March 17, 2015: As promised last week, here’s my report on the 2015 edition of SXSW Interactive. There is considerable press coverage of every aspect of this event, but I’m going to provide some personal observations after nine very long days and late evenings, including the unofficial run-up events, individual meetings with welcome visitors, and UTE Week (E=entrepreneurship) activities on the UT Austin campus prior to the official start of SXSW, which was Friday the 13th.
March 8, 2015: As I write this essay just prior to the opening of SXSW, I’m going through the usual routine of adding new meetings or events to my calendar between the 10th through the 18th at the rate of about 2 or 3 per hour. These are all external to the 1000+ offerings of SXSW itself but are natural results of the visits of people I know or should know and with whom there are likely to be interesting conversations. Even Governor Abbott just invited me to the Mansion.
March 12, 2014: Another year of SXSW Interactive has concluded, and I’ve reclaimed my couch from my valued guest (and son). I spent the majority of my formal event time at the SXSW Accelerator, as a coach, judge, and spectator. I look forward to this every year as the culmination of my Qualifying Committee’s work in reviewing and vetting all the 500 or so entrants when they submit their applications in November. It’s great ultimately to see the finalists and alternates in person where they can really bring their ideas to life.
Yesterday TechStars NYC announced its 2013 class, selected from 1700 applicants from 420 cities. That’s an impressive pipeline from which to recruit top-notch teams. There are no ideas in that group of eleven that I personally have not already seen multiple times in the past couple of years, at least from what I can tell with the limited information available. One is an app for pet lovers, and there were at least 50 of those that applied in 2011 to present at the SXSW Accelerator in 2012 and ap
March 3, 2013: Allow me please to address this edition of TechDrawl primarily to my readers from Atlanta and other areas distant from Austin. I hope many of you are making your way here as I write this.
After a first round of coaching sessions with the five SXSW Accelerator companies assigned to me, I thought about some general advice on pitches. This particular batch is starting out pretty well, but I still find myself pointing out many of the usual problems that fail to get the message across. There have been millions of words written on pitch presentations and techniques, but nothing beats live coaching to fine tune the process. You can see that vividly in the polish shown by the Longhorn Startup Lab teams as they progress through the semester. We have a TA who is a Ph.D.
January 29, 2013. Among the many events worth your time at SXSW is the Accelerator competition. The 48 interactive finalists who will present on the Monday and Tuesday (March 11-12) of SXSW were announced today. Eight companies in each of 6 categories were selected, along with 3 alternates in each of those categories. On Wednesday the 8 music finalists will present, those also backed up by 3 alternates.