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Today, I’m sitting down with 2 people in separate interviews. Alicia Dean from the Public Information Office of the City, and Dr. Umar Saif, the chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board in Pakistan, who flew in from Pakistan for SXSW.

With Alicia Dean, I talk about the city’s role in helping residents build the local technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem we love so much, how partnerships with science cities impact both Austin as well as those cities around the world, and her role leading the relationship between Austin TX and Lahore, Pakistan.  It was also her birthday a few days ago, so happy birthday Alicia! Does this count as a birthday present? 🎂🎂🎂

With Dr. Umar Saif on his first visit to Austin, we talk about the relationships he building with people and organizations in the city, from Mayor Steve Adler to Gordan Daugherty in Capital Factory, to IC2 Institute, to 3 Day Startup. We also chat about his work in Pakistan, the stories that come out when running Pakistan’s first incubator, Plan9, and the impact on the Pakistani startups that visited and stayed in Austin for 3 weeks in March.

Alicia + Umar Saif

I want to give a shout out to Plan9 folks, Nabeel Qadeer, Zainab Tariq, Faizan Mahmood, and Rida Shoaib for their work in Lahore, as well as for letting me talk to their startups and eat free food when I visit.

Shout-out to my editor, Mark Friedman from, whose life I make hell for 1-2 days preceding every episode. Thanks for putting up with me Mark.

Last shoutout to all you wonderful listeners, hope you enjoy this episode. If you want to chat about it, or how I say absolutely all the time (I’m trying not to) email me at