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  • What is the ATXelerator?
    The ATXelerator, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a civic organization whose vision for Austin is an inclusive community that provides opportunity for all its citizens. Formed in 2017 with an advisory board consisting of ex-mayors, councilmembers and leaders in the community, the ATXelerator's mission is to identify and prepare future-focused leaders for public service and educate the community about solutions that will improve Austin's quality of life for generations to come.
  • What need will the ATXelerator address?
    Before the ATXelerator formed in 2017, there was no organization in the city that trained future-focused leaders to advocate for big ideas, serve on boards and commissions or run for city council.
  • How will the ATXelerator grow future-focused leaders?
    The ATXelerator was formed to serve as the preeminent organization that trains future-focused leaders to advocate for big ideas, serve on boards and commissions or run for city council. The program uses an “accelerator” model to recruit and train potential city-council candidates, board and commission members, and community leaders who are equipped to focus on solutions that position Austin for future success, long-term sustainability, and excellent quality of life.
  • How will the ATXelerator work?
    Successful applicants (25 per class) complete rigorous training and benefit from mentorship with experienced elected officials and community leaders during opening and closing weekend retreats and nine weekly evening sessions. Class members then participate in a pitch-style competition before an expert panel of judges, followed by the ATXL Games where nine finalists participate in a public event culminating in three winners (gold, silver and bronze medalists).
  • What is the timeline for the ATXelerator?
    The application process is open until December 7, 2020. The competitive application process produces 25 class members who will be announced publicly on December 14, 2020. The opening weekend retreat is scheduled for Jan. 8-10, 2021 with the program-closing ATXL Games III scheduled for April 9, 2021. NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some or all of the programming may be online.
  • Why use an accelerator approach to train future candidates?
    In the tech startup world, the accelerator model gathers a cohort for a fixed period of time to gain community, training, mentorship and incentives to accelerate their development. The model culminates in a public pitch event which can result in investment by judges or other investors. We believe the ATXelerator’s training, mentorship and competition helps class members synthesize the information they have learned and articulate it in a concise and compelling manner. It is particularly helpful if a class member chooses to serve on a board or commission or run for office.
  • Who is behind the ATXelerator?
    The ATXelerator Advisory Board includes three former mayors (Lee Cooke, Lee Leffingwell and Bruce Todd), former city council members (Brewster McCracken and Randi Shade) and local technology and business leaders (Greta Goldsby, Jeff Hahn, Nan McRaven, Thomas Miranda, Pike Powers, John Scarborough and Lemuel Williams). The executive director is Ward Tisdale, a 35-year Austin resident and former trade association and corporate executive.
  • Aren't there existing groups doing the same work?
    There are organizations that share some of the values of the ATXelerator, but there is no organization with the mission to grow future-focused city leaders to get civically engaged, serve on a board or commission or, in some cases, run for Austin City Council.
  • What are the ATXelerator’s core values?
    The ATXelerator has identified four core issue areas: 1. Good Government 2. Leadership 3. Responsible Growth 4. Smart Cities
  • How can I invest in the ATXelerator?
    The ATXelerator, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is actively seeking donations to carry out its mission of promoting future-focused policy. Donations are tax deductible. Please visit
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