Kristy Bowden of the Digital Media Council Talks about her Organization
Where did you go to University?
I graduated with a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Texas system. I love learning and hope to find myself back in the classroom one day.
How did you get to Austin?
I applied to several programs at the University of Texas in Austin. Upon my acceptance, I promptly moved to Austin. Of course, I never quite made it to registration, but I found Barton Springs!
Austin has been my home for 7 years now, and I have some suspicion I may never leave.
What did you do before you joined the DMC?
I worked for a start-up game development studio in town, called Roxor Games. I spent two years as the PR Manager, developing the publicity and marketing plan for the company’s titles. Eventually, I led the team to host a national tournament series around our most popular tile, an arcade dance game. The tournament finals were held at Circus Circus in Las Vegas and garnered national press. I spent about five months at the end of my time at Roxor learning to be an Associate Producer, managing the development process between our team and publisher. It was an incredible learning experience.
What was it like to work in a startup gaming company?
It was exciting. I felt like a rock star! The developers and fan community were really passionate about what we were doing. This is not to say the job was easy. We worked hard, and we played hard. But, ultimately, I feel this was a great way to learn about the industry, its strengths and challenges.
What lessons did you learn from that experience?
I learned many lessons, but my most significant personal lessons have to do with process. Almost everything can be accomplished through a systematic and diligent process. (Ok, that’s boring. But, true!). I also learned how important it is to ask questions. Whether you’re an investor looking to fund a project or a development lead trying to get a product out the door, the more information you can pull from others, the better your decisions usually are.
Additionally, I learned a lot about the game industry, from how it functions in day-to-day operations to the trends that make up its landscape. I have been a part of its growing pains and am encouraged by the tenacity with which the industry continues to bounce back.
What is the DMC?
The Digital Media Council (DMC) supports and creates industry-led collaborations with educators and community leaders to promote the economic growth of the digital media and creative technology and design industries of Central Texas. We develop training and educational programs that provide our local workforce with knowledge, resources, and skills to ensure the continued security, expansion, and innovation of these industries in our region.
How was it formed?
Our parent organization, Skillpoint Alliance, began as the Capital Area Training Foundation, which provided extensive training programs to meet industry needs for skilled entry-level workers. This industry-led approach grew to support cluster initiatives to support the semiconductor, digital media, and high tech fields. The Digital Media Council was formed at Skillpoint Alliance in 2006, led by video game studio executives and community leaders hoping to support the growing workforce needs of the emerging digital media fields.
What do you hope to accomplish this year at the DMC?
We want to really strengthen the relationships between our local digital media companies and the community. Our quarterly networking series, called DMC Presents, highlight local companies and their work and give industry leaders the chance to network and socialize with their peers. During SXSW Interactive, we are also sponsoring the Entrepreneurship & VIP Networking Lounge, which is designed to provide entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, bloggers, and members of the press a place to gather during SXSWi and is really designed to give our local startups looking to engage with national investors and VCs. We have demo stations available for companies (http://tinyurl.com/demoapp2009) and a limited number of tickets available for Sunday, March 15th (http://tinyurl.com/2009lounge).