2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Your Brand, Your Market & Why DC Cares

#sxsw #impactDC

Building a tech product takes a lot of time and focus. Ensuring the market exists to create and sell that product takes just a little more. While what’s happening in Washington is heavily guided by special interests, the influence technologists can have in innovation hubs around the country is not often talked about, but fundamentally important. These tech communities, particularly Austin, have the attention of policymakers (and competing markets) and it’s an opportunity for you to educate them about your product, your company and the dynamism of our industry. It’s these stories that travel back to DC where they can be developed and leveraged by regional and national tech advocates to address the challenges that face your business: funding, intellectual property, skilled immigration, data regulation, STEM, infrastructure priorities, and others. This panel will explain how Austin and other tech hubs across the country are working to disrupt the trend of DC-centric policy development.



Gene Austin



Gene has served as Chief Executive Officer since February 2014, president since May 2013 and as a member of our board of directors since November 2013.

Gene has more than 30 years of experience delivering results in high-growth technology companies, with a particular emphasis on SaaS applications. He most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Convio, Inc., where he was the driving force behind the company's success that led to an IPO and eventual sale to Blackbaud, Inc. in May 2012. Prior to Convio, Gene was BMC Software's vice president and general manager of Enterprise Data Management and previously worked at Dell as vice president and general manager of Internet Servers. He also served as senior vice president of sales and marketing at Careerbuilder.com, where he contributed significantly to growth leading to a 1999 public offering.

Gene holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and BS in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He is active in the Austin, Texas, community and has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, as well as on the Board of Directors for KIPP Austin Public Schools and JDRF Austin.


Kevin Callahan

Co-Founder & VP Innovations


I co-founded MapMyFitness, Inc. and currently lead the Innovations Lab as the VP of Innovation Strategy.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, MapMyFitness is a 90-person inc500 health and fitness technology company that powers the internet's largest social network of fitness enthusiasts and is the platform that other brands have build a connected health business on.

Our innovation has changed the way people think about their health and fitness. Now it’s commonplace for consumers to log their activity in a place where their data can tell a holistic story. We have the largest continuous samples of health and fitness data in the world and actively work with the public health community. Healthcare is changing, and society is learning that a corner needs to be turned in terms of diet and exercise. We have helped shape the market where health technology is getting smaller, cheaper and most importantly less complicated and essential for the everyday person.

The MapMyFitness suite of website and mobile applications, under the MapMyRun and MapMyRide flagship products, use built-in GPS technology to provide fitness enthusiasts worldwide with the ability to map, record and share their exercise routes and workouts in an online database. In addition, users have access to a searchable database of over 70 million global routes, online training tools, nutrition tracking, fitness calculators, event listings, and the ability to easily share their activities with friends.

I'm also active in the local technology / entrepreneurship community. I have been a guest lecturer on Entrepreneurship at the Johns Hopkins University and I've spoken at conferences and on panels regarding the impact of data, technology, and innovation on health and fitness. I serve as the President of the Board of Directors of Running USA and lastly, I have a unique perspective of the world after living in over a dozen countries.


Michael McGeary

Sr Strategist


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