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Why CongressAve?

Once we decided to organize a TEDx event in Austin, the next step was to decide the venue. This was very important because, as per TED rules, the name of the event should include a location descriptor. This meant that the name of the event was going to be decided by where we would organize the event. We wanted to look for a neighborhood that represented the uniqueness of Austin and that everyone in Austin would recognize. The first thought that came to everyone's mind was: Congress Avenue.

Congress Avenue and the area around it have one of the most famous historical and modern landmarks in Austin, and a lot of unique establishments that represent the quintessential Austin culture: the Texas State Capitol, Contemporary Austin (previously Austin Museum of Art), St. Edward's university, the Congress Avenue Bridge that is famous for bats, the business district, art galleries, technology startups, and the best restaurants in town. To me, Congress Avenue is not just the heart of Austin but has the best of all the elements that make Austin a great place. The place is filled with new ideas in politics, art, education, technology, business, architecture, food, and more - the ideas that are worth spreading. This is exactly the type of place that we were looking for our TEDx event, and so the name TEDxCongressAve.

As at the end of 2012, more than 16,000 talks have been given at more than 5,000 TEDx events in 1,200 cities in 133 countries. The TEDx event organizers always tend look for venues that not just provide great facilities but also represent and embody the very spirit of TED, while creating an ambiance that fosters imagination, creativity, and discussion.

Here are some of the most fascinating TEDx event venues.

We hope to make TEDxCongressAve as unique and vibrant as Congress Avenue.

- Pranav Parekh

Founding TEDxCongressAve

It is my proud privilege to have the opportunity to organize TEDxCongressAve this year. TED has been a constant source of inspiration and optimism for me for a long time. I have always wanted to contribute to the TED community in a meaningful way. In the meantime, I have been witnessing a great confluence of talent, energy, ideas, and optimism in Austin, where I am fortunate to live. The Austin community seems to have this insatiable appetite for attracting, developing, and implementing new ideas. These traits make Austin a perfect place to organize a TEDx event, with the goal of advancing the TED's ideals of spreading new ideas in Technology, Entertainment, and Design. My admiration of TED, and the inspiration that I get everyday from the friends, coworkers, and family in Austin convinced and persuaded me to organize a TEDx event for the Austin community, and for everyone around the world. This is the inception of TEDxCongressAve.

With TEDxCongressAve, our goal will be to organize an intimate (<100 attendees) event for the most passionate, creative, and inspiring attendees and speakers. Our goal will be to look for Ideas Worth Spreading, and to introduce those to people who will get engaged, discuss, and act upon. Our goal is to provide a space for the community to curate, understand, discuss, cultivate, spread, and implement the Ideas Worth Spreading.

Now that we have decided to organize TEDxCongressAve in 2013, the real challenge lies ahead. Like any conference or event, there are a million things to plan and execute. I am fortunate to have the most passionate people that I have known organizing this event with me. At this point, we are working hard to finalize the venue and the event date. At the same time, we are working with some great potential speakers to finalize the speakers for this event. We will provide more updates in the coming days!

- Pranav Parekh