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by Brian Wong
Being a young entrepreneur in this period of time in business and commerce is an exciting thing. It is your biggest asset. You should rock it.
But how do you rock it? How do you overcome traditional preconceived notions of being "younger", more "inexperienced", and "naive"? Simple. You turn them into your strengths. Everyone always talks about how being curious, how retaining youthful characteristics is a great way to succeed without bounds. Why can't those who truly embody those characteristics be the ones that indeed reap those rewards?
Most younger entrepreneurs are at the edge of a cliff. They are looking for reasons to jump, or not to jump. There are lots of people willing to tell them all the reasons of why they shouldn't. Very few are there to tell them all the reasons why they should, and to help them throughout to show them how to grow wings in the process. I'm there to nudge them.
Being a 19-year-old entrepreneur with a funded start up - experience at a well-known company in the social news landscape, and literally being thrown into a pit of extremely successful entrepreneurs as a non-American (a Canadian), helped prime me to learn all of the lessons that I will be sharing with everyone.
Anyone fascinated by the elusive "young" entrepreneur - and especially the type that genuinely takes tangible action towards successful milestones in their career - and wondering about how to learn from them and to help nurture their growth - should come.
In this intimate fireside chat, Calacanis interviews his personal publishing and pundit hero, Tim O'Reilly, about Tim O'Reilly. Typically Tim's the moderator or discussing a theory, but Tim's never discussed how he built O'Reilly, the Web 2.0 conference and himself, into the most respected technology publisher on the planet. Calacanis hopes to tease out the secrets of Tim's success, and how year-after-year, and decade-after-decade, he remains relevant and engaged. This panel is a first and a must for publishers, technologies, brand builders and thinkers.
You’re starting a startup, running a blog professionally, investing in other startups, or otherwise doing "the geek thing," and yet ... you know that your identity is rooted even more in the little one at home who’s toddling around in a playpen, learning teamwork on a soccer field, working on a science fair experiment, or otherwise doing "the kid thing."
How do you balance your role as a parent with your role as a co-founder? How do you reconcile these two worlds, each of which would happily consume you completely? How much do you rely on your (life) partner? Your (business) partners? How do you reconcile the tension between these two worlds?
A panel of rockstar parents/startup cofounders will share their secrets of success, their awkward failures, and their startup / parenting war stories.
by John Gerzema
What do pickles; vinyl records, urban chickens, Farmville, flea markets and Tumblr have in common? They are all part of 'block party capitalism,' built on the idea that old-fashioned values like provenance, commitment, quality and authenticity are finding renewed commercial and social relevance through new technologies. This next evolution of our digital world is where off and online intersect to make everyday life more economical, meaningful and pleasant. A pickle merchant in Brooklyn starts on a skateboard and through bloggers and hard work grows into a sustainable business. Vinyl records in San Francisco flourish as people showcase their passion for better sound and feel on Tumblr's Vinyl Sunday's. Backyard chicken farmers in Dallas suburbs multiply through an online community to share tips on raising coops, while flea markets across the U.S. grow into modern day malls driven in large part by the viral loops of mobile media. This panel includes start up founders, large companies and local entrepreneurs who work at the intersection of this analog and digital movement. They will help us explore how it’s changing the way we buy, sell and live.
by Katie Spence
This year, millions of people will start their first blog. Millions of people will write their first tweet, join their first social network, or post their first picture to the Web.
Welcome to the future, guys, but some of us have been at this for nearly two decades!
Join a panel of industry veterans who rode the waves of the first boom and lived to tell the tales of the '90s Internet. Featuring practical stories of life lessons learned online as well as fond (and not so fond) memories of bygone sites, startups and memes, this will be a great panel for those who lived through it, and those who wish to learn from the hilarious and heartbreaking mistakes of others.
Eric Ries (Co-founder of IMVU / Author & Founder of “The Lean Startup”) is sought after worldwide for the methodology he advocates for both startups and large companies. In this session, Eric explains why most startups fail, how The Lean Startup has revolutionized entrepreneurship, and what you can do TODAY to improve your odds of building a game-changing product. Then you’ll hear case studies on Lean Building from folks who’ve iterated the hell out of their products…and won.
The economy for small business has changed. You can't count on: a job, an income, a loan, the government. Resources are limited. Things no longer always go up. Society has changed. It is cycling away from big: big companies and big retail. Geographic advantage is shrinking, and competition is everywhere.
In order to thrive under these conditions, it is essential that every business build a community. Businesses are increasingly using social media to build their reputation and market their business. Companies spend their marketing dollars to find and participate in online communities based on a specific interest. In fact, social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are frequently compared to the old time country store, where everyone knew everyone, and friendly conversations lead to doing business together.
Small town entrepreneurs have been building communities to grow their businesses for hundreds of years. We will unlock the secrets of rural entrepreneurs that can now be used to help anyone build a business regardless of where you are located.
Why small town entrepreneurs?
If every customer can talk to every other customer now, is there anyone who knows how to do business this way? Small town businesses.
If building community is the new way of marketing, who is still living by community and can teach us? Small towns. If the old country store is the model for social media, where do we find them? Small towns.
by Jason Cohen
After starting three companies, I've found that some widely accepted advice lead me to failure while trusting my (inexperienced) gut lead to success. So many business philosophies profess they're the One True Way, yet different business face different hurdles. With stories, six actionable lessons, and a workshopping of 37signals' philosophy, you'll learn when to follow the rules and when to go your own way.
Programs like Y Combinator have garnered much attention in the media. Many of the startups are highlighted and critiqued upon launch, but how do these programs fare over time? What lessons have graduates of Y Combinator learned in a post-Y Combinator world? How do they turn ideas into real businesses?
Entrepreneurs are a powerful economic force. They create jobs, grow businesses, and develop the innovations on which America thrives. In order to enable entrepreneurs to thrive, the Administration is committed to reducing barriers to entrepreneurial success. On January 31, 2011 President Obama announced the launch of the Startup America initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.
As part of the Administration’s commitment to hear and learn from the public, this Startup America: Reducing Barriers panel asks you to join senior Administration officials and high-growth entrepreneurs to discuss the regulatory reforms, reductions and improvements that could be enacted to help high-growth entrepreneurs grow in our country.
The “Elevation of Black Women in New Media” panel will consist of 4-5 successful web entrepreneurs coming together to help new media websites and/or blogs targeted to women of color help take their blog/website to the next level. Over the last three years thousands of blogs and websites have launched that are ran by black women of all ages and backgrounds – covering topics that range from technology to fashion. Though all of the websites/blogs seem to have had some increase in traffic and garnered some acknowledgement – most do not have the skills, resources or proper knowledge to take their site to the next level. Currently there has not been one black blog/website ran by and for black women that has been VC or Angel funded and the most common reasons potential investors state are 1) the quality of site design and content, 2) lack of traffic, 3) a clear editorial/marketing strategy and 4) failure to have more than one successful revenue stream or lack of revenue stream altogether. Potential investors also claim that our demo does not have any spending power to truly make a return on their investment - which is completely untrue. This panel will not concentrate on funding and/or advertising - though it will discuss - but will give attendees the opportunity to hear successful tools, tactics, how-to's – (such as why moving from a “blogspot.com” or “wordpress.com” site to their own domain is a must to grow), resources, lessons learned and guidance on how to get off the discouraging wheel most black women on the web continue to run on.
Who will win the King of the Apps Showdown? YOU DECIDE! Play judge alongside Robert Scoble, Eric Ries, Dave McClure, Bill Boebel, and Stacey Higginbotham for a startup showdown. The winner gets $10,000 in cash & prizes, provided by the awesome folks at Rackspace.
by Barry Moltz
Barry Moltz will be stopping by the SX Bookstore to greet registrants and sign copies of his book, Bounce!: Failure, Resiliency, and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success.
by Andes Barreto
The Latin American startup scene is blowing up. From Guadalajara to Patagonia, there is an exponential growth of emerging technology ventures.
What inspired this new growth set off this explosion? A few trail-blazing tech and new media start-ups that cashed out big time. Companies, such as Brazilian shopping comparison site Buscapé’s $374M acquisition by Naspers, and ClanDescuento.com’s acquisition by Groupon, have proven that the inspired a start-up wave in Latin America is alive an kicking. that's making investors and even the U.S. technology press take notice.
In this panel, composed of some of Latin America’s top entrepreneurs, we’ll discuss the opportunities and challenges for startups in the region.
The advent of cheap technology that has enabled technical innovation on a scale never seen before.
The cultural shift away from the traditional Latin American hierarchical model towards a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation that has enabled this growth.
The historical lack of venture capital being allocated to the consumer web or technology sector, and what’s changing now.
How startups have adjusted to this reality by making their operations very lean and efficient and in some cases, aiming for and, in some cases, achieving their break even points quicker.
Entrepreneurs are a powerful economic force. They create jobs, grow businesses, and develop the innovations on which America thrives. In order to enable entrepreneurs to thrive, the Administration is committed to reducing barriers to entrepreneurial success. On January 31, 2011 President Obama announced the launch of the Startup America initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. As part of the Administration’s commitment to hear and learn from the public, this Startup America: Reducing Barriers panel asks you to join senior Administration officials and high-growth entrepreneurs to discuss the regulatory reforms, reductions and improvements that could be enacted to help high-growth entrepreneurs grow in our country.
Open government initiatives over the past two years have shown that Washington can innovate and achieve results at the pace of startups when given the opportunity. We'll engage in a collaborative discussion on the merits and pitfalls of taking entrepreneurial ideals and translating them into big government infrastructure, breaking barriers and opening up new opportunities for public engagement.
The difference between success and failure is your ability to pivot – fast. Learn how to more quickly recognize the signs of a pivot point, and how to pull the trigger when it counts. This session is sponsored by 500 Start Ups.
Steve Blank is one of the world’s leading experts on entrepreneurship – nab a seat if you’re lucky and get the inside track on what it takes to be a NextGen Entrepreneur, how company-building is changing, and how you need to up your competitive edge. This session is sponsored by 500 Start Ups.
While minorities (Latinos and African-Americans) are consumers and producers of the content on new media platforms, why aren’t they creating internet companies as often? A recent article said that only 1% of internet firms are founded by African Americans. Is the number similar for Latinos?
Furthermore, studies show that minority teens are beginning to close the digital literacy gap through the mobile web. Will they also soon close the gap in digital entrepreneurship and development? How can we guarantee that minority youth (and adults) will consider digital entrepreneurship and web development as a fruitful career, just as they have done with law, journalism and medicine?
In this one-hour conversation, we will discuss how to propel more minorities in new media entrepreneurship and further increase VC funding for them. The ultimate goal of the panel is to shed some light on the best practices for developing minority new media entrepreneurs. This conversation is ignited by the recent pledge by Comcast to give $20 million toward a venture capital fund for new media businesses led by minorities you digital education. It is also ignited by a recent article that said only 1% of Internet Start ups were founded by African-Americans.
There are thousands of women out there innovating and starting businesses across sectors; so why all the negativity in the media? Every week brings a slightly different take on the where-are-women-in-business article. Some look at venture funding, others look at women's representation in specific sectors, but they all have the same theme - women can't seem to get it together when it comes to business.
This panel approaches the issue of women in startups from two key angles. First, the assertion that woman are non-existent simply isn't true anymore. The real stories need to come to the forefront. And second, you can only complain about a problem for so long before it's time to deliver a solution.
Women in startups are simply tired of the bad rap media has stamped on them so, they're coming forward to talk about the real issues. Like, why are women inherently less inclined to sell themselves? There are multiple reasons behind this but the basic truth is that many of us need more urging to boast of our talents.
Overall, there are all sorts of factors that play into women's roles in startups such as the fact that many women entrepreneurs are also primary caregivers of children, household managers, family financial planners, etc. Not to mention, the age-old-truth that we are trained as a society to think women have a harder time with their careers. Let's face it girls - it's time for a change.
[Session will be presented in ENGLISH. Sesión será presentada en INGLÉS - Redes Angeles en Latino America: Evolucion y Oportunidades Futuras. SXSW Latin America programming hashtag: #sxswLatAm] Latin America has never been considered a “hotbed” for venture capital. Yet as the technology entrepreneurial world continues to assess and recognize that Angels are really the investors responsible for the vast majority of Tech Startup successes, then the Latin American story becomes more relevant. Ever since “Angel networks” began to formalize themselves as such across the region only a decade ago, their growth and popularity has shot exponentially. Suddenly, Latin Americans involved in Technology and Entrepreneurship have realized that the funding mechanism for startups has actually been the “Angel model” in the vast majority of enterprises throughout its history. These transactions just happened to take place within closer circles of trust and the investors just weren’t called Angels.
This panel briefly explains the historical perspective that led to this late recognition of the term “Angel Investor” and then dives deeply into the tremendous growth, resources and future opportunities that lie in the majority of the 20+ markets that make up “Latin” America.
Panelists will be comprised of current leaders and members from Latin American Angel Networks, and will be moderated by a High Tech Entrepreneur who has been funded by Angels in both Latin America and the United States.
Ever wonder what keeps so many people from launching a new endeavor or scaling a creative venture into something exponentially more impactful? More often than not, the answer isn't a lack of ideas, money, a team or a plan...it's far more primal. The answer is fear. Instead of brainstorming new ideas, in this session you will discover how to move from ideation to action, overcome the three greatest fears that hold creatives, artists and entrepreneurs back, and find a more stable path to success.
by Scott Belsky
Ideas don't happen by accident - or because they are great. Ideas are made to happen through a series of forces related to organization and leveraging the power of community. After years of research, Scott Belsky and his team at Behance have found a series of best practices common across some of the world's most productive creative people and teams. Scott's recent book, "Making Ideas Happen" has become a national bestseller. In this session, Scott will run through critical insights for any start-up and creative enterprise.
Former entrepreneur, current investor and innovation community leader Charlie O'Donnell will discuss five different patterns of failure often seen in startups that don't make it. It will cover how entrepreneurs can derisk their ideas, maintain momentum, and take advantage of opportunities early on in a company's life cycle. Patterns of failure include: 1) Failure to zero in on a sector's most pressing pain point. 2) Not leaving enough time or financing to iterate on an idea. 3) Failure to create short term milestones that create value. 4) Failure to capture industry attention and mindshare. - 5) Failure to build a realistic customer acquisition engine.
by Amita Paul and Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
You don't want to simply break glass ceilings and start in a negative fashion that has yielded mixed results in the business world as there are only 13 women CEO's in the USA's 500 most publicly traded companies.
Despite gains, women business owners still have many barriers to overcome before obtaining truly equal opportunity in the marketplace. So, What are these barriers?
These questions and many more like this, mark every step of the path these fearless women in business take, every day. This panel will share the stories of joy and pain and habits of these wonder women.
So shoot for the sky and be innovative. This panel addresses inspired women who want to inspire other women.
In a highly-anticipated return to SXSW, an all-star lineup of designers, programmers, and entrepreneurs compete to pitch their worst startup ideas in short lightning rounds. Winner gets funded by a real VC.
NOTE: By popular demand, there will be a second performance of this session on Monday 5pm in Hilton Salon C.
The regular Thursday noon Innochat has become hugely popular on Twitter. As founder of Innochat, I propose a live session with a mixed panel of innovation experts and entrepreneurs in which we'll discuss business model theory and business model innovation and design as they pertain to specific start-ups and established companies. We will gather volunteers beforehand, entrepreneurs and representatives from existing companies who are willing to discuss their process of business model innovation and eager to get advice from the panel of Innochat experts.
Business model innovation is a hot topic currently because entrepreneurs are discovering that without a clear picture of their business model success remains elusive. And established businesses facing threats are discovering that redesigning their business models may be the only thing that will save them. This topic is of particular interest at SXSW because many attendees are either startups or come from companies threatened by the rise of digital publishing of all kinds -- the music industry, print media, the film industry, and the software industry, in particular -- companies that critically need new business models to survive.
"What we have here is a failure to communicate." This famous line (spoken to Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke) aptly describes the relationship that can develop between a Web site publisher and the site's developer. We'll examine real-world examples (some hilarious, others downright frightening) and discuss strategies to help non-techie entrepreneurs communicate effectively with their tech/development team.
This panel will help your bootstrapped startup avoid being taken for a ride.
So you’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole into the world of freelancing and you’re ready to make it a legit career so your friends stop thinking you’re unemployed. But how does it actually happen? Should you take the red pill... or the blue one? Do you have to grow a big agency or outsource work to India? Maybe neither. Designing a successful business takes vision, organization and communication mixed with grit and determination. And our panel guests are in the thick of it—building a business together and ready to share their successes and failures with you.
Japan remains a big question mark. Sometimes qualified as strange, sometimes thought as very innovative, often unknown to many. Can you name one Japanese startup? Can you name one Japanese web service that you use? Do you know Facebook is almost inexistent there? With the recent successes of Twitter (almost 20% of worldwide tweets are in Japanese), the iPhone (shaking a very insular mobile market), is Japan opening up to the US and the world? Similarly, with Rakuten, the Japanese eBay, acquiring Buy.com & opening offices in the US, but also entering China and elsewhere, are we witnessing a new era of Japanese companies' expansion? Japan remains a land of opportunities. A country where innovative models are popping up every day. Let's learn about Japan.
11th–15th March 2011