AUSTIN, TX – Austin community leaders have created a new nonprofit entity, Capital City Innovation Inc., to foster the development of an Innovation Zone on the eastern edge of downtown and capitalize on the healthcare transformation already underway in the community, Sen. Kirk Watson, partner at Husch Blackwell, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced March 11 at SXSW.
"Capital City Innovation will ensure the whole community benefits from the research and opportunities that will originate from this hub of innovation," said Sen. Watson, who was a featured speaker in a multidisciplinary panel discussion Saturday at SXSW that explored Austin’s unprecedented investment in healthcare.
The new nonprofit will help established businesses and enterprising startups alike become part of the health ecosystem developing around the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin and Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. Leaders also expect to build on existing creativity in the vicinity to spur innovation in sectors beyond healthcare. When complete, Austin’s Innovation Zone will help to transform and improve healthcare in Austin, as well as provide opportunities for economic development and entrepreneurship within the healthcare, biotech and medical technology (medtech) communities.
Sen. Watson provided more information about Capital City Innovation at Husch Blackwell’s SXSW Cocktail Reception March 14.
Husch Blackwell has been involved with Austin’s Innovation Zone since its inception. The firm negotiated the complex long-term ground lease with the University of Texas System and the corresponding sublease with Seton Family Hospitals for the construction of a new $300 million teaching hospital. The firm is currently working on redevelopment of the Brackenridge Campus in the heart of the Innovation Zone.
(Photo from left: Sen. Watson; Beto Lopez, co-founder and managing director of the Design Institute for Health at The University of Texas at Austin; Ben Holland, consultant, Rocky Mountain Institute; Dr. Mini Kahlon, vice dean, Partnerships and Strategy at Dell Medical School at University of Texas at Austin.)