Blockchain Summit

September 14, 2019     |     Mulva Auditorium     |     10 am – 5 pm

Texas Blockchain and the McCombs Blockchain Initiative invite you to attend the Texas Blockchain Summit hosted on campus at the University of Texas at Austin.

This event aims to connect students, professors, and industry pioneers to explore the applications and implications of blockchain technology.

We are excited to bring together great ideas, great people, and great food to highlight the rapid innovation around distributed cryptographic systems.


Bertrand Portier
IBM Distinguished Engineer

Bertrand is the CTO for IBM Global Business Services Insurance. As a technical consultant, Bertrand works with clients to help them use technology in order to meet business objectives. Bertrand has been deeply involved in blockchain for business for more than four years. Bertrand has worked with dozens of clients to help them understand, evaluate, design, deploy, govern, operate, and scale blockchain business networks. Bertrand is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and the author of several publications and IBM patents. He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Engineering from Lille Polytechnic School, France and studied at the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family.

Gaurav Chawla

VP/Fellow Dell EMC

Gaurav has 25+ years of experience in various areas in computer industry and has been with Dell since 2005. He currently focuses on technology strategy and investigations for Dell EMC Server Group in areas of edge computing / IoT and blockchain. Prior to this he focused on enterprise storage/SDS, CI/HCI, private/hybrid cloud, HPC storage, storage, telco NFV, and Unix kernel projects. He has also contributed to multiple industry consortiums, standards and open source projects including IoT OpenFog Consortium, Linux Foundation OpenDaylight SDN Project, T11 FC/FCoE, IEEE DCB (Data Center Bridging) and SNIA CDMI standard. He has B.S and M.S in Computer Engineering, and holds 50+ granted and pending patents.

Pete Harris
Austin Blockchain Collective

Pete Harris has 40 years of business and technology experience, focusing in recent years on business applications of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. He co-founded the Austin Blockchain Collective and launched it at SXSW in 2018. The Collective has a mission to put Austin on the global blockchain map. It advocates for, showcases and nurtures blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation happening in Austin. Pete is also Founder and Principal of Lighthouse Partners, Inc., a consulting firm that partners with IT innovators to create go-to-market strategies for transformational technologies. He has extensive knowledge of the fintech, supply chain and healthcare verticals.

Coogan Brennan

Coogan develops blockchain curricula for developers hoping to explore Web 3.0 tools and has commits on the go-ethereum codebase related to HTTP interfacing of Swarm. He’s super excited to be working on the Consensys Academy team to help with education about the space. Right now, he’s particularly curious about meta-transactions as a way to allow companies to integrate blockchain under the hood.

Joe Kelly
Unchained Capital

Joseph Kelly is a technology entrepreneur and co-founder of Unchained Capital, a blockchain financial services company that provides loans, income, and sovereign storage solutions for longterm cryptocurrency holders. Prior to founding Unchained, Joe co-founded of Infochimps, a data analytics technology provider acquired by CSC in 2013. Joe’s interest in technology and social systems stoked his passion for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. When he’s not pushing his company towards delivering the best possible experience for its customers, he enjoys reading, writing, and flying his plane.

Dhruv Bansal
Unchained Capital

Dhruv Bansal is an experienced technology entrepreneur and co-founder of Unchained Capital, a blockchain financial services company that provide cash loans to long-term cryptocurrency holders. Prior to founding Unchained, Dhruv was a co-founder and CSO of Infochimps (acquired by CSC in 2013). At Infochimps, Dhruv led development and sales teams that built products which powered big data applications inside dozens of Fortune 500 companies. Dhruv’s background in math, physics, and network theory led him to become fascinated with Bitcoin soon after its launch. He believes blockchain is the most important invention since the telegraph and is excited to build products that accelerate the adoption of decentralized technologies.

Justin Moon
BUIDL Bootcamp

Justin Moon is a premier educator on Bitcoin. Justin teaches BUIDL Bootcamp, a month-long online Bitcoin programming course. He also runs the Austin Bitcoin Developers Meetup and hosts a Bitcoin reading group.

Colin LeMahieu
Nano Foundation

Colin LeMahieu first stumbled upon Bitcoin in 2010 and immediately saw the potential of decentralized currency. After four years of following Bitcoin and researching its capabilities, he began to worry about its flaws: scalability, transfer times, and high fees. Realizing these issues could potentially hinder its use as an everyday currency, in 2014 he embarked on a mission to design a payment system that solved these performance issues. Colin is the creator and lead developer of Nano (XRB) cryptocurrency project, previously known as RaiBlocks. A software developer for the last 10 years, Colin founded RaiBlocks, now Nano, on 2014. He moved the project full time in 2017 and is spearheading development of the core protocol. His interests include space technology, physics, and environmental sustainability.

Karl Kreder

Karl is the Director of Energy at ConsenSys and is a co-founder of Grid+. Before joining full time, Karl serves as a subject matter expert and advisor for the Energy group at ConsenSys. Prior to ConsenSys, Karl graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, where he received his PhD in Material Science researching advanced battery technologies. Prior to attaining his PhD, Karl worked at Southwest Research Institute where he started the Energy Storage System Evaluation and Safety (EssEs) consortium which performed testing, characterization, and research on large format lithium ion batteries for >10 kWh energy storage. The EssEs consortium had 12 industry members from 3 continents with a budget of more than $3 million.

Karl is also an advisor for Texas Blockchain.

Sriram Vishwanath

Dr. Sriram Vishwanath is a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Vishwanath received his B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, M.S from CalTech and his PhD from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering. His research interests include information theory, wireless communications and coding theory. His industry experience includes work at the National Semiconductor Corporation, CA and at the Lucent Bell labs, NJ. He has won a NSF CAREER Award and the 2005 IEEE Joint IT/Comsoc Best Paper Award.

Sriram is also an advisor for Texas Blockchain.



How much are tickets?

Tickets are on sale to the general public for $100. Student tickets are available for FREE via this form.


What is included in the cost of registration?

You will receive a name badge and a program upon arrival to the event. With your name badge you will have access to all the speaker sessions, break out sessions, snacks, and lunch. 


Where is Mulva Auditorium?

Mulva Auditorium is located in the Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC) on the ground floor. We will have signage directing you upon your arrival.


Where should I park?

Parking is available across the street from the engineering building in the San Jacinto Garage.


Are meals provided?

Food is included in the cost of your ticket. We will be catering BBQ from a local restaurant. If you have any dietary concerns let us know by emailing info@txblockchain.org.


Is videotaping allowed?

Videotaping is NOT allowed outside of designated interview rooms and photo stations. Please respect the privacy of our guests, students, and fellow attendees.


Can I purchase tickets at the event?

A limited number of tickets may be held for on-site purchase although we strongly recommend buying your tickets well in advance as we cannot guarantee that tickets will be available on-site.


How do I access Wi-Fi?

The University of Texas has a guest Wi-Fi available under “utguest”.


Do I have to attend the summit all day?

No, guests are welcome to come and go as they please. We even encourage you to explore UT’s campus if this is your first time here!






If you have any further questions or concerns please email info@txblockchain.org.

We look forward to seeing you on September 14th!

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