Best Practices

Where in the World Is Maria? Austin, Texas, Y’all

Published Sep 24, 2012 by Sarah Mote

On Sunday, we shipped out U.S.SourceLink director Maria Meyers for recon to the Lone Star State Capital, Austin, Texas. She’ll join a hefty envoy of Kansas City heavy hitters: entrepreneurs, civic leaders, business mavens and thought leaders, who will all make the trek to Austin as part of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Exchange.

Why Austin?

Austin has a long tradition of supporting entrepreneurs with outstanding results and Maria wants to see how their academic, economic development and private organizations work together to create a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The self-proclaimed home of the weird  (the city’s motto is “Keep Austin weird”), Austin experienced wild growth over the past 25 to 30 years, transforming from a government- and university-centered economy to a hot seat of entrepreneurship (Dell, Apple, the list goes on). Recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that “Somewhere in America, Silicon Valley will be replicated. I want it to be in Austin, Texas.”

The Chamber delegates head down to Austin to see the impact, effect, and expectations of Austin’s past exponential growth and exponential promise—and to bring some of those lessons home to create something that is uniquely our own and based on the resources, expertise and economic character that are uniquely ours.

On the agenda (with nary a mention of a BBQ showdown, by the way, although the tension cannot be ignored) are an assortment of conversations with Austin city leaders, entrepreneurs, education experts and more on such topics as:

  • Transportation
  • Higher Education
  • Creative Collaborations
  • Sustainability
  • Regional Relations
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Economic Impact of Creative Industries

We can’t wait to hear about Maria’s trip—and we’ll pass on the insights here.