Austin-based nonprofit connects innovators with policymakers
Time flies, and technology advances. No one knows this better than Chelsea McCullough, Executive Director of Texans for Economic Progress (TEP). McCullough and TEP’s goal is to encourage cooperation between technology innovators and policymakers that will drive toward a new era of economic stability and prosperity for Texans.
“By enabling greater access to technology across the state, we believe Texas can continue to secure its economic leadership despite a troubled national economy,” says McCullough. “Public policy can directly affect Texans’ ability to capitalize on new opportunities that grow our economy and create jobs.”
TEP works closely with political and business leaders on both sides of the aisle, connecting local, state and federal legislators with local entrepreneurs to ensure the future of technology and innovation. TEP also educates the public on how policy decisions shape lives and opportunities.
TEP, a nonprofit organization, opened its doors in 2008 in response to an obvious need to connect the state’s technology community and elected officials. TEP has collaborated with local technology groups and economic development associations to highlight the economic benefits of innovation in Texas and the ways public policy impacts those benefits. Both McCullough and TEP’s Chairman, Robert Howden, hold degrees in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. McCullough’s background includes extensive experience with technology incubators and strategic business partnerships, while Howden has served as Executive Director of NFIB/Texas and as a senior advisor to Governor Rick Perry.
McCullough and company vow to continue the conversation between the state’s technology community and its elected leaders. She emphasizes to leaders in the tech community that this conversation has enormous implications for them: “Understanding the market includes understanding how state and federal policy affects all entrepreneurs and small businesses — especially in the rapidly evolving technology sector.”