Austin Startup Week 2021 Austin Startup Week 2021

Monday, October 4, 2021

- CDT
Women in Tech Summit Opening Remarks
Jeannie Edmunds (She/Her)
Jeannie Edmunds (She/Her)
Startup Companies, Advisor/Mentor
Kelsi Kamin (She/Her)
Kelsi Kamin (She/Her)
Living Security, Chief of Staff
Courteney Real (She/Her)
Courteney Real (She/Her)
Capital Factory, Venture Partnerships Manager
- CDT
Sandy Carter Keynote Address
Sandy Carter (She/Her)
Sandy Carter (She/Her)
Amazon Web Services, Vice President

Sandy will speak on her personal journey and the intersection of entrepreneurship within the startup and corporate spaces.

- CDT
How to be Successful in Fundraising as an Underrepresented GP
Jade Tran (She/Her)
Jade Tran (She/Her)
Muttly, Founder
Claire Hansen (She/Her)
Claire Hansen (She/Her)
Firebrand Ventures
Lauren Washington (She/Her)
Lauren Washington (She/Her)
Fundr, Cofounder and CEO
Lorine Pendleton (She/Her)
Lorine Pendleton (She/Her)
TIGER 21, Lead Partner - Portfolia Rising America Fund

Only 9% of Venture Capital general partners worldwide are women, and according to Deloitte, only 11% of women make up VC deciders. This reality propagates the 3% investment rate of venture money spent on all-women teams, with 83% of VC deals involving founding teams with no women. These statistics are troubling because, as Kauffman Fellows notes, women VCs invest more in women entrepreneurs and underrepresented founders than any other group.

Several cyclical elements regarding lack of representation contribute to the dismal statistics above. To become a general partner at a VC firm, you either have to be:


- A former successful entrepreneur;
- A former executive of a mid to large size company;
- From a private equity or investment banking background; or
- Have moved up the ranks of a VC firm (associate onwards)


The rarity of women in each of the spaces above contributes to homogenous portfolios, male-dominated teams, and emerging women VC’s inability to raise capital. This panel will discuss how to break the cycle of lack of women leaders at venture capital firms and how solving this problem will lead to more successful women tech entrepreneurs.

- CDT
Joining an Early Stage Startup: How to Think About Career Growth and Equity
Gordon Daugherty (He/Him)
Gordon Daugherty (He/Him)
Capital Factory, Co-Founder & President
Joelle Vail (She/Her)
Joelle Vail (She/Her)
Capital Factory, COO
Riana Lynn (She/Her)
Riana Lynn (She/Her)
Journey Foods, CEO
Sara Brand (She/Her)
Sara Brand (She/Her)
True Wealth Ventures, Founding General Partner

According to Axios, women represent 13% of startup founders but own just 7% of founder equity and women make up 34% of startup employees but hold only 20% of startup employee equity. Explanations for these numbers include female founders selling larger stakes to investors than their male peers, founding teams not giving the same amount of equity, and that women are underrepresented among startup employees with large equity grants.

In this panel, we will address the guidelines for equity for startup founders and employees from Seed to Series A funding. This panel will discuss how startup employees can assign value to the quality of stock they can get, how to determine how much your equity will be worth in the future, and lastly, discuss why startup founders should structure employee option pools in a way that will help close the gender wealth gap.

- CDT
Women in Tech $100,000 Investment Challenge
Leigh Christie (She/Her)
Leigh Christie (She/Her)
Beam Angel Network, CEO & Executive Director
Samina Farid (She/Her)
Samina Farid (She/Her)
Farid Ventures and Golden Seeds, Managing Director
Lisa Besserman (She/Her)
Lisa Besserman (She/Her)
expa, Managing Director
Lissie Garvin (She/Her)
Lissie Garvin (She/Her)
Seven Seven Six, Founding Team, Chief of Staff

Capital Factory’s Texas Fund, in partnership with Beam Angel Network, Seven Seven Six Fund, and Golden Seeds (Houston), is excited to announce the next $100,000 Investment Challenge at our 4th Annual Women In Tech Summit. The winner will also be awarded $10,000 in legal fee credits from Baker Botts. We are dedicated to increasing diversity in the tech community and making Capital Factory an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and identities.On October 4th, five technology startup finalists will pitch to a panel of advisors and judges made up of successful investors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. One will walk away with a $100,000 cash investment and a fast-track into Capital Factory.

Judging panel includes: Leigh Christie, Samina Farid, Lisa Besserman, and Lissie Garvin

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

- CDT
Entrepreneurship 101 Track Opening Remarks
Caroline Tosbath (She/Her)
Caroline Tosbath (She/Her)
Techstars, Program Manager

Join Caroline Tosbath, Program Manager at Techstars, as we kick off the Entrepreneurship 101 Track.

- CDT
Product and Design Track Opening Remarks
Candice Digby (She/Her)
Candice Digby (She/Her)
Austin Design Week, Co-Founder, Lead Organizer

Join Candice Digby, Co-Founder of Austin Design Week and Partnerships and Events Director at Vapor IO, as we kick off the Product and Design Track.

- CDT
Combatting Founder Fatigue, Stress, and Burnout
Alex Friedman (She/Her)
Alex Friedman (She/Her)
Talk Howdy, Founder and CEO
Dieumerci Christel (He/Him)
Dieumerci Christel (He/Him)
Enlightapp, Founder & CEO
Dan Hightower (He/Him)
Dan Hightower (He/Him)
Carta, Director of Growth Product

We all know being a founder can be a lonely and difficult journey so let's kick off the morning with some vulnerability and discuss avoiding fatigue, stress and overall burnout as a founder. Hear from CEOs Alex Friedman, Brittani Dunlap, and Dieumerci Christel on how they navigate building a startup and prioritizing their mental health along the way.

- CDT
The Art of Tech: Unlocking Creative Possibilities
Rukia Sheikh-Mohamed (She/Her)
Rukia Sheikh-Mohamed (She/Her)
soona, Full Stack Developer

We're often lumped into two categories: creative or technical. But we're here to prove that wrong. With the combination of art and tech, new categories are possible! From making high-quality media accessible to all to helping creatives focus on the essential parts of their roles, we'll use real examples of how creativity + tech play together at soona. We'll walk through what's possible with the combination of these two arts and give you tips on how to incorporate them into your work.

- CDT
AI & Data Science Track Opening Remarks
Navira Abbasi (She/Her)
Navira Abbasi (She/Her)
TigerGraph, Manager of Community Strategic Growth

Join Navira Abbasi, Manager of Community Strategic Growth at TigerGraph, and Toloka as we kick off the AI and Design Track.

- CDT
Discovering Profitable Spatial Problems: How to Match the Capabilities of AR, IoT, and Robotics to Customer Needs
Llewyn Paine (She/Her)
Llewyn Paine (She/Her)
Llewyn Paine Consulting LLC, Principal

Lean startup and user-centered design philosophies hold that businesses should first focus on the user and all else will follow. But the cost and specialized nature of technological innovation means that entrepreneurs are often already invested before they are able to fully explore customer needs. This is especially true for "spatial" technologies-such as augmented reality, Internet of Things, and robotics-which allow access to novel, unfamiliar users and industries that tech has never before been able to serve.

Spatial technologies demand approaches to product development that take customer needs and technological innovation into equal consideration. In this talk, I'll share processes emerging technology businesses can use to assess their technological capabilities, and then use those learnings as a foundation to create powerful hypotheses about where their products can provide measurable value to customers.

- CDT
Industry 5.0: Next Decade's Trends in AI
Valeria Sadovykh (She/Her)
Valeria Sadovykh (She/Her)
PwC, Digital Transformation Lead

Valeria Sadovykh is a leading expert in the decision making and decision intelligence aspects of AI. She is a Digital Transformation Lead at PwC with a focus on leveraging emerging technology and strategic partnerships to solve organisational challenges. Valeria’s expertise, in the utilization of AI, ML and digital transformations, has shaped the business decisions of various multinational corporations across a range of industries.Valeria has led strategic IT developments involving emerging technology, Industry 4.0, digital transformation, intelligent automation, and mass customization. She has successfully delivered business-critical projects leading to enhanced workplace efficiencies, operational decision-making, sustainable practices, and optimizing the customer journey.In addition to her consulting career, Valeria is also actively involved in academia.

She has a series of academic and media publications in top tier journals/conference proceedings within Information Systems/Computer Science domains. She holds a PhD in Information Systems from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her primary research interests are online decision-making, decision intelligence, human biases, ethical AI, and disruption and adoption of AI and ML. She has lived and worked in Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, Europe and now the US.

- CDT
Customers and Community as an Early Stage Startup
Jonathan Ganthier (He/Him)
Jonathan Ganthier (He/Him)
Flourish, Cofounder
Alex Friedman (She/Her)
Alex Friedman (She/Her)
Talk Howdy, Founder and CEO
James McGillicuddy (He/Him)
James McGillicuddy (He/Him)
Carta, Head of Origination

Join local founders and community experts, Alex Friedman of Talk Howdy and Claire Siegel and Jon Ganthier of Flourish, for a panel discussion on the importance of building community pre-product in order to gain customers, leveraging community to create a better product and the role community plays in building a brand.

- CDT
How AI and Graphs Can Save Your Life In a Crisis
Daniel Barkus (He/Him)
Daniel Barkus (He/Him)
Tigergraph, Developer Advocate

As hurricane Ida claims over 50 lives and climate change ignites fires across the country, delivering life-saving equipment and medicine becomes a massive challenge. This presentation will cover how artificial intelligence combined with graph database technology is saving lives when our healthcare supply chain is compromised by flooded roads, wildfires, or even civil unrest.

- CDT
Sinking the Titanic: If Only There Had Been a Product Leader on Board!
Kevin Smith (He/Him)
Kevin Smith (He/Him)
Just Add Product, Fractional CPO
Teri Harwood (She/Her)
Teri Harwood (She/Her)
Just Add Product, Fractional CPO

We'll be leading an interactive discussion about how having strong and effective product leadership early on can help entrepreneurs avoid common risks and accelerate their business.

- CDT
Fundraising Track Opening Remarks
Scott Craig (He/Him)
Scott Craig (He/Him)
Latham & Watkins, Partner

Join Jake O'Shea, Director of Platform at Capital Factory, as we kick off the FundraisingTrack.

- CDT
New to Austin Track Opening Remarks
Elisa Sepulveda (She/Her)
Elisa Sepulveda (She/Her)
MATH Venture Partners, Entrepreneur In Residence

Join Elisa Sepulveda, Entrepreneur In Residence Company at MATH Venture Partners and Local Director for Founder Institute, as we kick off the New to Austin Track.

- CDT
Entrepreneurship in the Age of Data Ownership: How Crowdsourcing Empowers AI-Driven Startups
Dave DeCaprio (He/Him)
Dave DeCaprio (He/Him)
ClosedLoop.ai, Chief Technology Officer
Robert Matney (He/Him)
Robert Matney (He/Him)
Yonder, VP, Strategic Partnerships
Beth White (She/Her)
Beth White (She/Her)
MeBeBot, Founder and Chief Bot

There's a challenge almost every AI startup faces, yet almost no one talks about: how do you get enough quality data to train your algorithms? In a chat with industry experts, we will talk about various ways of harvesting data in budding and growing businesses, and how crowdsourcing can empower entrepreneurs to become data owners, whether they are working on their MVPs or scaling their successes.

- CDT
Texas Startup Fundraising in 2021: A Record-Breaking Year
Kerry Rupp (She/Her)
Kerry Rupp (She/Her)
True Wealth Ventures, General Partner
Eric Engineer (He/Him)
Eric Engineer (He/Him)
S3 Ventures, Venture Partner
Krishna Srinivasan (He/Him)
Krishna Srinivasan (He/Him)
LiveOak Venture Partners, Founding Partner
Thomas Ball (He/Him)
Thomas Ball (He/Him)
Next Coast Ventures, Co-Founder and Managing Director
Kip McClanahan (He/Him)
Kip McClanahan (He/Him)
SILVERTON PARTNERS, GP

2021 is smashing records for start-up financings in Texas. Hear from partners at some of the most active VC firms in Austin, as they discuss changes in the local market and tips for founders planning to fundraise this year.  

- CDT
Founder Fireside Chat
Scott Craig (He/Him)
Scott Craig (He/Him)
Latham & Watkins, Partner
Lauren Washington (She/Her)
Lauren Washington (She/Her)
Fundr, Cofounder and CEO
Sarah Puil (She/Her)
Sarah Puil (She/Her)
BOXT, Founder + CEO
Katherine Allen (She/Her)
Katherine Allen (She/Her)
Flo Recruit, Co-Founder, CEO

Join us as we sit down with experienced founders to dive into the critical lessons learned during their fundraising journeys, including what advice they would share with first time founders.  

- CDT
Intro to the Austin Startup Scene
Jill Klinvex (She/Her)
Jill Klinvex (She/Her)
Capital Factory, Venture Principal
Claire Hansen (She/Her)
Claire Hansen (She/Her)
Firebrand Ventures

Are you an entrepreneur starting a new company? Recently moved your company to Texas? Want to find out how to connect with other entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors in the startup ecosystem? Join us VIRTUALLY to hear an overview from experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, and community partners at Intro to Texas Startup Scene & Ask Me Anything.

- CDT
The Crowdsourcing Revolution: How Future AI Solutions Will Be Built
Jessica Noglows (She/Her)
Jessica Noglows (She/Her)
Studio X, Xeek Program Director
Paul Genberg (He/Him)
Paul Genberg (He/Him)
Studio X, Interim CEO & Head of Product

When there is a specific need and creativity and skills in the right places, it's amazing what ideas and solutions can come from crowdsourcing. Platforms like TopCoder in software engineering and Kickstarter in the entrepreneurship space are leading to crowd-developed solutions. Now Xeek by Studio X is doing the same for the energy industry. Join this fireside chat to hear how you can get rewarded in this model and how it can play a bigger role in developing AI solutions for the future.

- Learn how to get rewarded in a crowdsourcing model and how it can play a bigger role in developing AI solutions for the future.
- Hear some tips on how to be successful whether it’s your first or your 30th competition.
- Discuss why Xeek is different from other competitions platforms.

- CDT
Driving Business Success with Data
Daria Baidakova (She/Her)
Daria Baidakova (She/Her)
Toloka, Head of Educational Programs
Andrew Braun (He/Him)
Andrew Braun (He/Him)
Toloka, Global Account Manager

High-quality data can help scale your business, accelerate growth and streamline processes. Data is the key to success in any field, whether you’re developing cutting-edge technology or running a chain of coffeeshops in your hometown. Crowdsourcing is a popular technique for obtaining high-quality data, its key differentiators being a fast turnaround, lower costs, and incredible scalability. 

In this tutorial, crowdsourcing experts from Toloka AI will show how data can be used to solve business challenges. They'll go over collecting content, getting data annotated, and making data-informed decisions using crowdsourcing, basing on real use cases pulled from Toloka's ten years of experience in data-driven technology and business.

- CDT
Founders and Funders: The Fundraising Gap
Lisa Besserman (She/Her)
Lisa Besserman (She/Her)
expa, Managing Director
Bre Cruickshank (She/Her)
Bre Cruickshank (She/Her)
Radical Girl Gang, CEO
Janice Omadeke (She/Her)
Janice Omadeke (She/Her)
The Mentor Method, CEO and Founder
Heather Buffo (She/Her)
Heather Buffo (She/Her)
Republic, Venture Growth & Partnerships Lead
Holly Tachovsky (She/Her)
Holly Tachovsky (She/Her)
ISO, Chief Innovation Officer

According to Techrunch, women-founded startups deliver 62% higher ROI, generate twice as much revenue per dollar invested, and take one full year less time to exit. In the past five years, VC investments in women-owned tech companies increased steadily. However, once COVID hit, and investors retreated to their referral networks and “safe investments’’, VC funding for women shrunk drastically. Crunchbase data show more than 800 female-founded startups globally received a total of $4.9 billion in venture funding in 2020, through mid-December, representing a 27% decrease over the same period.

If we invest in women at the same rate that we invest in men, this could boost the global economy by up to $5 trillion. Many 2020-2021 portfolios are missing that opportunity. In this panel we will hear from founders and funders who will discuss how the presumption of “investment safety” not only stunts ROI but is a district barrier to equity efforts.

- CDT
Why I Moved My Company to Austin
Brandon Cates (He/Him)
Brandon Cates (He/Him)
Ametrine Inc., CEO
Joshua Baer
Joshua Baer
Capital Factory, Founder & CEO
Amy Sun (She/Her)
Amy Sun (She/Her)
Daylight, Founder
Nicole Cardoza (She/Her)
Nicole Cardoza (She/Her)
Reclamation Ventures, Founder, CEO
John Henry (He/Him)
John Henry (He/Him)
Loop, Co-CEO