The Importance & Impact of Team & Culture 


October 17, 2013 from 9:00 AM to Noon

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Texas State University Round Rock Campus 
1555 University Blvd.
Room 252
Austin, TX 78665

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Donna Taylor 
Texas State SBDC 
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Teaming is fundamental.  To the start, growth, life and exit of a business.  So what’s the secret sauce to finding, developing and keeping the right team?  And, what consequences can result from unsuccessful efforts to team? 

Join the Texas State SBDC Spectrum guest presenters to learn:

  • How to find the right co-founders, partners and key hires 
  • Creative ways to vet co-founders and others
  • How to set the intention for culture
  • Extended view of team (strategic partners, investors, mentors, customers & staff)
  • How culture can make or break your company
  • The unobservable elements of culture vs. window dressing
  • Maintaining team and culture in the face of growth
  • Lessons learned from local companies identified as great places to work

Here's what attendees had to say about the first Spectrum Knowledge Transfer event on Intellectual Property last month:


"Well, I do not usually put all 5's on these sort of things because it looks fake, but this particular presentation- from the speakers' practical insight to the event's organization-  was phenomenal.  If anything, we needed more time.  Phenomenal presentation.  Thank you."

"Great stuff!!  This would have cost me $3,000 with my patent attorney!!"

"A wonderful high level and informative overview of IP providing necessary information to proceed to more detailed actions."

Jason Seats Jason Seats is the Managing Director of Techstars in Austin. Before moving to Austin to lead this new Techstar endeavor, Jason was Managing Director of the Techstars Cloud program.  In 2010, Jason joined Techstars from Rackspace where he was VP of software development for Rackspace Cloud, managing the company’s cloud engineering teams.  Slicehost, an early cloud computing hosting company formed by Jason and co-founder Matt Tanase, was acquired in 2008 by Rackspace to become the core for the company’s initial Cloud Servers product.  Jason holds a B.S. degree from Saint Louis University.

Paul O'Brien

Just a few years ago, at the behest of Silicon Valley's venture community, Paul O’Brien relocated from California to Austin’s start-up mecca.  In San Jose and San Francisco, O'Brien launched a series of startups in local search, crowdsourcing, web-based accounting, payments, and social intelligence. 

Now in Austin, he continues his work as a growth hacker and fractional CMO; consulting with ventures of all sizes through scale, stages, and pivots, and serves as an advisor to organizations such as ATI and Fovnders. 

O'Brien frequently speaks throughout Austin on topics of innovation, startup culture, economic development, and fund raising and takes a special interest in working with industry changing startups, stagnant established companies, and even cities; exploring the roles that environments, culture, and the architecture of businesses, play in market and economic development.  He’s easily found online as SEO’Brien.

Paula Soileau

Paula Soileau is co-founder and CEO of Affintus, Inc., an Austin-based software-as-a-service company launched in 2008.  Affintus provides predictive assessments of personality and cognitive ability, enabling business to identify job candidates who are most likely to be successful. 

Ms. Soileau’s mission to help companies hire the right people is driven by a passion resulting from 22+ years of financial management and executive experience and her constant drive to help organizations improve productivity, maximize resources and ultimately improve the bottom line. 

A successful business strategist and leader, Ms. Soileau has guided executive teams of several businesses and organizations from operating losses to profitability.  She is a Certified CPA and holds both a Bachelor and Master degree from Northeast Louisiana University.

Case Study:

  drillinginfo logo

Drillinginfo has been recognized as one of Austin's "Top Work Places" for three years running, is one of Austin's 50 fastest growing companies 9 years in a row and their CEO, Allen Gilmer, was a winner in Ernst & Young's 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year contest. They're obviously doing a lot of things right! We'll get the inside story on the factors that lead to their success.

Casey Amidon, PHR, is the Human Resources Manager at Drillinginfo. She oversees all HR operations globally and is focused on leading Human Resources to be a strategic business partner. She has been with the company for almost five years, and in that time the company has seen tremendous growth and organizational change. Casey is an HR leader with strong knowledge in employee engagement, training and development, and employee relations. She has a professional certification in the Birkman Method, and she received her B.A. from Colgate University.


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The Texas State Small Business Development Center is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the SBA through such funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any of the co–sponsors’ or participants’ opinions, findings, conclusions, recommendations, products, or services. All SBDC programs are nondiscriminatory and open to the public. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least two weeks in advance. Email:, Phone: 512.610.0996