More than 250 wireless industry leaders piled into the AT&T Conference Center Tuesday to see the forefront of wireless research and startup innovation, gain insight on industry trends, and for the first time in the Texas Wireless Summit’s eight-year history, see Austin’s hottest wireless-application startups compete.
With 16 on-the-move startups and more than 20 thought leaders taking the stage to speak, TWS managed to display under one roof the full breadth of Austin’s wireless innovation community, demonstrating the city’s position as one of the key global innovation hubs in the wireless industry. The Austin Technology Incubator’s Wireless Incubator partnered with UT’s Wireless Networking and Communications Group to host the Summit, taking support also from the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the City of Austin.
The keynotes and panels drove the day’s content, giving attendees the edge on the overall trajectory and potential pitfalls the industry faces in years to come. Speakers from leading industry players Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs and Qualcomm and leading research institutions UT-Austin, Virginia Tech and NYU Poly took on hot-button topics like “The Too Much Data Paradox,” “Augmented Reality,” “Smart Grid” and “The Future of Cognitive Radio.” Leading wireless venture capitalists — from Sevin Rosen Funds, Qualcomm Ventures and New Enterprise Associates — also weighed in through a panel discussion, representing together nearly $4 billion of investment experience and funds.
Further contributing to the conversation, four of Central Texas’ most promising startups took five minutes each to present their innovations to the Summit audience. Together representing more than $100 million of investor backing, Austin-based startups Blacksand Technologies, Unwired Nation and Nitero, along with Dallas-based Mavenir Systems, took the stage to complement the big-name industry veterans like Huawei Technologies and Paratek Microwave.
In addition to providing front row seats on the industry’s direction, TWS partnered with MobileMonday Austin and App Circus to create the first-ever MobileMonday Austin Showcase. The interactive competition pitted against one another 12 of Austin’s front-of-the-pack wireless application innovators, five of which have closed their VC series-A round and five others an angel round to represent nearly $15 million of investor capital on one floor.
Famigo Games, maker of a set of tools and services to help mobile-game developers build for families, took first prize and earned a trip to Barcelona, Spain, in February to compete at the Mobile World Congress, edging out location-based mobile marketer QRANK, who placed second. Famigo is an ATI-Wireless member company whose leaders emerged from UT’s student-entrepreneur community, meeting for the first time at the spring of 2009 edition of 3 Day Startup, a weekend-long company-building lock-in for UT students.
The same lobby space spent the earlier part of the day occupied by some of UT’s most innovative as 22 of WNCG’s student research groups lined the room to display their findings. The research shown at the summit represents a grand total of $21 million in commitments to the WNCG group.
Tags: alcatel-lucent bell labs, app circus, ATI Wireless, augmented reality, austin technology incubator, blacksand technologies, cognitive radio, dallas, famigo games, greater austin chamber of commerce, grid net, mavenir systems, mobile monday austin, momo atx showcase, momo austin, nea, new enterprise associates, nitero, nyu poly, qrank, qualcomm, qualcomm ventures, sevin rosen funds, smart grid, texas wireless summit, University of Texas at Austin, Unwired Nation, virginia tech, wireless networking and communications group, WNCG