Michele Skelding is stepping down from her role as senior vice president of global technology and innovation at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
In that role for the past three years, Skelding has spearheaded the Chamber’s efforts to develop Austin as a top global region for technology innovation, company formation and expansion. She has also worked to increase access to private equity and venture capital locally.
“I am extremely fortunate for the opportunity to have represented Austin, one of the greatest cities in the world, and grateful for the challenges and the inspiration to make an impact in a community that has given me so much,” Skelding said in a news release. “My relationships with the leaders in the community are my most valuable asset and priority, and their support and recognition are what continue to fuel my inspiration.”
“I know firsthand that innovators are a key part of Austin’s strong economic ecosystem and will continue to drive the future of Austin, not only as one of the most desirable cities, but as a leading city of innovation,” Skelding said.
Skelding has worked tirelessly to promote and support Austin’s entrepreneurial community. She has also served in leadership positions with the Central Texas Angel Network and as a mentor and advisor for Tech Ranch Austin, Incubation Station, now SKU and at Capital Factory.
Skelding has helped connect Austin entrepreneurs to angel investors, experienced professionals and venture capitalists.
“Michele embodies the spirit of collaboration that makes Austin such a special and successful place,” Hugh Forest, Director, SXSW Interactive, said in a news statement. “It has been a pleasure working with her to develop and execute the Austin A-List initiative and partnership with SXSW, and to view the impact the program has had for dozens of Austin’s most impressive startups. Michele’s vision for the future of our community will continue to facilitate the creation and growth of Austin’s best ideas. We are lucky to have her in our corner.”
Skelding has also served on the board of the Austin Technology Council and the board for the Central Texas Regional Center of Innovation & Commercialization and on the Innovation Advisory Committee for Texas State STAR Park.
And Skelding served as a key advisor of former Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s Innovation Zone Group, established to explore and catalyze the opportunity for an Innovation Zone, leveraging the new Dell Medical School and Dell Seton Medical Center investment into a larger economic development project for the city.
“Michele shines a light on the innovative spirit of Austin and its powerful entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Leffingwell said in a news statement. “Her work to link industry, academics, entrepreneurism and innovation will continue to pay dividends for our city for many years to come.”
Skelding has held several leadership positions at various technology companies in Austin. Before the chamber, she worked as senior director of global business development, marketing and communication for Appconomy, a mobile app software company based in both Shanghai and Austin. She also held senior positions with Lifeproof Cases, First Mobile Technologies, G-51 Capital, Augmentix Corporation, Dell and with AT&T’s executive leadership development program.
“For my future endeavors, supporting creativity and innovation will be instrumental in ensuring that legacy continues. And although I do not have plans to announce my next move at this time, I plan to stay in Austin,” Skelding said.