization that is coordinating the stakeholders of the innovation district emerging around Austin’s new health complex. Previously, Chris was a member of the senior management team of Philadelphia’s University City Science Center, the country’s oldest and largest urban innovation hub.

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrislaing