Everyone loves Austin, but as much as people want to try and make Austin like Silicon Valley, it's not.  We believe that Austin is in a unique time and place where its culture, population growth, startup ecosystem and entrepreneurial spirit make it one of the most attractive cities for SmartCities startups and investors to be in.  Our hope is that SmartAustin can help make that a reality for Austin.

SmartAustin is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.



Barak Epstein is a technology industry strategist who guides enterprises and start-ups on portfolio management, marketing strategy, and communications.  He has worked in tech for six years and worked in education/education research for a decade before that.  Barak is passionate about analytics and communications, and leverages his varied background to deliver on those fronts.  He holds a BA and M.Ed. from George Washington University and an MBA from Rutgers University, as well as a certificate in Data Mining from Texas A&M.

Jonathan Ha is a product and business leader with a track record of driving innovation and profitable growth with both startups and global technology companies.  He has over 15 years of product management, marketing, and strategy experience  productizing concepts and successfully bringing new technology solutions to market. Jonathan holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from Rice University.


John Kennedy is a seasoned mobility and transportation leader advancing programs and policies to enhance the quality and efficiency of the urban form.  He has a rich background serving as a the Vice President of Mobility at the Downtown Austin Alliance, senior policy analyst for the US Department of Transportation and policy advisor for the White House Domestic Policy Council.  John holds BJ, BA, MPAff and MSCRP degrees in Journalism, Public Affairs, Community and Regional Planning and Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

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