SXSWORLD November 2012


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Las Vegas Spotlight to Shine on Entrepreneurs at SXSW V2V by Christine Auten In truth, all creative endeavors face the kinds of challenges faced by startups. Over the past 27 years, SXSW has become the international epicenter for emerging art and media, whether that is an undiscovered band that will be a household name in three years, a groundbreaking fi lm paid for by credit cards and sweat that will change the way we think about cinema, or a mind-bending app that some kid made in a base- ment that will forever change the way we communicate. When looking at possibilities for expanding the startup program- ming, SXSW became intrigued with the idea of fostering this sort of growth in other parts of the country that are just beginning to build their own strong tech and startup communities. Las Vegas, Nevada, came up fi rst on a list of possible locations for this event for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the strength and excitement of its fl edgling tech and startup culture that is being fostered by community initiatives like Tony Hsieh's Downtown Project, and VegasTech activities. Th e tenacity of spirit and vision inherent in the Las Vegas ideal have attracted the attention of the startup com- munity around the world, bringing new businesses to the city. What sets SXSW V2V apart from other Th e word "startup" is often associated with tech-related endeavors. you might expect to overhear at a SXSW Music showcase featuring a hot new band or at the screening of a world premiere during SXSW Film. In 2012, that could also be heard in the halls of the Hilton Downtown's 4th fl oor, the home of the SXSW Startup Village. In its fi rst year, Startup Village garnered so much interest and excitement that it became clear that the program needed more room to grow than the SXSW Interactive Festival could off er. Enter SXSW V2V. Th e newest addition to the SXSW family of events, SXSW V2V is an extension and re-imagining of the startup space, one of the fastest growing parts of SXSW. Th is three-day event celebrating the intrepid spirit of the entrepreneur will take place in the summer of 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2009, the SXSW Interactive Festival introduced SXSW I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now." Th at's something Accelerator, an exciting program that gives innovative companies a platform to showcase new ideas, products and services for a panel of esteemed judges. As the buzz around SXSW Accelerator grew, a music component was added and a new event called Startup Village sprang up around it. Five years and many funding success stories later, SXSW Accelerator has become a model for countless other programs and events around the country. SXSW Accelerator, Startup Village, and SXSW as a whole have added a unique voice to the already growing tech and startup communities in Austin, making it a vibrant hub for both new and established tech companies, outside of Silicon Valley and other traditional tech centers. 32 startup space is big enough for us all to work together to build a community committed to a new economic paradigm. For 2013, SXSW V2V will start out small and agile, with a strong emphasis on creativity and face-to-face interaction. Th ere will also be pitch events, coaching and mentor sessions, project reviews, VC offi ce hours and startup showcases, along with plenty of networking oppor- tunities at meet-and-greets, working lunches and some other surprises. SXSW V2V will off er a creative space for entrepreneurs across all indus- tries to learn the skills, make the connections and fi nd the inspiration to take their ideas and talents to the next level, while providing a chance for creatives to showcase new and exciting ideas, projects, companies, products and services. By now, you might be wondering about the name, V2V. When we events can off er a place for startups to connect with funding, SXSW V2V takes that and places it in the middle of the creative, inspirational, edu- cational and fun space for which SXSW is known. Th e fi rst envisioned this idea, Th e V stood for the obvious, Vegas: Version 2 Vegas. As the conference began to take shape we realized that V2V could mean many things: Vision to Venture, Vision to Vested, Vision to Voice, Vector to Value, and so on. All variations carry the same theme: the movement from idea to reality. We are very excited to be a part of it. ■ For more information about SXSW V2V, be sure to visit SXSW ORLD / N OVEMBER 2012 startup-themed events is the creativity that is at the core of SXSW, and that will be the mantra for SXSW V2V as well. While many

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