Building Austin’s $2.5 Billion Cleantech Industry

Kathleen Baireuther
ATI Clean Energy Incubator
IC2 Institute
The University of Texas at Austin

Mitch Jacobson
ATI Clean Energy Incubator
IC2 Institute
The University of Texas at Austin

Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Stateside Theater, 719 Congress Ave.
Downtown Austin
5:15 p.m. – Doors and Bar Open
6:00 p.m. – Presentation, Q&A
7:00 p.m. – Reception
Free and open to the public

Austin is one of the nation’s leaders in clean energy and cleantech innovation. This industry contributes $2.5 Billion to the regional economy and employees 20,000 individuals. The Clean Energy Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator, founded in 2001, is the oldest incubator of its kind and was recently selected as one of three “best practices” incubators in the country by the DOE. Mitch Jacobson (ATI) and Kathleen Baireuther (ATI, CleanTX) will discuss the role of the incubator in cataylzing the cleantech industry in Austin, as well as a number of community initiatives that have played a critical role in building a vibrant industry and a collaborative community around innovation in this space. The discussion will highlight success stories from the incubator, key community initiatives and events, and a vision for how Austin’s strength in this sector positions it to lead the country in new and emerging industries, such as water technology, transportation and mobility, and waste/re-use.

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Mitch Jacobson has been a leader in bringing together government, industry, academia, utility and community interests to organize and shape the Clean Technology and Clean Energy Cluster in Central Texas since 2009. He is the Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the University of Texas at Austin and has served as the lead advisor to Austin Technology Incubator (ATI)’s clean energy companies. Mitch just stepped down as the Chairman of the Board of the CleanTX Foundation our cluster development organization for clean technology in Central Texas but remains a board member. He also serves on the National Board of The Clean Tech Open, Advisory Board for SXSW Eco, Advisory Board for the Environmental Sciences Institute at UT Austin, Board member for The Nature Conservatory, Advisory Board for The Austin Young Chamber and Board member for the Texas Foundation of Innovation & Commercialization. Prior to diving into the Clean Energy World, Mitch was in the Computer / IT industry for 25 years. He founded the Eyes of Texas Partners angel investment group, a network of angel investors in Texas that invested in companies developing innovative products and services in the region. He was the VP of Sales for Tech Data Corporation and Director of Sales, European expansion and Rest Of World expansion for Dell Inc.for many years. He earned a business degree from the University of Florida and was in the MBA program at the University of South Florida. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife Janna, daughters Sheila and Hailey and son Jarrod.
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Kathleen Baireuther is a strategic planning and business development professional with 13 years combined experience in economic development, management consulting, and technology commercialization. As the Principal of the Clean Energy Incubator at ATI, she provides direction to portfolio companies and promotes the clean energy ecosystem in Austin. She also manages a Department of Energy (DOE) grant designed to identify and promote best practices in clean energy incubation both regionally and nationally. In addition to her role at the incubator, she also serves as the Executive Director of CleanTX, the regional cluster development and trade association for clean energy and technology.
Previously, Kathleen served as Director of Economic Development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, where she recruited companies to the five-county Austin region and spearheaded the Chamber’s international program. Prior to joining the Austin Chamber, Kathleen authored strategic plans for a wide variety of communities across the country as a consultant with TIP Strategies, Inc. She has also evaluated nascent technologies from India and South Korea for entry into the US market as an independent commercialization consultant with the Global Commercialization Group at the IC2 Institute.
Kathleen is actively involved in the Austin community through the Austin Rowing Club, Impact Austin, EngageATX, and the U.Va. Club of Austin. She graduated with her Masters in Economics and International Development from the University of Cambridge and earned her B.A. with high distinction from the University of Virginia.
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