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CTA Heads To Austin To Promote Tech At SXSW

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is returning to Austin’s city-wide SXSW  festival and trade show to host a series of policy panels and networking events to promote innovation and its 2,200 member companies.

For the third consecutive year, the association is holding an Innovation Policy Day, a full day of panels that will include entrepreneurs and technology advocates.

The association also plans sessions moderated by CTA executives as part of the SXSW Interactive and Music festivals. SXSW events run from March 11-20.

CTA had executives speak at the event for a number of years and appeared at SXSW for the first time in 2013 by taking booth space on the trade show floor, “but 2014 was our first year holding our own events,” a spokesperson said. “Innovation Policy Day is partner programming with SXSW, so we have a formal agreement with them to hold day-long policy programs. They promote them to their audiences just like any of the other sessions.”

Technology companies such as Samsung and Sony will also attend SXSW to expose their products and brands to the crowds.

In 2015, SXSW attracted 139,500 registered attendees to its conferences and festivals and another 171,200 to its free public events.

Here’s what CTA plans this year:

CTA Meetup: The networking and happy hour event is planned for Sunday, March 13, from 3-5 p.m. at Maggie Mae’s restaurant at 323 East 6th St. Attendees will learn how CTA promotes technology innovation and supports its members through advocacy efforts.

Innovation Policy Day: The event, tackling the topics of starts at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15, at the Parkside restaurant at 301 East 6th St. The event focuses on policies affecting the sharing economy, Internet of Things (IoT), and other technology trends.

   –10 a.m. – Networking Breakfast

   –11 a.m. – The Sharing Economy and the 21st Century Workforce

   –12:00 p.m. – Networking Lunch

   –12:30 p.m. – Is Your Fridge Judging You? Tales from the IoT

   –2 p.m.  – Making Our Tech Look More Like Our Country 

   –3:30 p.m. – The Policies Impacting Drones and the Future of Flight

Interactive and Music Panels: Senior CTA executives will discuss the latest technology trends and policies affecting innovation at the following events:

   –Saturday, March 12 at 11 a.m. – Smart Cars, Smarter Cities: New Transit Tech

   –Sunday, March 13 at 11 a.m. – Get Your Goods: Unmanned Systems and 3D Printing

   –Tuesday, March 15 at 9:30 a.m. – Be the Next Tony Stark

   –Thursday, March 17 at 12:30 p.m. – Hi-Res Audio in Every Earbud

   –Thursday, March 17 at 2 p.m. – 5 Best Startup Ideas in VR/AR

Here are the Policy Day details:

Innovation Policy Day:


The growth of the sharing economy is expanding and changing how and when we work. New platforms like Airbnb, TaskRabbit, Instacart, Lyft and Uber have made it possible for anyone to be an entrepreneur using their own tools, property and resources. This panel will discuss the emergence and growth of these new sharing economy jobs, their impact on the economy and where regulatory oversight may or may not be needed.


  • Arun Sundararajan, Professor and the Robert L. and Dale Atkins Rosen Faculty Fellow, NYU
  • Michael Hayes, Manager, Government Affairs CTA
  • Nick Grossman, General Manager, USV
  • Sarah Leberstein, Legal Fellow, NELP

Innovation Policy Day: Is Your Fridge Judging You? Tales from the IoT


Exploring the Internet of Things – The Challenges and Opportunities’: The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic, will be a key driver of consumer electronics innovations and has enormous implications across every sector of our economy. We’re on the cusp of turning everything “smart” — from our homes to our street corners — but how do we build a market that supports innovation while still protects your right to privacy? This panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities of these technologies and what policymakers need to know.”

  • Mary Brown, Government Affairs Managing Director, Cisco
  • Keith Winstein, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Law, Stanford University  
  • Brian Fung, Tech Reporter, Washington Post
  • Adam Thierer, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center

Innovation Policy Day: Making Our Tech Look More Like Our Country


What is the state of diversity in tech and what we do to remedy this problem and encourage more women and minorities to enter the tech field? Does the tech policy space have the same problem?

  • Lisa Lee, Senior Diversity Manager, Pandora
  • Kimberly Bryant, Founder and Executive Director, Black Girls CODE
  • Adrissha Wimberly, Entrepreneur and Civic Technology Advocate, City of New York  
  • Moderator: Katie McAuliffe, Federal Affairs Manager, Digital Liberty

Innovation Policy Day: The Policies Impacting Drones and the Future of Flight


Drones have the power to revolutionize a multitude of consumer and commercial sectors — in fact, they are well on their way. According to CTA projections, the U.S. drone market will approach $105 million in revenue in 2015 with unit sales expected to reach 700,000, an increase of 63%. However, a number of policy battles could stand in the way of this remarkable technology. This panel will discuss the key issues impacting drones, from innovation and economic impact to safety and privacy.

  • Gretchen West, Senior Advisor of Innovation and Technology, Hogan Lovells
  • Greg McNeal, Co-Founder, AirMap
  • Jon Resnick, Policy Lead, DJI
  • Marke “Hoot” Gibson, Senior Advisor on UAS Integration, FAA

More CTA event details can be found here.