Located in the heart of Texas, Austin boasts a lively startup ecosystem with local venture capital firms. Known as the live music capital of the world and home to the nationally-acclaimed SxSW conference and a vibrant LGBTQ community, the city is a terrific place for LGBTQ entrepreneurs to start a business in the South! Austin’s StartOut chapter began in 2011 and was the birthplace of HackOut, the nation’s premier LGBTQ-oriented hackathon. Hackathons are excellent ways to merge entrepreneurial spirit with computer programming prowess and product design sensibilities. By creating a safe space, HackOut continues to be a signature event for LGBTQ entrepreneurs and tech stars alike.
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25 March 2017
25 March 2017
Programming Board Chair
Ravel is passionate about using tech and impeccable design to build products that improve businesses and the lives of people. He is an innovative product guy and investor with international, Fortune 500, non-profit and start-up experience. As a participant in StartOut since 2012, he assisted in the founding of HackOut, the nation’s premier LGBT hackathon.
Dan Driscoll is a product manager at HomeAway, an Expedia-owned marketplace for Austin vacation rentals. Prior to joining HomeAway, Dan founded reQwip — a marketplace for swapping adventure sports gear — and co-founded Prepify – an EdTech startup helping less-privileged students access top universities. He also co-founded City FC, a nonprofit youth program in Washington, DC. Dan received MBA and MA in Advertising from University of Texas.
Casey Haney has enjoyed a successful career working in Government Administration, serving in political, policy, and administrative roles for elected officials and at mission-critical energy and health agencies. As a consultant, Casey is known for his ability to deftly craft legislative and administrative solutions to complex problems involving multiple stakeholders. A sixth-generation Texan, Casey is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and is currently in the final semester of his M.B.A. at the UT McCombs School of Business. After living in Beijing, Corpus Christi, Hong Kong, and Houston, Casey resides full-time in Austin with his two rescue (mostly) labrador retrievers, Stella and Lucille.
Dr. Steve Kramer is a computational physicist and data science entrepreneur who founded Paragon Science in 2006, patenting a chaos-based dynamic anomaly technology. He has been a steering committee member of StartOut Austin since the chapter’s inception.
Karen has over 20 years’ experience in programming, teaching, and advising in non-profit, legal, and academic settings. Karen teaches Business Law, Behavioral Ethics, Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship at TEXAS McCombs and is a founding partner of Engage Leadership Consulting. Karen completed her J.D. at Northeastern University School of Law and earned her B.A. in Government from UT Austin.
Kenny is a Software Engineer at Indeed where he is also treasurer of iPride, their LGBTQ ERG. Prior to working at Indeed and while in college he was co-founder of and led the development team of Towbee, a tow truck finding app which he took through University of Houston’s Red Labs startup accelerator. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from University of Houston but is constantly looking for new things to learn. He has a passion for leading successful development teams and creating innovative products that leverage under-utilized resources.
In 2013 Chris founded Lynx Laboratories, a computer vision technology company that sold mobile 3D scanners. Lynx Laboratories was recognized for having industry leading technology through federal grant awards and corporate partnerships. In 2015 Lynx Laboratories was acquired by Occipital, the worldwide leader in 3D computer vision products. Chris led business development at Occipital, where he helped secure highly competitive, multi-million dollar contracts with top AR/VR companies.
Chris is an expert in computer vision, machine learning, AI with experience recruiting teams and managing technology roadmaps. He has overseen the development of production deep learning systems and developed advanced AI’s such as reinforcement learning agents.
Mario Villanueva is StartOut’s Membership/ Volunteer team lead. His passions lie in visual art, social media, and entrepreneurship. He is part of the latino/x and queer communities and is striving for better representation for people who are undermined by the mainstream. He currently works at the Blanton Museum of Art, and also freelances as a social media content creator and photographer.
Lauren Welch is a senior majoring in Business Management at St. Edwards University. She is an alum of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp and a Co-Founder of a global digital healthcare company
Logan Wick, MBA is a visionary leader, outspoken LGBTQ advocate, and entrepreneur who enjoys mentoring other LGBTQ ‘treps. He founded Power Of Two Promotions (certified LGBTBE) which provides logo’d swag to several Fortune 100 companies. He sells real estate in Austin & is working on a RE startup, he is also a public speaker on: marketing, supplier diversity & how male privilege shows up.
Lynn leads Digital Strategy at well+done DESIGN, a creative agency founded by her partner, Alisa Weldon. They co-founded L Style G Style and invested in numerous startups including Ticketbud and Rockify. Lynn serves on the boards of KUT Austin, The Long Center and the Seton 50. A Southerner at heart, Lynn loves Airstream roadtrips, cooking for friends, SEC Football and never meeting a stranger!