Austin has become the epicenter of defense innovation, sprouting a multi-billion-dollar defense industry in a place not known for its military presence. In 2014, Bunker Labs launched in Austin to help military-connected entrepreneurs start and scale businesses. Since then, Department of Defense organizations like the Defense Innovation Unit, AFWERX, Army Futures Command, Texas Military Department, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency have chosen Austin for keeping defense innovation weird. This panel will feature some of the pioneers who laid the groundwork as government employees for what we see today. Attendees will learn (1) the origin story of defense innovation in Austin, (2) what these organizations accomplish together, and (3) how to keep defense innovation weird.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.