Julie Huls, Founder/CEO
Julie helps smart cities and their business leaders power institutional change fueled by technology and innovation. Ms. Huls has twenty years of experience in management and strategic initiatives and a track record of engaging and strengthening relationships with the business and community stakeholders required to execute on bold visions. Ms. Huls has served as President and CEO of the Austin Technology Council, an association that represented 300 Central Texas technology companies, their executives and $29 billion in annual regional economic impact. While at the Tech Council, Ms. Huls led regional technology CXOs, and startup entrepreneurs through the strategic planning process, conducted the first regional technology economic impact study, negotiated the first tech industry partnership with the city of Austin, and launched the annual CEO Summit, a regional leadership platform event that consistently garnered national media attention. While at ATC, Julie served on the Board of Directors at the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), an international organization for CEOs leading technology industry advocacy and educational associations. She has also served as CEO of the DoSeum, a STEM education organization and children’s museum in San Antonio.
Brian Kelsey, Economic Development Strategy
Brian Kelsey is an economic development researcher and consultant who brings to every research challenge a rare combination of deep analytical thinking and the ability to explain complex information in simple terms. He has helped clients of all sizes—from rural communities to the White House—design, execute, and evaluate the results of economic development strategies.
Brian is the principal and founder of Nashville-based Civic Analytics LLC and recently served as chief strategy officer for two mayors there. He has completed projects for more than fifty clients across the U.S., including a study of Austin’s technology sector that was quoted by President Obama in a 2013 speech. In 2012, Brian was awarded a gold medal from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the agency’s highest honorary recognition, for creating an “unprecedented platform for coordinating Federal economic development efforts” at the Economic Development Administration. From 2012 to 2016, Brian was an adjunct instructor at The University of Texas at Austin, where he taught graduate students about economic development research, strategy, and finance.
Jeremy Jensen, Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Jeremy is an entrepreneur, consultant, and community builder with 10+ years of experience creating thriving ecosystems across public, private, and academic sectors.
Early in his career, Jeremy worked under Governor and Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr as a Senior International Trade Representative for the Utah Office of Economic Development, where he orchestrated trade missions and public/private partnerships between the state of Utah and several Latin American groups of entrepreneurs, high-level diplomats, and federal economic development offices.
As an MBA graduate student at American University (AU) in Washington, DC, Jeremy played a key role in launching one of the nation’s top 20 entrepreneurship centers, the AU Center for Innovation, which serves as a research/education hub, incubator, and investment fund for students and the wider DC entrepreneurship ecosystem. There he also served as President of the AU Entrepreneurs Club, where he brought together hundreds of innovative students, local entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists by facilitating workshops, training, and pitch competitions.
After graduate school, Jeremy’s interests led him to roles as a management consultant and as a New Market Strategist for one of the world’s largest tech companies for connecting startup founders, the CoFoundersLab. There he launched the Austin, TX and New York, NY markets by leveraging grassroots community building techniques to aggregate resources and networking tools for early-stage entrepreneurs.
Jeremy is currently leading Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Design at the Waymaker Group, and is the founder of Outwild, a company that has helped thousands of people leverage design thinking and entrepreneurship to build fulfilling and sustainable lifestyles.
“The Waymaker Group brings the combined power of insight and collaborative leadership required to take innovation economies forward.”
“Waymaker Group has become a trusted partner to Kenosha industry and civic leaders and helped us quicken the pace on a critical project that will transform our community’s economy. They push our market to position from our strengths, to think bigger about the region’s future and are sensitive to our community’s dynamics.”
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