2015 Schedule
Interactive: March 13–17  •  Film: March 13–21  •  Music: March 17–22

Protecting Great Ideas Without Stifling Innovation

Friday, March 13
3:30PM - 4:30PM

Hyatt Regency Austin
Texas Ballroom 2-3
208 Barton Springs Rd


The Internet is a sharing economy of information and ideas. In today’s digital age, how do we protect intellectual property without stifling innovation? Noncompete agreements are limited in California, Colorado and Oklahoma, but many tech companies around the U.S. rely on them as a method of protecting intellectual assets and business interests. In the fast-paced startup world, are these agreements still relevant? Many argue to move the tech industry forward, we must promote unbridled entrepreneurship - a notion that conflicts with boundaries in a noncompete, which prevent employees from spinning ideas into new companies. The conversation extends beyond tech; life sciences, engineering, and nonprofits struggle to toe the line of protection and innovation. This panel will bring together a diverse group of experts to discuss economic and business impacts of noncompetes and intellectual property laws, and how companies should look to protect great ideas in a world of rapid innovation.


#sxsw #noncompete


C.A. Webb

Execu Dir

New England Venture Capital Association

C.A. Webb is the Executive Director of the New England Venture Capital Association. She has spent her career in entrepreneurial roles with mission driven, early stage and high growth organizations....

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Michael McGurk


Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP

Mike McGurk is a managing partner of Finnegan’s Boston, MA office. He has over 25 years of experience in IP matters involving all aspects of patent law, primarily in pharmaceutical, chemical, medic...

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Ravi Viswanathan

General Partner

New Enterprise Associates Inc

Ravi co-heads NEA’s Technology Venture Growth Equity investment practice. Prior to NEA, Ravi worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as co-head of the technology practice in their private equity group. Ravi...

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Tom Erickson



Tom is a founding director of Acquia, working with co-founders Dries Buytaert and Jay Batson to develop the company’s open source commercialization model and recruit the early team members. Tom joi...

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