New Board Additions to Capital City Innovation


AUSTIN, TEXAS — Dewitt Peart, president and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance, and Kerry Hall, a board member with Opportunity Austin and president of the Austin Region - Texas Capital Bank, have been elected to the board of trustees for Capital City Innovation.

Capital City Innovation is coordinating the emergence of an innovation district in downtown Austin. It is creating collaborative opportunities that leverage the launch of the new Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, and its partnerships with Seton Healthcare and Central Health.

Capital City Innovation’s focus on inclusive economic growth directly supports the vision of health for all shared by Dell Medical School and its partners. Opportunity Austin and the Downtown Austin Alliance have both recently identified an innovation district in Austin as a priority for attracting investment and employment for the greater Austin area, and providing the community benefit of a healthier, more inclusive, increasingly prosperous community.

“The Downtown Austin Alliance is honored to play a part in Capital City Innovation and the groundbreaking work, technologies and opportunities that will take shape in this area,” Peart said. “Capital City Innovation will help to shape the Alliance’s vision for downtown, grow our economy and put Austin on the map for pioneering the future of healthcare, technology and business, to name a few.”

“Our vision is that an innovation district will leverage Austin’s capabilities in digital technologies, the social safety net, and health. It will diversify and strengthen our economy and social fabric,” said new board member Kerry Hall.

Capital City Innovation is a nonprofit that began in September 2017 when it hired its first executive director, Christopher Laing. Laing previously helped build the innovation ecosystem at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia, the nation’s first and largest urban-member innovation zone. Since it launched, Capital City Innovation has convened a regional network of health and bioscience business incubators supporting more than 30 companies. It has partnered in events and programming that have engaged more than 900 people, including a recent Workforce Development Accelerator with Impact Hub Austin and Capital Area Workforce Solutions. Physical development of the Innovation District is being planned with partners, starting with Central Health’s Brackenridge campus. 

“Capital City Innovation is thrilled to have the dedicated leadership of Opportunity Austin and the Downtown Austin Alliance,” said Christopher Laing, Capital City Innovation executive director. “Our vision for the innovation district is one where economic growth is aligned with the public benefit that serves the needs of Austin residents and harnesses the talent of the region.”

Hall and Peart join Capital City Innovation board members Greg Hartman, president of Academic & External Affairs at Seton Healthcare Network/Ascension Texas; Stephanie McDonald, Central Health chief of staff; and Clay Johnston, dean of the Dell Medical School. Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler serve as ex officio members.