10 Awesome Austin Speakers at SXSW, Pt 2

Many of the most innovative thinkers at SXSW hail from the creative mecca that is Austin. As a followup to the February 26 blog post on this topic, today we highlight another 10 stellar speakers at March Magic 2017 who reside in the Central Texas area:

  1. Mayor Steve Adler. In addition to hosting the delegation of over twenty big city leaders who will learn, discover, brainstorm and network with some of the nation’s most forward-thinking startups at SXSW 2017, Adler will talk about sanctuary cities on “America’s Mayors: Holding the Line” on the afternoon of Friday, March 10.
  2. Jean Anne Booth. A serial entrepreneur, Booth has 30 years of experience in high technology. Her background spans from P&L business unit management to marketing; product definition; systems, software, and applications engineering; silicon development engineering; and operations and product engineering. She will speak on the “Venture Funding Hits a Lull. Now What?” session on Tuesday, March 14.
  3. Heather Brunner. As CEO for WP Engine, Bruner has steered the company to hyper-growth and global expansion with offices in Austin, San Antonio, London and San Francisco serving 60,000 customers in 140 countries. A 25-year technology veteran, she has helped create billions in value, driven customer success and led business strategy for both privately-funded new ventures and Fortune 500 companies. On Friday, March 10, Bruner will cover the next generation of smarter websites on “Toward a More Personalized Web.”
  4. Stacey Higginbotham. A freelance writer who has spent the last 15 years covering technology and finance for publications such as Fortune, Gigaom, The Deal, The Bond Buyer and BusinessWeek, Higginbotham also hosts The Internet of Things Podcast every week and writes the Stacey Knows Things newsletter all about IOT. She lends her expertise to the “Future of Intelligent Living” session on Thursday, March 16.
  5. Chetan Kapoor. An expert in robotics and machine software, Kapoor is currently responsible for new product development and for commercial strategies that leverage the integration of YASKAWA Innovation’s distinct businesses and products. He talks about “Democratizing the Industrial Robot” on Tuesday, March 14.
  6. Samantha Snabes. She is the co-founder and catalyst for re:3D, who are the makers of one of the world’s first affordable toilet-sized 3D printers. Previously, Snabes served as the Social Entrepreneur In Residence for openNASA. Her solo presentation at SXSW 2017 is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14: “Toilets and Trash: Will 3D Printers Save the World?
  7. Michele Skelding. Formerly the Senior Vice President of Global Technology and Innovation for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Skelding is now an Entrepreneurial Advisor at the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering Innovation Center. On Sunday, March 12, she will hold court with the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks on the session titled “Mark Cuban & Tech Execs: Is Govt Disrupting Disruption?
  8. Roy Spence. A founding partner of GSD&M in Austin, Spence is also the co-founder and CEO of The Purpose Institute. He is singularly passionate and focused on discovering the Core Values that define and shape an organization’s culture and the Core Purpose that captures the difference an organization makes in the world. Learn more about this passion on “The Power of Purpose in Business and Life” on Tuesday, March 14.
  9. Taylor Thompson. Now a senior at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Thompson (pictured above) raised $85K to fund an Austin Habitat for Humanity home in memory of his mother. The house he funded built was completed last spring. Be inspired by his story on Saturday, March 11 at “Building in Memory of Maureen | The Taylor Build.”
  10. Jeff Wilson. The CEO at KASITA (an innovative housing solution of smart, beautifully-designed micro homes), he is a pioneer and thought leader on the future of housing. The inspiration for Wilson’s startup emerged from one of Wilson’s many unconventional social experiments — in this case a 33 sq. ft. modified trash dumpster he called home for a year in the name of science. At SXSW, he speaks on “AI’s Final Frontier: Your Living Room” on Sunday, March 12.

To gain insights from other top Central Texas speakers, be sure to attend sessions at the Austin Chamber of Commerce from March 10–14.

Beyond these Austin innovators, SXSW showcases the expertise of thousands of creative thinkers from across the United States and around the world. Leverage all the career-enhancing opportunities that this March 10–19 event has to offer by purchasing your badge now.

Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.



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Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest


Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.