SXSWORLD February 2013


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With so many of these programs to choose from, and new ones popping up all the time, startups will learn about different program models, and which programs are applicable to their business. This year, SXSW could be even larger than the last. With more programming and potentially more attendees, will it be possible to maintain the level of intimacy necessary for real connections to be made? "SXSW Interactive being in conjunction with SXSW Film and Music has created an event that is clearly enormous and as brands and PR types have become a larger part of the event, it has made connecting with folks more and more difficult," said Micah Baldwin, who has been involved in six startups and is currently CEO and Chief Community Caretaker of Graphicly, a SaaS tool that allows users to upload and distribute their eBooks. To counteract the growing popularity, SXSW has taken careful measures to support the grassroots, entrepreneurial startup culture that has been established over the last couple years. Much of this year's startup-centric programming will be consolidated in the StartUp Village, located on the 4th floor of the Austin Hilton Downtown. Entrepreneurs, newbie techies and investors will be grouped together to optimize the networking process. Expect new one-on-one career coaching sessions in addition to startup panels and pitch events, which touch on the array of matters that come up along the road to building a company. That programming includes a presentation by Matt Strader and Alan Schaaf of Imgur LLC, the popular image-sharing platform, which began in Scaff's apartment in 2009. The two will discuss the pros and cons of bootstrapping. They will go over key decisionmaking points during their development as a company and the techniques they developed to bootstrap effectively. Sure to draw attention will be a panel on the pitfalls of being a BUFFALO MON, MARCH 11 - WED, MARCH 1 3 LOCATED AT 512 ON 408 E 6TH ST. EAT + DRINK + NETWORK young entrepreneur. 25-year-old Forbes Magazine reporter J.J. Colao will speak to Zach Sims and Nikhil Sethi, both CEOs of successful companies and under the age of 25. Probably the greatest contribution SXSW will make to startups this year is offering presenters and attendees a second chance to connect at the inaugural SXSW V2V festival to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 11–14 . SXSW V2V is an extension of the SXSW classic design with an emphasis on the entrepreneurial spirit and startups. Much of the programming at SXSW V2V will come from ideas submitted to the SXSW PanelPicker. Events are aimed at establishing casual intimacy between sessions. Like at SXSW, there will be mentoring and coaching sessions. During the V2Venture pitch, chosen startups will have a full day of coached review and rehearsal before competing to deliver the most effective pitch to a live audience and panel of judges. "That is really why I am excited about V2V," said Baldwin, who will be presenting at SXSW V2V this summer. "It's almost like SXSW is getting back to its roots and being all about entrepreneurs. Smaller group, more intimate setting. I am excited to have hallway conversations with people that I wouldn't normally have access to in a larger conference. And more importantly, I am excited to learn from people that are more like me; founders and entrepreneurs that are working to make a difference in the world." New programming at SXSW will make this an exciting year for startups. Along with the festival, the community trend is certain to grow. Naturally, at a festival the size of SXSW, conversations will get cut off and people will realize they had more to say. This year they can, in Las Vegas. ■ For information of SXSW Interactive panels and sessions, visit For information about SXSW V2V, visit + + ic the THE BUFFALO LOUNGE BRINGS THE BEST OF OKLAHOMA'S FILM, MUSIC AND INTERACTIVE COMPANIES TO SXSW. CHECK OUT OUR BOOTH AT THE SXSW TRADE SHOW. WWW.THEBUFFALOLOUNGE.COM SXSWORLD / FEBRUARY 2013 29

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