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Department of State Visits Jackrabbit

By May 2, 2017 No Comments

Last week, the U.S. Department of State visited Jackrabbit to learn more about entrepreneurship and innovation in Austin.

nina ho, jackrabbit, labs, austin, innovationOrganized by the Foreign Press Center, the USDS led a reporting tour on “American Innovation and Entrepreneurship” with 18 international journalists – hailing from countries such as Brazil, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Vietnam. The journalists were selected by U.S. embassies and consulates abroad and represented print, broadcast, and online news outlets.

The goal of the reporting tour was to highlight the diversity of American entrepreneurship and innovation, and the group made stops in Raleigh, Austin, and San Diego.

On their whirlwind 2-day tour of Austin, the Department of State visited The University of Texas at Austin, The Texas Tribune, Galvanize, Silicon Hill News, Capital Factory, 3 Day Startup, and Jackrabbit.

During their time at the Jackrabbit office, we discussed what made Austin unique as an entrepreneurial ecosystem – collaboration-driven, sharing of resources and networks, bootstrap culture, etc. – and how Jackrabbit is a product of this unique environment. We talked about how innovation comes from intentionality in building culture, and the lens through which we define culture are relationships, environment, and mindsets. (You can check out our slides below to learn more.)

After the presentation, we broke out into groups, and our developers demoed the Labs projects they’ve built. Hunter showed the international journalists Augmented Reality Cornhole, which did require some cultural explanation as to why Americans enjoy throwing bean bags at wooden boards in front of their lawns. Matt who built Watch Control – an Apple Watch that controls a drone through gestures – was also a big hit.

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After demos, we opened up the floor to Q&A, and leadership shared more about Jackrabbit’s origin story, the company’s roots coming from Capital Factory and 3 Day Startup, and what we hope to accomplish moving forward.

Finally, we headed to Brew & Brew for an Entrepreneur Happy Hour as the sun set over the downtown skyline – an uber-Austin way to end the day. 

Our team had a great time hosting the Department of State and journalists, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to rep Austin entrepreneurship to an international community!

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