Springing Into 2019

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2018 Annual Review | SXSW & AUTM | THBI Summit & Report | Austin Design Week |
Central Texas Health Innovation Social | Network News

The first quarter of the year has whizzed by. But with each month our network, community, and capacity to collaborate grow!

Since the start of this year we’ve seen:

  • 1,710 visitors through our website

  • 590+ followers across our social platforms

  • 800+ subscribers to our email

  • 500+ attendees at events    

Our founders and board at Ascension Seton, Central Health, Dell Medical School, the Downtown Austin Alliance, and Opportunity Austin continue to be key players in convening Austin’s health innovators.

And this year we are grateful for support from local innovators, WuXi AppTech. WuXi AppTech is a global pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and medical device contract research organization that acquired its first clinical research arm in 2018: ResearchPoint Global, soon to be WuXi Clinical – located right here in Austin, TX!

We are excited to continue to share and shape the stories of Austin's innovators through our quarterly blog posts and newsletter. In these quarterly blog posts, expect a recap of past CCI activities Across the District and view Network News & Opportunities from the greater Austin innovation ecosystem.

If you’re signed up for our email list you’ll also get monthly digests on relevant information about Austin’s Innovation District and ecosystem straight to your inbox.


Across The District

The First Review of Austin’s Innovation District

We’re thrilled to see that the Austin Innovation District Annual Review has been downloaded over 250 times since we released it in March!

In the past year, we have rounded up stories of the great work that is being done in Austin’s Innovation District. We are thankful for the support provided by Husch Blackwell in the release of our first Annual Review. Husch Blackwell is a local law firm working to support people in the healthcare space.

By highlighting stories of individual innovators, the Annual Review indicates how the four pillars of the district are beginning to take shape. The pillars are:

  • Connecting innovators

  • Investing in Innovation

  • Building capacity

  • Creating place

These are stories of the Innovation District’s many stakeholders. They emphasize the underlying philosophy of the Innovation District: collaboration.

Images captured by CCI for the Annual Review

In our review you can read how:

  • Ford, El Buen Samaritano, the Transit Empowerment Fund, Meals on Wheels of Central Texas, the City of Austin and others are exploring the challenges of patient access to services together.

  • Babson Diagnostics is poised to be the first startup company to graduate from the Dell Medical School’s Workspaces.

  • Merck has partnered with Huston-Tillotson University to create a powerful model for experiential learning and employment.

  • The planned development at Central Health’s downtown campus, adjacent to the Waller Creek chain of parks and the Red River Cultural District will become a world-class destination right in downtown Austin.

And, of course, learn about Capital City Innovation and our partnerships with the most forward-thinking organizations in Central Texas who are creating the vision for Austin’s Innovation District.

As a team, we had a great time capturing the stories and supporting visuals that demonstrate how #AustinInnovates and we hope you enjoy the end product by downloading, reading, and sharing the 2018 Austin Innovation District Annual Review.

Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute Annual Summit and Life Science Landscape Report

On February 11th, CCI’s executive director, Chris Laing attended the sixth annual summit of the Texas Health and Bioscience Institute (THBI) in Austin, where he participated in a panel discussion on Texas’ innovation ecosystem and its effect on the economy.

Other panelists included Emma Schwartz, president and executive director of the Medical Center of the Americas in El Paso, Tom Luby, head of JLABS at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, and Frank Grassler, vice president for technology development at UT Southwestern in Dallas.

When asked to comment on Austin’s life science landscape, Laing explained that there is already a vibrant and growing life science presence in Central Texas – but it is diffuse.

He pointed to the six organizations in CCI’s health and life science incubator affinity group as an example. They support more than 35 young companies, employing 150 people and deploy more than $65 million in early-stage risk capital.

Two keys to building a significant life science innovation economy in Austin will be to grow a concentrated critical mass of large and small companies collaborating with academic innovators and to develop a deep bench of health and life science business professionals in the region.

Austin has a special opportunity to leverage the intersection of its existing strengths in engineering, data analytics, and logistics with growing capabilities in health and life science. This is a direction that is driving the life science industry nationally. Laing highlighted that the new Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin and the planned Innovation District are vital tools for this evolution in our region.

THBI also used the Summit as an opportunity to release its latest report, The Texas Life Sciences Landscape: Innovating for Today and Tomorrow. The report indicates that the state’s life sciences industry has an annual economic output of $61.5 billion and contributes over $3 billion in state and federal taxes.

Capital City Innovation would like to congratulate the honorees of this year’s THBI Luminary Awards Dinner.

Texas Representative John Zerwas, a Houston-area anesthesiologist, for his many contributions to health and patient access.

Debra Miller, who left a career in publishing to become the founder and CEO of CureDuchenne, a non-profit organization that has leveraged $100 million in impact investment and seen nine research projects advance to human clinical trials.

Nobel Prize Winner Dr. James Allison of the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center, and a CPRIT awardee, who helped pioneer immunotherapies for cancer.

Austin’s own Texas Senator Kirk Watson who has been instrumental in advancing key health and life science pillars in Central Texas, including the Dell Medical School, the revitalization of the Austin State Hospital as a center of excellence for behavioral and mental health, and championing Austin’s Innovation District.

Awards are made to legislators, elected officials, and advocates who have substantially impacted the life sciences community, and the lives of patients in Texas. Coming from different backgrounds, this year’s recipients illustrates how we can all innovate.

Community In Design

Recently the 2019 Austin Design Week advisory board met for the first time. Austin Design Week is moving into its fourth year of operation and celebrates all facets of Austin design through a week of free workshops, talks, studio tours, and events.

CCI’s program and communications manager, Victoria O’Dell will be serving her second term on the board. This year’s board includes folks like Stacey Chang the executive director of the Design Institute for Health, Kerry O’Connor the City’s chief innovation officer, and Nina Means who will be heading the new ACC Fashion Incubator which will hold its grand opening later this month.

In the first meeting, the advisory board met each other, discussed the timeline for ADW, and decided on the 2019 theme!

Why does this matter for health innovation? Austin’s design resources are a part of what sets it apart from other cities. Good design is good business and our ability to come together across industry and practice can help us generate new solutions to old problems. Design is more than visuals and user interface, though Austin is good at that too. It touches services, environment, and more! Put simply, ADW provides the city with another opportunity to show how #AustinInnovates by highlighting our strengths and community.

Keep your eyes peeled for this year’s theme announcement and submission applications. We want to see more health innovation and cross-organization and industry submissions.

Spring Conference Season in Austin: AUTM and South By Southwest

As always, February and March were busy months here in Austin. This year, it started with the annual meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) which was held at Austin’s JW Marriott from February 10-13. AUTM, the professional association for university and industry technology transfer professionals, broke its own attendance records with more than 2,000 attendees including keynote speakers Andrei Iancu, undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit.

Conferences like AUTM are a platform for Capital City Innovation to promote the profile of Austin’s Innovation District and to create relationships with life science companies and non-profits from around the country and around the world.

Hot on the heels of the AUTM conference was SXSW. This year was the second year that Capital City Innovation’s executive director participated in the Onsite Review Committee for the health track of SXSW Interactive, along with health and life science leaders from Ascension Ventures, Verily, The University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical school, Johnson and Johnson, and others. Sponsored by Husch Blackwell, the committee shares ideas on health sessions. Opportunities to find intersections with other disciplines and to engage in active collaboration during the conference were among the wide-ranging discussions.

Laing also promoted Austin’s Innovation District at a number of other events. He moderated a panel discussion exploring the intersection between technology and health at the Berlin Saloon. He also attended a meet-and-greet organized by the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, including City Manager Spencer Kronk, Council Member Pool and Dell Medical School’s Verena Kalhoff, with Toronto Mayor John Tory, and Yung Wu, the President and CEO of the MaRS Discovery District, a public-private innovation district in Toronto that serves as a benchmark for Austin’s Innovation District.

Highlighting Austin’s Health & Life Science Ecosystem

Every year SXSW Interactive, one of the world’s premier innovation conferences, brings more than 75,000 of the world’s innovators to Austin. It is an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Austin’s life science ecosystem, and Capital City Innovation and our Health and Life Science Incubator Affinity partners don’t let the opportunity pass us by!


On March 11, we held the second annual Central Texas Health Innovation Social at Austin’s Central Library. Stations around the room promoted our region’s premier life science incubators and accelerators: Austin Community College Bioscience Incubator; The University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School CoLab WorkSpaces, College of Pharmacy Drug Dynamics Institute, and IC2Austin Technology Incubator; Temple Health and Bioscience District; and Texas State University’s STAR Park.

Capital City Innovation’s executive director, Chris Laing, moderated a brief program showcasing key Austin Innovation District stakeholders. Ford City Solutions announced Austin as a key location for their autonomous vehicle program. Advanced Scanners, a startup, described their successful growth in the region with the help of Austin Technology Incubator and Temple Health and Bioscience District. Merck described their successful training partnership with Huston-Tillotson University and why they hired one of the first graduates of the program!

The event attracted more than 230 people, including delegations from Europe and Australia. The Australian Trade and Investment Commission(Austrade) was one of our sponsors for the event, bringing in representation from more than ten companies supported by ANDHealth, an initiative to accelerate commercialization of digital health products in Australia.

Network News & Opportunities  

Two New Startups Join ACC Bioscience Incubator

ACC Bioscience Incubator recently welcomed two new member startups, Enantiosense LLC and Eriyson.

Enantiosense is developing reagent kits for the high-throughput discovery of asymmetric reactions and Eriyson aims to transform the field of proteomics with the world’s first single molecule protein sequencer.


Ascension Seton Innovation Fellows Host Their Inaugural Event

Recently Ascension Seton debuted their first event under their new Innovation Fellows program. The program is headed by the neurosurgeon, Dr. Jordan Amadio and is currently supported be Genesis and Capital Factory.

Their first event consisted of a panel discussion, quick presentations by some of Austin’s top startups to include Advanced Scanners, Revealix, and Cloud 9, and was closed with open networking and drinks.

The event served to connect Austin healthcare innovators and is one of a series. Keep an eye out for their next event which is expected to be Tuesday, June 4th at Capital Factory.

International Trips From Austin with #ATXBound

#ATXBound is a consortium consisting of five chambers: Greater Austin Black Chamber, Greater Austin Asian Chamber, Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber, Austin LGBTQ Chamber, and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. The group has upcoming outbound delegations to develop business in far away places.

These delegations provide a deep dive into foreign business ecosystems along with the opportunity to develop business and relationships. One of their first stops this May will be in Canada with the target industries identified as being aerospace and mobility, creative industries, life sciences, and artificial intelligence.

All Upcoming trips have their target industries outlined online and anyone can apply to join the delegation. These trips provide the perfect opportunity to show the world how #AustinInnovates.

Austin Technology Incubator Gets a New Look

ATI recently revealed their newest Logo and a website to match!

The shift highlights their commitment to deep tech in Austin and commemorates the 30 years they have been supporting Austin’s entrepreneur ecosystem.

Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch (SEAL) 2019 Program Launches

Ready to join ATI? Check out the Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch (SEAL) program! It’s the perfect opportunity if you want to accelerate your startup this summer.

The program is open to UT undergrad, grad, post-doc and faculty-led startups and is brought to you by the Austin Technology Incubator and Blackstone LaunchPad at UT. The startup application deadline is May 1 and you can apply online.

Mentors, want to work with the most promising young entrepreneurs at UT Austin? Please contact atiseal@utlists.utexas.edu.

Central Health Seeks Community Health Champions

Interested in gaining a better understanding of Austin’s health care system and meeting key players? Passionate about community? Central Health will be accepting applications for the 2019 Community Health Champion Program from May 1 – June 14. If you are committed to improving the health of your community, a resident of Travis County, and interested in learning and growing your knowledge and network in the health care field, you are encouraged to apply.

Community Health Champions attend a series of workshops to become informed and involved in the work of Central Health and Travis County health care system. Learn more and check out the upcoming info sessions.

Dell Med’s Health Equity Series Continues

As usual, Dell Med is buzzing with activity! Upcoming they have the second part of their Health Equity series on May 7th with Jewel Mullen, the associate dean of health equity at Dell Med. At this event, Mullen will be speaking with Mike Geeslin, president and CEO of Central Health and Stephanie Mayfield Gibson, the first African-American and first female commissioner of public health for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This event is free and open to the public.

Nominate a Health Leader Today

Do you know a community health leader in Austin that deserves a little recognition? The Health Leadership Award was recently launched by Dell Med and is accepting nominations until April 30th. Award categories are as follows: Educator, Student, Community Volunteer, Transformational Leadership Award, Health Care Practitioner Award, Elected Official Awards, and Health Ecosystem Leadership Award. Nominate someone today!

Texas Health Catalyst is Hiring

Texas Health Catalyst at Dell Med is currently hiring part-time Associates!

The program, housed at Dell Medical School, UT Austin, provides consulting and seed funding to promising health innovations and discoveries that have the potential to move the needle on better health. The program has an accelerator-like approach to projects but is designed to support projects long-term.

This is an opportunity for graduate students, postdocs, and recent grads in healthcare entrepreneurship and innovation while learning about the latest trends and networking with clinical leaders and industry professionals.

Applications open all-year round. Both paid and volunteer positions may be available depending on the level of engagement (ranges from 5-19 hours/week).

How to apply: Visit https://utexas.app.box.com/v/thc-associate-position for the position description and submit the quick application form.

Recapping The Texas Health CoLab Learning Series

CCI has been supporting the Texas Health CoLab Learning Series through live stream and recording. This monthly series was created for health innovators to understand the opportunities and challenges of innovating in health care.

You can check out the write-ups and recordings of past events in the series which include: Corporate Transactions for Early Stage Companies, The Central Texas Health Innovation Ecosystem: Insights & Experiences, and Health, Design & Business: Design Thinking for Health Innovation written by Verena Kallhoff, manager of the Workspaces @ Texas Health CoLab and organizer of the monthly series.

And don’t forget to save the date! The series is always held on the last Thursday of the month.

Envisioning Downtown Austin’s Future

The Downtown Austin Alliance will be hosting an event to share its first-ever State of Downtown Economic Development Report and celebrate the future of Austin’s downtown.

Get a copy of the report and learn about the community vision for downtown at Future of Downtown. Get your ticket today!

New Ventures Pitch from STAR Park


Our neighbors down in San Marcos are launching New Ventures with an inaugural pitch competition on Saturday, May 4th. New Ventures goal is to promote and entrepreneurship at Texas State and to build bridges between the university and other talent hubs in Central Texas and beyond.

Technologies represented by competing startups include augmented reality, life sciences, food safety, herd management, renewable energy, and community platforms.

Digital 350 Summit Launches in SMTX

Co-hosted with CMG Consulting the inaugural Digital 360 Summit will also be at STAR Park May the 21st through the 22nd. The event involves 100 leaders representing 30 utilities, 10 cities and major industry providers focused on technologies related to SMART Utilities, SMART Cities and SMART Buildings. At the event, there will be 9 interactive panels discussing strategies for the future. A series of white papers and webinars will follow the summit, building upon content generated there.

While the event is invite-only, a few spots are available. Interested in attending, speaking, or sponsoring? Inquire with CMG at info@512cmg.com.

Temple Health & Bioscience District Host Its Annual Conference

THBD's Annual Medtech Conference and Pitch Competition "Growing to Success: Startup & Beyond" is just around the corner. Whether you are a startup, investor, medical professional, researcher, or student, this event is for you.

Building on last year's conference, this year's programming features notable speakers from across the country (including CCI’s Executive Director, Chris Laing) covering the next stages of building and developing your business. Topics range from weighing the pros and cons of international vs. domestic business to building the right team. The conference also offers multiple opportunities to network with key stakeholders and industry experts. See the full agenda and register for the conference online.


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