Austin Revealed: Booting Up Big Tech: Story of Austin’s Rise to Tech Super-stardom featuring a special tribute to Pike Powers

The IC² Institute participated in an event sponsored by KLRU detailing the start of the Austin Technopolis, entitled Austin Revealed: Booting Up Big Tech: Story of Austin’s Rise to Tech Super-stardom. The event was led by Mr. Bill Stotesbery, CEO of KLRU, and featured a “sneak peek” of the upcoming series by showing three segments.  The series is set to debut next week on KLRU.

The documentary segments from the April 11 viewing featured participation by IC² Institute Emeritus Senior Scientist Dr. David Gibson, IC² Institute Board Member Pike Powers, IC² Institute Fellows Dr. Meg Wilson, and other Austin luminaries. Mr. Pike Powers was honored as the “quarterback” of the collaborative team that supported the recruitment of the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) and Sematech programs to Austin. The segments detailed the historical context preparing Austin to compete for leadership in the integrated chip manufacturing space as well as the catalytic impact of MCC and Sematech on the Austin economy. Future segments will focus on the contributions of IC² Institute’s Founder Dr. George Kozmetsky, among other topics.

Following segment viewing, Mr. Powers led a discussion with the audience examining the specific role of community leaders, such as the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, The University of Texas at Austin and other key players.  The discussion highlighted their impact in the recruitment and support of MCC, Sematech and the growing entrepreneurial community stemming from this industry.  Austin leaders Adm. Bobby Inman and Dr. Ben Streetman were among those commenting on Austin’s technology genesis.

During the discussion, Mr. Powers asked Mitch Jacobson, Director of the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), to discuss the role of ATI in Austin’s history and future steps. Mr. Jacobson described the support of the City, Chamber of Commerce, University and community mentors to create >$3B in economic impact in Central Texas through ATI over the past 30 years. ATI will be hosting a 30th Anniversary Celebration on May 20th at the AT&T Center on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

Austin Revealed: Booting Up Big Tech is a six-part documentary series from KLRU rolling out April and May (see schedule below). Head to to read how Austin Revealed Producer Louise Rodriguez approached telling this important story and watch the first segment.

Here is the schedule for all the segments:

Available online now – Building an Industrial Mainframe
April 24 – All for One
April 30 – Speeding Up Semiconductors
May 7 – Forging a Technopolis
May 14 – Powering Up the Economy
May 21 – Building Out The Tech Community

About IC²
The IC² Institute conducts research and programs to validate the impact of technological innovation on regional economic development with collaboration among the university, government, and private sectors. IC² is extending its research focus from urban ecosystems supporting entrepreneurship to exploring the shape and action of innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems in rural and isolated-city regions of the world in order to support economic growth.


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April 12, 2019