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German company funded to become the WhatsApp for employee messaging

(TECH NEWS) Chat apps have been a staple for online communication, and a new one from Germany is hoping to take the top spot from WhatsApp.

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chat app Flip

It’s insane how many chat programs there are out there.

There’s iMessage/texting, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Messaging, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and so much more. But one thing I think is pretty comical is chat trends within businesses and how this kind of software has affected the market.

To give some background, about 2 decades ago, chat was incredibly popular. You probably remember AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). This was the first online chat tool I used to stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues.

In the late 90s all the way through the 2000s, chat was the thing – all the cool kids did it. Of course, most programs were pretty primitive in the early years, only offering group chat and direct messaging.

Despite their popularity, though, chat systems had a brief moment where they faded into the background, which lead to an eventual closure of otherwise popular chat software. Most recently, AIM, which had been holding on by a thread for years, closed after 20 years.

Now, it makes perfect sense why AIM closed. They weren’t able to compete with other devices that had similar built-in programs, like Apple’s iMessage. Eventually, desktop chat’s popularity became a thing of the past. But now we’re seeing a mass resurgence of chat features as businesses and marketers-alike realize the immense power chat software has in a variety of applications.

For example, in the newest wave of online retail selling (eCommerce), which has quickly become a flooded market, companies are looking to differentiate themselves by not only providing your average support (email and phone) but also by including customer-facing chat software, like Zendesk Chat (previously Zopim) and LiveChat, for their customers.

eCommerce is growing in popularity pretty quickly, and given recent trends where businesses are focused on immediate assistance, it only makes sense why they’d consider utilizing chat to assist their customers, and in turn, earn more sales.

But, although this background gives you some color to the history of chat and messaging software, that’s not exactly what this story is about.

In recent years, especially during the explosion of startups, it has become incredibly clear that companies can easily become tangled in their own company structure.

Sometimes companies hire off shore, sometimes they hire remote workers, and sometimes they simply have departments that are so separated, they never communicate with each other. For example, when I worked at Apple in Austin, Texas (2013-2014), in a large building with 4 floors and thousands of employees spread out all over, it was critical that I kept in touch with my immediate co-workers and other departments.

Apple’s solution (an elegant one at the time) was to suggest we use their native messaging software, iMessage, but even then, I noticed some serious drawbacks. Aside from the many missing valuable features, such as the ability to connect productivity applications (or any applications for that matter) and create more robust, specific group chats, the tool just didn’t feel like something we should be using in a corporate setting, let alone a startup.

And that’s around the time I started to notice new chat software, like Slack, enter the world – software that would improve communication between departments and co-workers, as well as offer the ability to connect important tools via API and, eventually through “app marketplaces”. The shift to app marketplaces was a great one, too, because before it existed (created in 2015), you had to be a developer to make apps work with the tool.

Because of all of this functionality, and the extreme need to stay in touch with all sorts of people that relate to your company or job, Slack has quickly become the chat provider. So much so that it’s now basically a household name and is being expanded to support like-minded communities, like what’s shown on the Medium.com site. In fact, I can confidently say that chat has come full circle in its popularity, for all sorts of applications.

But with Slack growing at an exponential speed (it’s in Silicon Valley’s hall of fame as the fastest growing business app), I’ve often wondered if there are any tools out there that could compare. So far, I’ve not found one, but a recent announcement by Tech Crunch proves that there are other companies out there who are trying to enter the company communication market. One such company, Flip, who is run by CEO Benedikt Ilg, is a Germany-based employee communication application that may fit the bill.

The company was founded in 2018 and received a whopping $4M in funding. They aim to connect employees and teams through their robust application, which offers features such as a personalized business-related news feeds, employee-specific profiles, cross-platform support, personalized branding, and of course, chatting via their messenger tool. They also brag about their security features, an ever-growing concern amongst most business owners.

According to their website, the company employs 19 people and a pretty adorable dog named Hazel (Chief Happiness Officer). It doesn’t look like the app is readily available to the public yet, but I can only hope it will be soon, as they start to use their funding, which was meant to hire more employees and to expand in general.

According to Tech Crunch, “The startup has now secured customers including Porsche, Bauhaus, Edeka, Junge IG Metall and Wüstenrot & Württembergische. Parts of Sparkasse and Volksbank are also among the customer base. Deutsche Telekom is also a partner.”

Needless to say, once this application becomes available, I’ll definitely test it out to compare to my current toolset, which mostly consists of Slack and associated apps/connections.

With any company, communication between departments is crucial to keep all aspects of it working like a well-oiled machine.

Rachael Olan is a Texas-based Staff Writer at The American Genius and jack-of-many-trades. She's well known for her abilities in Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service, with a focus on SaaS and eCommerce businesses. Outside of writing, Rachael spends much of her time with her swarm of pets, including a 70 lb tortoise named Frankie.

Tech News

Ultimate list of Austin women who can speak at your tech event (or podcast)

(TECH) Event organizers don’t always know where to look when hoping to improve diversity, so here are hundreds of Austin women ready to get involved!

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austin women in tech

UPDATE: During the COVID-19 outbreak most conferences are shut down, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t contact these women to speak with or for you on podcasts, or as blog guests, or in video form. They are willing to help when it is needed most, so reach out. We have also added a Defense Tech category, so check it out!!

Have you ever been to a tech event and were struck by the lack of women on panels? Not any of our events of course, but it happens, and in Austin, we don’t believe it is intentional. Yet it still happens.

Instead of complain and move on, we’re doing something about it by publishing a list of women that have raised their hands, ready to get involved!

Click to tweet: “There are no more excuses for events without women speakers, here are several hundred in Austin tech ready to help!”

We intend on updating this list from time to time, so check back for more names, or add yours if you’re interested.

This isn’t any sort of speaker agreement, just a list of people that identify as female that are willing to step in to speak on their areas of expertise. Austin is a cool town to be involved in, and we’re proud to be headquartered here!!

The categories are: Business Development and/or Sales, Creative, Defense, Development and/or Engineering, Finance and/or Investing, IT and/or Programming, Marketing and/or Media, Non-Profit and/or Academia, Operations and/or Management, Security and/or Tech Law, UX/UI Research and/or Design.

It was difficult for each person to select only one category that describes them (for example, I tend to speak on marketing, but my title is COO, so I am listed under “Operations / Management”), so click around to find a good fit for your event.

Business Development and/or Sales

Allison Ramsey
CEO & Founder, Empire Life

Amber Gunst
CEO, Austin Technology Council

Angela Frackowiak
Sales Development Manager, MobileIron

Ashelena Leveille
Program Manager, Customer Success, SolarWinds

Azucena Perez
Vice President, Mentor Program, Ceresa

Brittani McCall
Co-founder & Chief Revenue Officer, BrightReps

Christina Trapolino
Enterprise Solutions Engineer, Monetate

Christol “Dominica” McGinnis
CEO, The BridgeField Group

Cindy Goldsberry
Revenue & Relationships Partner, Investor, Author, Higher State Technology

Cindy Y. Lo, DMCP
CEO & Chief Event Strategist, Red Velvet Events

Corina Frankie
CEO & Founder, Brand Besties

Courtney Doman
Director of Sales Engineering, Khoros

Dawn Delatte
Designer & Managing Director at thoughtbot

Elisa Sepulveda
Regional Managing Director, The Riveter

Emily Roberson McCoy
Director of Circular Economy Programs, US Business Council for Sustainable Development

Grace Lanni
CEO, All About That Brand

Irene Brinker
CEO/Founder, Devali

Janet Zaretsky
BS-to-Brilliance Master, Empowered Women Enterprises, LLC

Jennifer Archambeault
Broker/Owner

Jennifer Monk Lin
Principal Product Manager, IBM Cloud

Kadi Grigg
DevSecOps Advocate, Sonatype

Kaitlyn DeBernardo
Head of Strategy, RigUp

Kana LiVolsi
CEO & Co-Founder, Dos Mundos Creative

Kristin Harrison
Inside Sales Representative: Western United States, Asia Pacific, and The Americas, System Surveyor

Laura Webb
SVP, Sales & Marketing, Tailwind

Marissa Limsiaco
President & Co-Founder, Tenavox

Miriam Arora
Sales Manager, Saba Software

Natalie Yerkovich
Founder & CEO, Hello Mailbox

Nicole Forbes
Sr Strategic Partner Manager, BigCommerce

Paige Drews
VP of Sales, Indio Technologies

Patti DeNucci
DeNucci & Co LLC / The Intentional Networker

Phoebe Nygren
Corporate Account Executive, Box

Rochelle Gonzalez
Senior Sales Executive, Shogun

Sabrina Wojtewicz
Regional Executive Director, Bunker Labs

Shaydi DeJesus
City Lead (Southwest Region), Bunker Labs

Sierra Bailey
Business Strategist, Doers Shakers Makers

Sierra Bloodgood
Partner, Guinn Partners

Sloan Foster
CMO, Kuware

Teri Kelly
Chief Revenue Officer, Valkyrie

Valerie Archer
Partner Development Director, BuildFax

Creative

Amy Weissgarber
Creative Director/Photographer

AprilJo Murphy
Writer and Editor

Ashland Viscosi
Founder, Creatives Meet Business

Emily Leach
Founder, The Freelance Conference

Gracie Arenas Strittmatter
Technical Art Director, EA/BioWare

Jan Bozarth
Chief Creative Officer + Founder, Dreameroo

Kristen Dunn
Graphic Designer + Illustrator, Kristen Dunn Media

Kirtana Banskota
Founder, Banskota Productions

Liz Feezor
Founder and Principal, Liz Feezor Creative

Lizette Resendez
Associate Creative Director, Oracle

Madhavi Rao
Chief Strategy Officer, Valkyrie Intelligence

Melanie Sexton
Learning and Experience Designer, Sonatype

Michu Benaim Steiner
Partner and creative chief, In-House Intl.

Dr. Mickra Hamilton
CEO, Apeiron Zoh Corporation

Roanna Flowers
Program Developer, Strategy & Story

Samantha Soper
Freelance Creative & UX Strategist, WP Developer, Illustrator

Sarabeth Flowers Lewis
Freelance SaaS Copywriter, Lewis Commercial Writing

Sequoyah Johnson
Artist & Teacher

Shannon Lea
Certified Coach, Strengths Strategy, Inc.

Sheana Firth
Principal, Breakaway Graphics LLC

Sheri Graner Ray
Sr. Game Designer

Vana Ash
Designer & Photographer, Vana Ash Creative

Defense Tech

Macon Field
Principal, Macon Strategies | Consultant, National Advanced Mobility Consortium

Samanth Snables
Cofounder, re:3D

Maggie Engler
Lead Data Scientist, Global Disinformation Index

Development and/or Engineering

Alyss Noland
Senior Developer Advocate, Box

Anna Chaney
Engineering Director – Machine Learning, Resideo

Anne Jude Hunt
VP and Head of Product, Medici

Annie Hsieh
Dev Lead, Square Root

Bindiya Mansharamani
Director of Engineering, Rigup

Brandy Keller
Senior Director of Product Management and Product Marketing, Community Brands

Brittany Hicks
Founder, BrightAngle

Candace Ohm
Senior Business Intelligence Developer, DOSH

Caitlin Hudon
Lead Data Scientist, OnlineMedEd

Caroline Gorman
Sr. Product Manager, Dosh

Cheryl Tulkoff
Director of Corporate Quality, National Instruments

Claire Bingham
Software Engineer (Mobile Android), HomeAway

Dana Lachman
Front End Engineer, HomeAway

Dana Vantrease
Hardware Tech Lead, Amazon Web Services

Dianni Ortegon
Product Manager, Khoros

Emily Bartha
Senior Data Scientist, The Zebra

Erin Randall
Principal Coach – Agile, Ad Meliora Coaching

Ezinne Udezue
VP of Product Management, Procore

Ginger Johnson
Principal, GSJohnson PLLC

Giselle Valenzuela Aldridge
Founder, Colossians Consulting

Happiness Garber
Senior Technology Analyst and Design Strategist, City of Austin

Jamy Squillace
Director of Product Management, uShip

Jaya Zenchenko
Principal Data Guru, ZenBusiness PBC

Karen Posada
Senior Front End Engineer, Nav Inc.

Katie McNeil
Software Engineer, Senseye

Kim My Cao
Senior Engineer, Software DevOps & Automation, Dover Fueling Solutions

Krista Goralczyk
Senior Frontend Engineer, The Zebra

Kristen Beane
Product Manager, Rooster Teeth Games

Lydia Guarino
Senior Engineer, data.world

Lynn Riley
CIO, Kilroy Blockchain

Mandy Lowry
Lead Programmer/Co-Founder Black Hive Media

Megan Oertel
Director of Analytics, SyscoLABS

Melissa Eaden
QA Manager, Unity Technologies

Melissa Von Holstein
Senior Product Manager, The Zebra

Molly Mae Potter
Director – Client Engineering Operations, Dell

Muna Hussaini
Senior Manager – DevOps Transformation, PayPal

Mya Pitzeruse
Senior Software Engineer, Indeed.com

Nancy Kinney
Infrastructure Specialist at United States Veterans Corps

Nicole Bryan
VP Product Development, Tasktop Technologies

Numa Dhamani
Machine Learning Engineer, Yonder

Olivia Hayes
Director of Product, FetchMD

Rita Hewitt
Sr. Product Manager, Cvent

Robin Dykema
UI Engineer, Taulia

Robin Reynolds
Senior Director of Product, uShip & Founder, Roots and Revival

Sanchi Srivastava
Data Scientist, Dell Technologies

Sara Inés Calderón
Sr. React Native Engineer, Tribl & musx

Sarah Colby
Reverse Engineering Tool Developer, Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative

Sarah King
Director of Product, Molecula

Siobhan Burch
Software Engineer, HomeAway

Tasha McCarter
Manager of Development, SunPower Corporation

Taylor Barnett
Senior Community Engineer, Transposit

Tess Snider
Owner/Programmer, Hidden Achievement

Tulsi Dharmarajan
SVP Product & Technology, Verb

Wendy LeFevre
Data Science Manager, RigUp

Finance and/or Investing

Claire England
Kauffman Fellow and Early-Stage Investor

Kerry Rupp
General Partner, True Wealth Ventures

Mari Ramirez
Owner/CPA

Meredith Butterfield
Principal Data Scientist, Valkyrie Intelligence

Sara T Brand
Founding General Partner, True Wealth Ventures

Shaydi DeJesus
City Lead & SoGal Austin Lead, Bunker Labs Austin

Tina Cannon
Executive Director, Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce

IT and/or Programming

Angela Mendenhall
Business Systems Engineering, AVP

Danielle Cooper
Software Engineering Manager, Dematic

Emilie Yeager
Director of Product & Software Engineering, Curb

Emily Cogsdill
Senior Data Insight Analyst, HomeAway

Jessica Salinas
Content & Collaboration Manager, Cloudera

Julie Varghese
Digital Product Manager, H-E-B

Magdalena Vial
Sr. Manager, IT Strategy & Business Operations, Forcepoint

Sara Hall
Advisor, Valkyrie Intelligence

Sasha Parsons
Associate Product Manager, Indeed

Spencer Unangst
IT Business Operations, Forcepoint

Marketing and/or Media

Ada Ryland
Earlystage Startup Founder Trainer/Coach

Alexis Davis
Founder, The Content Plug

Alicia Palomares
Digital Marketing Analyst, Kadence Digital

Alix Morrow
Chief Make-It-Happenator at AlixCompany LLC

Amanda Powell
Director of Marketing, DigitalMarketer

Amy Lemen
Product Marketing Manager – Cloud, Blue Prism

Andrea Bridges-Smith
Global Product Marketing Manager, HomeAway

Angelica Erazo
Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, Oracle

Annie Thompson
President, Executive Producer, Pen + Prue Productions

Ashley Jennings
Director of Entrepreneurship, College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas

Ashley Malcom
Paid Media Manager, uShip

Becky Trevino
Vice President Product Marketing, Snow Software

Cara Caulkins
Founder and President, Cara Caulkins Communications

Catherine Jewell
Head Coach, The Career Passion Coach

Caroline Gormley
Lifecycle Marketing Strategist, Freelance

Casey Taylor
Analytics Consultant

Cathy Tilton
Founder, Digital Creative

Christa Tuttle
CEO, Launch Marketing

Christina Linnell
Social Media Community Manager, Indeed

Christina Freeman
Director of Product (Marketing Growth), The Zebra

Cristina Oliver
Senior Director of Communications, LCRA

Christy Leger Kirby
Strategy Director, Khoros

Corina Kellam
Director, Omnichannel Strategy, W2O Group

Courtney Lowell
Head of Corporate Communications and PR, Silvercar

Crystal Rivera
Senior Associate, Digital Marketing, Silicon Valley Bank

Crystal Towns
Vice President of Marketing, Feniex Industries

Dakota Lowe
Freelancer and Social Media Manager, Khoros

Dana Marruffo
Freelance PR/Principal BuzzPR

Dana Rygwelski
Director of Communications + Ecosystem, MassChallenge Texas

Dara Quackenbush
Account Executive, Business Wire

Deanna Ramirez
Owner, Marketing & Project Management Agency

Deb Gabor
CEO, Sol Marketing

Donnet Bruce
Integrated Marketing Manager, Freelance

Elisa Leichty
Owner and Digital Marketer, Heavy Fuel

Erica Lanyon
Vice President of Marketing, Zello

Erin Wike
Career Coach & Lecturer, The University of Texas

Fran Harris
CEO, Fran Harris Enterprises, LLC

Grace Lanni
All About That Brand

Haley Martis
Global Event Operations, Dell

Hope Ruiz
Marketing Specialist, SolarWinds

Hudaina Baig
Account Director, SocialWithin

Jacqueline Riedmann
Vice President, Amoura Productions

Jenn Deering Davis
VP, Global Communications, Content & Brand, Cision

Jenny Magic
Consultant, Convince & Convert

Jenny (Ryan) Ragusa
Head of Product Marketing, data.world

Jodi Bart Holzband
Owner, Classic Bart PR + Communications

Joleen Jernigan
Writer & Social Media Manager, Reach Social Media

Josefina Casati
Consultant

Julie Niehoff
Founder, Distance Learning Media

Kathleen Lucente
Founder & President, Red Fan Communications

Kat Mandelstein
Director of Marketing, PwC

Kelly Rohm
Global Data Center Integration Manager, Dell Financial Services

Kelly Treybig
Videographer

Kelsey Hayenga
Marketing Events Manager, PostUp

Kim Carpenter
Founder, World Changing Women

Kristina Smith-Puerto
Social Selling Program Manager, NetSuite

Lani Dame
Agile Marketing Coach, IBM

Laura Furr
Owner, Lollipop Social Media

Laura Russell
Director of Strategy, Adlucent

Laurie Felker Jones
Founder + CEO, JuceBox Hero

Lauren Mireles
Integrated Marketing Manager, Americas at National Instruments

Leslie Wingo
President/CEO, Sanders\Wingo

Lisa Boe
Senior Marketing Communications and Strategic Design Consultant

Lisa Friedrich
SEO Manager, uShip

Lisa O’Neill
Principal, Breakaway Public Relations

LuAnn Glowacz
Executive Ghostwriter & Chief Word Nerd, WordCove, LLC

Lydia Fiedler
Community and Website Manager

Marcy Comer
VP Marketing, Dosh

Marny Lifshen
Author/Speaker, Marny Lifshen Communications

Mary Ann Azevedo
Reporter, Crunchbase News

Mary Ann Roser
Founder & Chief, Roser Prose, LLC

Meagan Dobson
Coach, Consultant, Marketer and Evangelist, Future of Work

Megan Headley
VP of Research, TrustRadius

Melanie Wise
Principal, MW Marketing Consulting

Melina Moreno
Founder, Social Ads Made Simple

Melinda Garvey
Founder, Austin Woman magazine and On The Dot

Melissa Lopez
Sr. Global Talent Acquisition Specialist, AMD

Meredith Rose Howard
Global Social and Digital Lead, Deloitte

Michael Manning
VP of Marketing, Ebco

Michelle Loughry
Director of Marketing, Envision Creative

Michelle Stinson Ross
Marketing Operations Director, Apogee Results

Michelle Williams
Paid Media, Aceable

Molly Gardner
Content Manager, Mutual Mobile

Monica Teredesai
Product Management, ObjectSolutions, Inc.

Nammy Sirur
Cofounder, The 9to5 MisFits and MisFit Communications

Nerissa Sardi
VP of Marketing, Galileo Learning Innovation Camps for Kids

Nichele Lindstrom
Director of Digital, Whole Foods Market

Nicole Beck
PR Manager, The Zebra

Nicole Boynton
Director of Education, Texas National Title

Nicole Cook
Social Media Training, Schmooze Networking

Noreen Vincent
Marketing and Ecommerce Consultant

Pavi S Dinamani
Cofounder, The 9to5 MisFits and MisFit Communications

Piper LeMoine
Web Developer, AT&T Cybersecurity

Rachel Jamail
Site Lead, Facebook

Rachel B. Lee
Sr. Brand Manager, Gartner

Rachel Truair
Director of Global Enterprise Campaigns, Adobe

Rachelle McWright
Social Media Community Manager, Emerson

Samantha Rae Lopez
Social Media Strategist, Khoros

Sarah Boyd
Principal & Marketing Strategist, Confido Marketing

Sarah L Cook
Director of Marketing, Caringo Inc.

Sarah A. Parker
Content Marketing Manager, Cision

Sarah Wong
Social Media Coordinator, The Hollis Co.

Shayda Torabi
Co Founder of RESTART CBD

Shilpa Bakre
Communications Strategist, UT at Austin

Traci Koller Mazurek
Supervisor and Team Lead, Social Media & Digital, INK Communications Co.

Tracy Cooper
Drupal Digital Marketing, SEO, & Analytics, Volacci Marketing

Tzatzil LeMair
Account Director, Sensis

Upasna Gautam
Product Management, CNN/WarnerMedia

Valerie Whitmore
Founder & Director of Marketing, CDKitchen, Inc.

Vickie Flaugher
Founder, Content Enterprises

Wendy Covey
CEO and Co-Founder, TREW Marketing

Whitney Magnuson
Global Head of Social Media & Influencer Marketing, IBM

Yaneli Rubio
Global Product Marketing Manager, HomeAway

Non-Profit and/or Academia

Amanda Myers
Vice President of Product Management, Personify

Amenity Applewhite
Product Manager, City of Austin

Audrey Cisneros
Technical Trainer, IDEA Public Schools

Beverly Hamilton
Principal, Small But Mighty Consulting

Carol Ramsey
Computer Science Manager, UTeach

Estefanita Jaselle Valdez
Instructional Designer, Aceable

Gina Helfrich
Program Officer for Global Technology Programs, Internews

Geeta Shukla
Associate Director of Services, CoPilot powered by College Forward

Kelly Mayberry
Business Consultant, Ngage Live Chat

Leigh Petersen
Business Analyst, HomeAway

Lesley Robinson
COO, CALSO Community Inc. / INCO US

Maggie Cameron
Director of Enterprise Products, Personify

Patty Prado
Project Manager, Leadership Development & Assessment, Dell Medical School

Rachel Kubicki Collins
Chief Development Officer, Marathon Kids

Sarah Ortiz Shields
Executive Director, Austin Tech Alliance

Sylvia Butanda
Deputy Executive Director, Latinitas

Yasmin Diallo Turk
Project Director, HOPE for Senegal

Operations and/or Management

Alexandria Porter
Founder & CEO, Volumer & Underminer Studios

Alora Chistiakoff
President, Firebird Summit

Amanda Kirchem
Technical Program Manager, Cvent

Amber Bass
Vice President, Integreon

Amy Noack
Customer Success, Olono

Anna Miller
Owner & President, Higher State Technology

Anna Robinson
CEO & Founder, CERESA

Angela Melpolder
Human Resources Generalist, Cvent

Anita Tavakley
Client and Customer Success

Anna Dickerson
Director of Marketing and Operations, The Agent School

Ashley Connell
Founder, Prowess Project

Ashley Perryman
Director of Global Talent Management at Epicor Software

Barbary Brunner
Executive Vice President, Denary LLC

Beth Yehaskel
VP of Customer Success, Jungle Scout

Brooke Olson
Recruiter, Rooster Teeth

Carla Carrasco
Strategy Analyst, Indeed.com

Chelle Honiker
CEO, Athenia Creative, LLC

Chris Benevich
Program Manager, Design Thinking Austin

Christine Bolaños
Freelance Journalist

Clarissa Fuselier
Operations Manager, Bazaarvoice

Courtney Langdon
Knowledge Manager, Q2 eBanking

Cynthia Balusek
VP, Global Customer Support

Deborah Mendelson
CEO, Founder, Bouyant

Deeksha Srinath
Product Experience, CURB, Inc.

Elise Graham Kennedy
Honey & Vinegar, Founder

Fo Neale-May
Vice President, Lending Operations, Kasasa

Heather Le
Cofounder, Candidly

Jami Caruso
Director of Customer Happiness, uShip

Jennifer Haston
Founder, Haston Helping Hands

Jessica Miller-Merrell
CEO, Workology

Kaneisha Grayson
Founder & CEO, The Art of Applying

Katie Stephens
CEO & Founder, MakeCrate

Kelsi Cochran
Head of People, Everlywell

Kristin Steiner
Digital Lifecycle Services Manager, Emerson Automation Solutions

Lani Rosales
COO at The American Genius

Lauren Goldstein
Founder, Golden Key Partnership

Lav Chintapalli
CEO & Leadership Coach, Pathway Power; Founder, Women Leaders Rising

Lindsay Cooper
Senior Project Manager, Handsome

Lisa Andrade
CEO, M33

Lisa Besserman
Head of Program – Incubator, Indeed; CEO & Founder, Startup Buenos Aires

Lisa Novak
Head of talent, data.world

Mandalyn McDaniel
Data Analyst, FEMA

Marisa Goldenberg
CEO, Skyvera

Melissa Arnett
Business Intelligence Program Manager, Oracle

Melissa Moloney
Senior Manager, Accenture

Micaela Eller
Sr Agile Transformation Leader, IBM

Mirrya Huszka
Director of Program Management, Entegris

Mojdeh Gharbi
Co-Owner/VP of Marketing & Operations, Certain Affinity

Monica Cornetti
CEO Sententia Gamification

Nada Lulic
Head of Human Resources and Talent, SpyCloud

Nancy Maxfield-Wilson
Chief Resilience Officer, MyMaxPerformance LLC

Nicole Tanzillo
Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder of CERESA

Oktavia Merazga
Talent Analytics Manager, Hintt

Rebecca Clay
Enterprise Sales Engineer, data.world

Renee Trepagnier
VP Operations, Aunt Bertha

Renee Trudeau
Founder & President, Renee Trudeau

RM Harrison
Career Pivot Consultant

Rachelle Oribio
CEO & Founder at ValorUp

Raechele Greenwald
Founder + CEO, Software Sandbox

Renée Hopkins
Head of Global Workforce Planning & Analytics, Facebook

Sara Canaday
Leadership + keynote speaker, Sara Canaday & Associates

Sarah Figge
Director, Customer Success, Khoros

Sarah Roche
Digital Project Manager, Charles Schwab

Shelley Delayne
Founder, Orange Coworking

Siri Chakka
Co-founder, Reset

Sophia Dozier
Diversity and Inclusion Leader, IBM

Syd Markle
Agile Coach, IBM

Theresa Kushner
Partner, Business Data Leadership

Tracy Hennessy
Director of Delivery, Handsome

Unji Udeshi
Director of Global Customer Marketing, HomeAway

Vaishali Jadhav
Program Manager, Global Manager Development, Indeed

Valerie Figlin
Program/Project Manager, Facebook

Vickie Sokol Evans
Founder, RedCape Co.

Victoria Sherman
Partner/Head of Global Operations, The Lonely Entrepreneur

Vi Nguyen
CEO and cofounder, Homads

Zinni Jha
Business Strategy Lead, Data Optimization, Transunion

Security and/or Tech Law

Cheska Lesaca
Paralegal

Karen M Landolt
Lecturer, The University of Texas at Austin

Laura Frederick
Senior Counsel, Tesla

Laura Powell
Privacy Director, Indeed

Marissa E Palmer
IT Security Risk & Compliance Analyst, HomeAway

Mary Haskett
CEO & Co-Founder, Blink Identity

Reda Hicks
Founder, GotSpot, Inc.

Sarah Van Sicklen
Commercial Counsel

UX/UI Design and/or Research

Abbey McCoy
CEO/CXO, AbbeyXD

Addy RuthSr. Front End Web Design/Developer, Strive Logistics

Alex O’Neal
Principal UX Designer, Infor

Alyssa Hess
Lead Researcher, UX Measurement & Foundations, HomeAway

Anna Krachey
Senior Experience Designer, Handsome

Annette Neu
UX Principal, InStride

Annette Priest
President, Revel Insight

Annie Hardy
Senior Experience Design Visioneer, Cisco

April Wright
UX Designer, Blackbaud

Bethany Sonefeld
Lead Product Designer, Cloudflare

Céline Thibault
Researcher and Designer, Handsome

Denise Heebner
UX & Interaction Designer, IBM

Emily Sue Tomac
Research Manager, TrustRadius

Erin Young
Founder and Principal Architect, Slide UX

Hailey Farris
Experience Designer, HomeAway

Harib Massu
UX Content Strategist, Charles Schwab

Jane Jones
UX Research Operations Manager, The Zebra

Jenn Lindeman
UX Designer, Silvercar

Jennifer Houlihan
Freelance UX Designer & Researcher

Jess Moss
Sr. Experience Designer, projekt202

Jessica Steinbomer
Author and Researcher, Progress UX Research

Jessica Sustaita
Senior UX Research, HomeAway

Joie Chung
Design Lead, HomeAway

Kati Presley
Head of UX, Rocksauce Studios

Krystal Webber
Global Design & Strategy Leader, IBM Blockchain Services, IBM

Laura Trujillo
Content Strategist, City of Austin

Lauren Golembiewski
CEO & Co-founder, Voxable

Leslie Harris
Visual Designer, T3

Marla Erwin
UX/UI Product Design Manager, Charles Schwab

Mary Hannah Duhon
Interaction Designer, Handsome

Megan Johns
Owner, Astire Games & Professor at University of Texas

Melissa Lau
UX Design, Self Employed

Samantha Saenz
UX Content Strategist & Copywriter

Sameera Kapila
Design Director, thoughtbot

Sarah Kettles
Director of Research, The Zebra

Selina Martinez
Senior Product Owner, Quest Software

Shadeequa (Dee) Miller, Ph.D.
Independent Consultant, Dawn Specialty Consulting

Sharon Brener
Director of User Experience, data.world

Tori Breitling
Product Designer, City of Austin

Zoha Shafiq
Experience Designer, HomeAway

Methodology Notes:– We opted out of using pictures because this is not about appearances, rather skill.- This is not an awards show, these are people who filled out a simple form indicating their interest. – We asked for LinkedIn profiles rather than transient social media profiles or websites that may not remain up to date.

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Tech News

Free Zoom alternatives for the new remote work era

(TECH NEWS) Many small teams already work remotely but the COVID-19 outbreak has forced many more to do so, but how do you communicate without spending anything?

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Communicate with a small team

As more American cities go into lockdown or shelter-in-place orders, teams across the country are having to find new ways to communicate. Zoom is the most popular tool on the market right now, but for some teams it means a new expense that they are not in the position to make at this time. Contrary to what Twitter may have you believe, Zoom is far from the only video conferencing option on the market. There are options for every size team and many of them are free. You will have to sacrifice some of the snazzier features, but in a time when many are contemplating layoffs, every dollar saved helps.

Google Hangouts
In times of crisis Google has come through for its global user base. Starting last week, users will be able to access the advanced Hangouts capabilities for free. This means users will be able to hold meetings with up to 250 participants and livestream for up to 100,000 viewers. Google Hangouts also has the added bonus of being able to record meetings and save them to Google Drive. This could be an invaluable feature for team members who are need to work off-hours or evenings in order to accommodate childcare.

Discord
Discord has been a popular communications app among the gaming community for a long time. This powerful, free tool allows users to create “servers” that can be organized by topic. This is a great way to break up conversations about different projects so important points don’t get lost in a huge, never-ending chat stream. Each “sever” has the ability to do video and voice calls. Users can also pin a message to the top of a chat, similar to a pinned tweet. The video options are limited with only 9 people being able to be on a video chat/screen share at once. Still, if you have a larger company but only smaller teams need to video chat at once, this could be the one.

Facetime
Just because Facetime is the tool you use to talk to your grandmother and make silly faces at your nieces and nephews, doesn’t mean you can’t use it to communicate with your team. In fact, if everyone on your team is issued an Apple device, this may be your best option. Facetime is only for iOS and can support video calls of up to 32 people. Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one.

WhatsApp/ Facebook Messenger
Facebook owns WhatsApp and plans to integrate it with Messenger down the line. At present, they have similar enough interfaces that if you understand one, you’re set for both. This isn’t the most sophisticated option and it’s easier to set up if you are Facebook friends with the person, which might not be normal in your company culture. WhatsApp or a Facebook Messenger video call is a good alternative to Facetime if you need to have a one-on-one with a team member but one of you is not an Apple user.

Skype
While Skype does have an enterprise plan, the free option is just as good if you are trying to communicate with a small team. It supports up to 50 users on a single video call – not that you want everyone talking at once. This could be the perfect solution for small companies that need to have company-wide meetings to update employees as the current situation changes.

If your team is small and trying to keep the costs of adjusting to a remote work environment low, any of these free alternatives are a great choice. Decide what your team really needs in order to communicate effectively and get creative with the options available. There are so many chat and video tool available for free that any one, or a combination of some, could be exactly what your team needs to make it through this difficult time.

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Tech News

Zoom alternatives that might be more robust for your remote teams

(TECH NEWS) If you are one of the larger companies affected by COVID 19, here are alternatives to Zoom to consider for your remote team and client meetings.

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video conferencing

Nothing against Zoom, but there are other video conferencing tools on the market. If your team has moved to fully remote as a result of COVID-19 (and you should, if possible) then there are a few options you should consider. This might even be a great time to think about new tools you can integrate into your team’s communication strategy. If you look at it the right way, every problem is an opportunity for growth.

Join.me
Join.me is an audio and video conferencing tool with screen sharing capabilities, one-click scheduling, and white-boarding. Users are able to create a custom, branded URL to share with meeting attendees which makes it an excellent choice for companies that primarily need to host meetings with clients. Just because your teams are working from home, doesn’t mean your meetings can’t have a smooth, professional feel. Join.me has three tier options for pricing – Lite, Pro, Business. Both of the larger plans can host up to 250 participants per meeting. The key differences are in the amount of cloud storage available and integrations with other services.

GoToMeeting
GoToMeeting is a simple, straight-forward solution to your video conferencing needs. Their user-friendly interface makes it a great choice for a less tech-savvy team that needs to hit the ground running. GoToMeeting can be used in both desktop and mobile. Similar to Join.me users can create a custom meeting link to share with their team and clients. A great feature of this tool is the unlimited storage. GoToMeeting allows users to record and save their video meetings to a cloud. Users can even access automatically created transcripts of past meetings. Their largest plan can host up to 3000 participants, which is the largest capacity by far of any service.

WebEx
WebEx is a feature-rich solution for your virtual meetings that promises HD quality video that can be accessed from any device, including mobile or tablets. Their tool fosters collaboration by enabling active and collaborative work throughs, screen sharing, white-boarding, and file sharing features. WebEx also has a Video Support feature that offers users real-time technical support, something many may find themselves needing as teams scramble to integrate new tools during a challenging time. WebEx’s Premium service supports meetings of up to 200 people.

Zoho Meetings
Zoho is an open-source alternative to Zoom. It has many of the bells and whistles of other video conferencing apps but with a greater focus on security. All meetings in Zoho are encrypted using industry standard protocols. They also have added moderation features so users can steer the course of the meeting through added controls. Zoho also allows people to access meetings through dial-ins and email links which means you don’t need to force clients to sign-up or download anything. If you are connecting with multiple clients, including new ones, this might be a good bet to save time on technology onboarding. Zoho is accessible through the desktop app, web, or mobile.

This is an overwhelming time for many people as schools shut down and family members lose jobs or fall ill. As you consider how to transition your team into a remote workforce, remember to think of their needs first. What features do your employees need to get through this difficult time? Video conferencing is a great way to keep your team feeling connected at a time when we could all use some human connection – from a distance, of course.

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