Selected participants will get to know the economic ecosystem of Central Texas during a week of visits through the cities of San Antonio, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, San Marcos, College Station, and Austin.


Since 2011, Austin has received more than 50 local and national rankings. The Austin metropolitan area is consistently recognized among the most inventive, creative, wired, educated, fit, and loved cities in which to live and work. The Milken Institute ranked the Austin metropolitan area number 4 in its “2015 Best-Performing Cities report”, which ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. While in Austin, the visit will highlight the diverse economy of the city that has made it incredible place to live, work, and play.

Relevant information

Texas Higher Education Strategic Plan

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
(CEDS) Overview


Life Sciences and MedTech

Austin is home to 200 life science companies in the region, with a workforce of over 12,300. Anchored by University of Texas at Austin, a tier 1 research intuition with $600 million in annual research funding and 50 research units related to Life Science. Participants will visit the new Dell Medical School, which opened in 2016, the first Tier 1 medical school in 50 years. Dell Medical School and connected Seton Teaching Hospital are positioned to be the leaders in medical education with a focus on population health where it services whole patient, not just a procedure at a time.

Mobility Innovations

Aerospace Tourism & Advancements: Experience the flight simulators of RedBird Flight and meet with University of Texas Gary Cadenhead, Director of Masters Degree for Technology and Space Commercialization and Chief Architect of Change Management at IBM, Paul Baffes (also the Chairman of the Greater Austin Space Economy Taskforce) Automotive and Transportation Innovations: Take a virtual tour in the Google Self-Driving Car track in Austin and meet University of Texas President Gregory Fenves, RideScout (now Moovel) CEO Joseph Kopser and discuss Austin transportation opportunities and advancements with Rocky Mountain Institute leaders and City of Austin transportation authority – CapMetro

Creative Economy


Entrepreneurial Ecosystem:  Austin has the most startups per capita than any other city in the United States and is home to the oldest incubator in the USA - IC2 now celebrating its 40th year in business and born out of a partnership between the City of Austin and the University of Texas. We are known as an early-adopter city, with more than 23 accelerators in town and hundreds of new and innovative ideas in each of these places.  Participants will meet the players in the entrepreneurial and small business sectors that have made Austin the #1 Tech City to Move to (by Huffington Post): Capital Factory CEO Josh Baer, Texas State SBDC Director Joe Harper, International Accelerator Director Phil Pompa, City of Austin Small Business Director Vicky Valdez, Austin Community College Continuing Education Director Hector Aguilar, and Kendra Scott CEO. Creative Economy: Austin’s creative sector of music, film, visual artists, digital media, and gaming has risen by 25% over the past 5 years, a pace more rapid than the 10% growth for the local economy as a whole. Participants will learn about Austin’s robust and collaborative creative economy including music, art, film, and gaming.  Meet with Film Director Robert Rodriguez, Rooster Teeth Burnie Burns, Music Producer, AJ Vallejo, Tim League with Alamo Drafthouse, New Era Portfolio CEO Joe Garcia and executives from Electronic Arts.