How We Pioneered Defense Innovation in Austin

  • 12:30PM - 1:30PM | Capital Factory House
  • Presented by DIU

Austin has become the epicenter of defense innovation, sprouting a multi-billion-dollar defense industry in a place not known for its military presence. In 2014, Bunker Labs launched in Austin to help military-connected entrepreneurs start and scale businesses. Since then, Department of Defense organizations like the Defense Innovation Unit, AFWERX, Army Futures Command, Texas Military Department, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency have chosen Austin for keeping defense innovation weird. This panel will feature some of the pioneers who laid the groundwork as government employees for what we see today. Attendees will learn (1) the origin story of defense innovation in Austin, (2) what these organizations accomplish together, and (3) how to keep defense innovation weird. You must have a SXSW to attend any SXSW Official Events. As well, make sure you have applied to be a VIP at Capital Factory House.

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Capital Factory

5th Floor

Date + Time

Saturday March 14

12:30PM - 1:30PM


Paul Vicars

Zach Walker

Samantha Snables

Jonathan Wojtewicz

Presented by

Defense Innovation Unit