This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Innovation Case Studies: Austin and Beyond


“Keep Austin Weird” is more than just a bumper sticker. It’s a philosophy that has become a part of the Austin technology industry mindset and has helped make Austin a center of innovation. Learn about the city policies and the regional economic development initiative developed by local leaders have helped to create an environment where companies thrive and where companies want to relocate and expand. Can similar policies be implemented in other cities (in the US and around the world) -- or is the Austin experience unique? To this end, what kind of strategies are other municipalities embracing to encourage tech innovation and entrepreneurship?


Adriana Cruz VP Global Corporate Recruitment Austin Chamber of Commerce

Adriana Cruz is VP of Global Corporate Recruitment for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, promoting the Austin metro to tech companies considering relocation or expansion into the Austin area. She has over 17 years of strategic marketing experience, specializing in economic development marketing. She has worked on some of the largest Austin successes including eBay, Altera, Facebook, and LegalZoom. She also oversees the Chamber’s international program to increase international trade and investment. She's a proud graduate from the UT Austin.

Pike Powers Chair, Texas Technology Initiative PPG LLC

Tony Schum Sr Assoc, Business Incentives Advisory Duff & Phelps

Tony Schum is a Senior Associate in the Business Incentives Advisory practice at Duff & Phelps in Austin, Texas. Tony specializes in identifying, negotiating and implementing economic development incentives for expanding or relocating companies. He also assists clients in the pursuit of workforce training awards, research & development funding, and other grants expected to generate positive economic impact.

Prior to joining Duff & Phelps in 2011, Tony was Director of Economic Development for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, where his primary role was recruiting new technology companies to Central Texas. Tony has worked with hundreds of companies seeking local and state incentives, from high-tech startups to Fortune 500 corporations. His expertise is concentrated in the automotive, clean energy, creative media, and mobile industries.

Prior to joining the Austin Chamber in 2004, he worked in Governor Perry’s Office of Constituent Services.

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