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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Entrepreneurship

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Friday 9th March 2012

  • Hug the Grinch! Win a Macbook Air!

    by Wenxiang Wu

    At the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, Zopim (www.zopim.com), a leading provider of cloud-based Customer Engagement solutions, will hijack the city of Austin, TX to sow the seeds of customer love.

    Leveraging SXSW attendees' infamous love for the fun and wacky, "The Support Grinch", a superbad green monster will be unleashed onto the streets on 9th March 2012. He will terrorize innocent civilians with his unsanitary vocabulary, outrageous hairdo and evil smirk.

    Fortunately, his green Achilles' Heel is well-documented - the Support Grinch hates hugs. This SXSW, join hands with thousands of heroes on HugTheGrinch.com to hunt the Grinch down. Snap photographic evidence of your loving heroics, and stand a chance to win great prizes, including the ultimate MacBook Air, sponsored by the customer lovers from Zopim!

    Very much like the free hugs movement, our goal is to spread spontaneous fun and happiness at SXSW through this mobile game that we conceived in our spare time over the past two weeks.

    Linking back to our business, customer engagement software is only part of the equation for customer happiness. We see our users inject great passion, humor and spontaneity when using Zopim to chat with their customers. This reinforces our belief that true customer joy can only be delivered when people within the organization are truly happy, in line with the values of the Delivering Happiness movement.

    About Zopim

    Aside from this fun HugTheGrinch side project, our full time job is building amazingly simple customer engagement tools. Our award winning flagship product - Zopim Live Chat - has helped more than 35,000 online businesses wow their customers through real time chat engagement. With Zopim, our customers are happily targeting high-value website visitors, chatting directly with customers, building great relationships and increasing brand equity, everyday.

    At 9:00am to 5:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Austin Convention Center

    Coverage photo

  • All Day Event - Alcatel-Lucent’s Trend Lounge

    Alcatel-Lucent is rolling out the red carpet again and playing host at the sassy “ultra-lounge.” Devs, techies, entrepreneurs and VCs are invited to relax, recharge, drink & grub with ALU’s NG Connect team and partners. Fight the flashes on the step and repeat, cameo appearances from tech & celeb stars, and the juiciest SXSW gossip live. VentureBeat will host live interviews while TechZulu brings the hollyweird, live streaming all current events.

    At 1:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Room 406, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Half Day Event-The Lift presents: Latin America Innovation

    The Lift invites you to discover Latin America as a source of technological development and possible investments for the years to come. With a selection of some of the best projects generated in Latin America, this lounge hosts Latin American start-ups, socially-innovative projects, a showcase of amazing artists working with technology and other creative outputs from Latin America’s prime creative industries. You know the flavour, come and get to know innovation from Chile and Argentina to Mexico.

    At 1:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In West Tent, Brush Square Park

  • How to Lose Co-Founders and Alienate Startups

    by Seth Blank, Orian Marx, Alexandra Cavoulacos, Kathryn Minshew and Vivek Sharma

    Most startup entrepreneurs, investors and incubators will tell you that two founders are better than one. What they won't tell you is two founders are more likely to try to kill each other - or at least kill their startup. Co-founder disasters are a bit of an industry taboo. We never hear about most of them. Many great entrepreneurs have had to sacrifice a beloved startup to learn valuable life lessons about working with partners. This panel brings together four entrepreneurs who lost their prior startups to infighting but survived to tell their tales in the hope that you can avoid some of their mistakes.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 9th March

    In Salon D, Hilton Austin Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

  • Storytelling for Entrepreneurs & Startups

    by Lyn Graft

    Storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of communication you have as an entrepreneur to assist you in starting a company, recruiting employees, raising capital, securing clients and getting press. Stories are universal and almost 100% relatable to people from all walks of life enabling the entrepreneur to inspire and catalyze an audience. Stories also help us structure meaning around complex situations and enable entrepreneurs to make the intangible tangible. Drawing from the experience gained from filming over 300 entrepreneurs, this panel is designed to share thoughts and examples on why and how storytelling should be weaved into your startup, launch and growth activities. Key points covered: Speaking from the heart and connecting emotionally with your audience; Crafting a memorable story and creating champions to share your story; making sure your baby is not ugly and stands apart from the crowd; and telling people why we do and what we do. Specific examples and techniques for digital storytelling will be shown and explained

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 9th March

    In Salon B, Hilton Austin Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

  • The Lean Startup: The Science of Entrepreneurship

    by Eric Ries

    The Lean Startup debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. This talk draws on stories and insights from the book, explaining the new science of entrepreneurship. Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counterintuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Ballroom D, Austin Convention Center

  • A Celebration of American Startups

    Showcasing some of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, as well as an array of corporate and elected leaders and some of the hottest music on the planet, this special event will provide a world-wide platform to celebrate entrepreneurship and startup companies throughout the country. The evening event, co-sponsored by The Startup America Partnership, SXSW and the Technology Partnership of the Austin Chamber will feature technology leaders including Reid Hoffman, Steve Case, Steve Blank, Amos Winbush III, and many others. A special dedication to Steve Jobs will be debuted and music provided by some great Texas artists. The evening will be second to none. Music from Austin’s own Ghostland Observatory -- band will perform at 10:45 pm. For more information about the Celebration of American Startups, please click here (link to https://www.facebook.com/events/... )

    At 6:30pm to 12:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Saturday 10th March 2012

  • All Day Event - The Lift presents: Latin America Innovation

    The Lift invites you to discover Latin America as a source of technological development and possible investments for the years to come. With a selection of some of the best projects generated in Latin America, this lounge hosts Latin American start-ups, socially-innovative projects, a showcase of amazing artists working with technology and other creative outputs from Latin America’s prime creative industries. You know the flavour, come and get to know innovation from Chile and Argentina to Mexico.

    At 9:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In West Tent, Brush Square Park

  • Get Your Startup’s Name in Lights with IBM!

    by Jani Byrne, Claire England, Guy Diedrich, Sancia Matthyssen and Jonathan Libby

    Appearing at the 2012 SXSW Interactive Festival, IBM is looking for top entrepreneurs to join our Startup Showcase Video Series. We will be in the Startup Village hosting an audience participation session where your ideas count! Bring your smart phone and have ‘real time’ interaction with our panelists as we discuss entrepreneurial perspectives on Crowdsourcing, Social Entrepreneurship and more! Your participation during the session can help influence you being selected as one of four finalists for the IBM Startup Showcase Video Series. Following SXSW, we will work with our finalists to create the Video Series, capturing conversation about their startups and hear how they are improving the lives and businesses of their customers. The video series will be delivered through multiple channels reaching tens of thousands of developers, consumers, investors, and businesses around the world. This session is sponsored by IBM.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Salon B, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Startup Passion Smack-Down

    by John Bradberry

    A surprisingly high percentage of entrepreneurs derail their startups because they fall in love with their idea. Emotional attachment to an idea leads to premature scaling and a number of other dangers. But, passion is a sacred topic among founders, who are often just as passionate about their passion as about their startups. Too often, we entrepreneurs equate rigorous scrutiny of our ideas with “negative thinking.” In this workshop we will transcend the false dichotomy between "positive" and "negative" thinking, and explore how entrepreneurial passion can bring danger along with its obvious benefits. Drawing on the latest psychological and business research, we will show how to scrutinize and strengthen your startup idea in a way that deepens your passion and confidence, and elevates your odds of success.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Salon A, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • The Field of Dreams Manifesto

    by Jeff Slobotski, Ben Milne and Bo Fishback

    With easy access to new technologies, resources, and ideas, more and more startups outside the Valley and the Alley are finding early success in places like Kansas City, Missouri and Des Moines, Iowa.Having assisted or launched several startups outside the traditional ecosystems, Dwolla’s Ben Milne and Zaarly’s Bo Fishback will discuss the role that the Internet has had in leveling the playing field for the builders of the 21st century. Moderated by Big Omaha and Silicon Prairie News founder, Jeff Slobotski, the candid conversation will provide audiences an unfettered, behind-the-scenes look at how one region is overcoming the odds and cultivating an entirely new kind of startup manifesto."

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Texas Ballroom 1-3, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage audio clip

  • The Most Wanted Unusual Suspect: Markia Zuckerberg

    by Glennette Clark and Shireen Mitchell

    In June 2011, Vivek Wadhwa wrote that we need a black Mark Zuckerberg. But, what about Markia? Is it hard to imagine that the next big thing could come from a Black woman living in an urban environment instead of one of Indian or Asian descent? What about a woman with Spanish as her first language? Where are the Black, Latino, and female Mark Zuckerbergs? There are plenty of underrepresented minorities and women who have achieved success in the tech field, but not to the level of a Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. It is a mission impossible or more like improbable?This is not a session that will re-hash and re-frame this familiar problem. This session will present out-of-the-box-thinking solutions to address the issue of diversity head on. It will also present challenges to and action items for attendees that will help to move the needle forward to truly increase diversity in the tech community.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Room 5ABC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Pay-It-Forward: Building Successful Startups

    by Chris Bennett, Hadiyah Mujhid, Monique Woodard and Nnena Ukuku

    This workshop session is taught by Black Founders Startup Ventures. Black Founders Startup Ventures was founded to increase the success of black entrepreneurs in tech through educational workshops and events. What is little known about Black Founders is the stories of its co-founders and how helping others has led to a path of opportunity for their own independent tech startups. Meet the co-founders of Black Founders, a coder, lawyer, marketing guru, and product guy, and learn how their contributions to their community has ultimately taught them to be better entrepreneurs.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Room 5ABC, Austin Convention Center

  • Entrepreneurs: International Teaming Opportunities

    by Leonardo Maldonado and Kevin Koym

    Entrepreneurs often look their own backyard for the right customers and business partnerships to launch their businesses- yet many times, the best opportunity for sales or collaboration are with business people in other countries. Kevin Koym, Founding Partner of Tech Ranch Austin, and Leonardo Maldonado, Founder of Region Fertil in Antofagasta, Chile, understand this well, for both have supported the teaming together of entrepreneurs in the US, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Honduras, and Panama. Kevin and Leonardo will share their approach giving economic development focused community leaders and entrepreneurs a chance to build a framework for success to get ventures off the ground faster and take them further than they ever could on their own.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

Sunday 11th March 2012

  • All Day Event - The Lift presents: Latin America Innovation

    The Lift invites you to discover Latin America as a source of technological development and possible investments for the years to come. With a selection of some of the best projects generated in Latin America, this lounge hosts Latin American start-ups, socially-innovative projects, a showcase of amazing artists working with technology and other creative outputs from Latin America’s prime creative industries. You know the flavour, come and get to know innovation from Chile and Argentina to Mexico.

    At 9:00am to 6:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In West Tent, Brush Square Park

  • The Most Important Panel You'll Ever Attend - How to Get Your First 100 Paying Customers [NO BADGE NEEDED]

    by Noah Kagan, Nathan Latka, Espree Devora, Liam Martin and Andrew Warner

    Event Website: http://appsumo100.eventbrite.com/

    PANEL OVERVIEW
    A business can't survive without customers, but how do you get someone to trust buying from your company when you are new. In this panel 5 proven business owners will reveal how they got their first 100 customers and developed at least 1000 core fans of their brand.

    Video (in case you don't feel like reading): http://youtu.be/x_ILQ12P5rU

    QUESTIONS ANSWERED
    How long did it take to get 100 paying customers?
    What main marketing tactic did you use to get 1000 core fans?
    How did you discover how much your market would be willing to spend on your product/service?
    Were you nervous that no one would be interested in what you had to offer?
    What is the number one thing that makes your potential customers trust you to purchase?

    PANELISTS
    Moderator, Espree Devora – ZexSports and Save Business Time - "The Girl who Gets it Done" is the founder of Save Business TIme, a guide of online business tools, and ZexSports, a search engine dedicated to local action sports events, and co-founder of Women in Action Sports (WIAS).
    Noah Kagan – AppSumo - After graduating from Berkeley Haas School of Business, Noah worked in marketing at Intel before becoming the 30th employee at Facebook, 4th employee at Mint.com and ultimately founded AppSumo, THE leading on-line resource for tools and training for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
    Liam Martin - TimeDoctor and Staff - After graduating with a masters in Sociology from McGill University, Liam opened a small tutoring company which grew to over 100 employees, he consults on outsourcing and process design and is now working as a co-founder at www.staff.com, an elite remote working network where employers can find full time employees at a fraction of brick and mortar employees.
    Andrew Warner – Mixergy - Andrew has interviewed a wealth of entrepreneurs, startups, press, lurkers, and ambitious upstarts. Mixergy.com is a daily online interviews of successful entrepreneurs, such as Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Tony Hseih (Zappos)
    Nathan Latka – Lujure - Nathan is Co-Founder and CEO of Lujure.com, a tool that helps you build a fan page in under 30 seconds. After losing his job, he decided to build a company around what he knew best: Facebook. This is the story of a scrummy college guy who goes from his dorm room, to the Lujure boardroom which now empowers over 45,000 business owners online.

    SIGN UP NOW!
    Purchase before February 29 and receive access to 2 bonus mastermind sessions:
    Monday, March 5, 8:30 PM CST - Ask your questions of development outsourcing expert, Liam Martin, co-founder Staff.com
    Tuesday, March 6, 8:30 PM CST - Learn how to sell and make money for your mobile app with Jonathon Kay, former head of marketing for Grasshopper, co-founder Apptopia and creator of Learn 2 Buzz.
    OVER $2000 in Panel Perks!
    VIP Staffing from Staff.com
    Face time with other panelists
    Credit from AppSumo
    Credit from Lujure.com Facebook Brand Page builder tool
    Lean Launch Action Guide from Mixergy
    Hang with Noah Kagan - 30th employee at Facebook, 4th employee at Mint.com, founder of AppSumo - a general marketing wizard
    The opportunity to meet event organizer super team, Espree Devora, and Sara Norris... PRICELESS!

    At 9:00am to 11:00am, Sunday 11th March

  • Startup Breakthrough: Speed Coaching for Founders

    by Jerry Colonna and David Kashen

    Five of the world's top startup-focused executive coaches choose entrepreneurs from the audience who want to volunteer with a problem or area for improvement. In speed coaching sessions, they attempt to make quick and dramatic shifts in beliefs and behaviors which will bring more success and happiness for the subjects' work and companies. In this dramatic demonstration you'll see the power and effectiveness of coaching for startup founders and leaders, and why coaching is a hot trend for high-performing founders recommended by top VCs.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Salon C, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Tapping Into America's Secret Sauce: Entrepreneurs

    by Tim O'Shaughnessy and Steve Case

    During this session, Steve Case, one of America’s most iconic entrepreneurs, and Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial, will explore the role entrepreneurship plays in launching some of the world’s fastest growing businesses. As LivingSocial’s first investor, Steve (and his investment firm, Revolution) was one of the earliest believers in the transformative power of local commerce. Tim will share his experience working with early investors and building one of today’s most promising new companies, as well as his vision for how LivingSocial is poised to bring local commerce to a new level. And looking more broadly, Steve will talk about his efforts to support entrepreneurs through his investments at Revolution, as chair of the Startup America Partnership and a member of the President’, and what we can all do to tap into “America’s secret sauce” to ensure that the US continues to be a leader in innovation and growth.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Exhibit Hall 5, Austin Convention Center

  • Adding Value As a Non-Technical No Talent Assclown

    by Matt Van Horn

    Let’s face it, if you’re not an engineer or a designer, odds are you’re a no talent assclown. However, there’s a place for no talent assclowns to be useful in every company. I’m the no talent assclown at Path and my job is to serve the engineers and designers to make their lives easier. The key to building great products is enabling talented people to focus. There are many distractions threatening to destroy that focus at every company. From managing investors to potential hires, no-talent assclowns sacrifice their time for the greater good.
    In this conversation we will discuss the secrets to getting hired and creating value as a no talent assclown.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Rio Grande Ballroom, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Everybody's a Bloody Entrepreneur! Or Are They?

    by Vanessa Keitges, Kate Brodock, Kate Dohring, Nicole Glaros and Jesse Draper

    There was an article - or 100 - the other day that said something about entrepreneurs being...The life blood of society! The new drivers of our economy! The largest employers of our citizens! The solution to our problems!

    And what about all the LinkedIn profiles stating "Entrepreneur" as a title?

    But are all these "entrepreneurs" really entrepreneurs?

    We'll be hashing through what entrepreneurship really means, what a startup really is, and what innovation really makes a difference on society and the economy (what is "making a difference" anyway?). Our panel will be a group of diverse "entrepreneurs" - from high-growth speedups as described by Startup America to social entrepreneurs who might not provide huge financial returns but contribute in other ways - and we'll be talking about the similarities and differences between everyone's idea of their own Entrepreneurship.

    It's a frank discussion on some of the realities and frustrations surrounding this debate.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Salon C, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Co-Founder Speed Dating

    It's hard to find a co-founder for your startup. Tell us what you are looking for and we will play the matchmaker. In just an hour, you'll meet a dozen potential co-founders hand-picked for you. Please register ahead of time at http://capitalfactory.com/sxsw-c... .

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Room 400, 402, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • How to Build Entrepreneurship Communities

    by Paige Craig, Mark Davis, Nick Seguin, Marc Nager, Shane Reiser, Andrew Yang and Brad Feld

    Why do some tech communities thrive while other fail? What can you do to start, fix or grow your city's startup scene?

    This panel will take a grounded look at the key ingredients of successful startup communities in any geography. We'll look the role that events, spaces, accelerators, VC, angels, universities, and government play in the equation, and we'll dissect the intangibles as well - including culture, philosophy, mentorship, education, and more. We'll also have some time at the end for audience questions. Panelists include Brad Feld, Paige Craig, Mark Davis, Nick Seguin, Marc Nager and Andrew Yang.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Salon D, Hilton Austin Downtown

    Coverage link

  • StartupBus Grand Final

    Imagine getting on a bus with a group of strangers and three days later, while traveling at 60 miles per hour, conceive, build and launch a startup. That's what over 300 people have done for three years, with the cream of the crop battling it out at the grand finals. Come see who will be crowned the 2012 winner...but only after being grilled by a high profile panel of investors and entrepreneurs.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Salon A, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • From Dorm Room to Board Room

    by Mangesh Hattikudur and Will Pearson

    This dual format will focus on how to grow your dorm room idea into an overnight success-- and by 'overnight' we mean 10 years of ridiculously (fun and) hard work! When they launched Mental Floss magazine at Duke University in 2001, co-founders Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur knew they had a seed of an idea. They wanted to create a magazine that blurred the lines between education and entertainment-- a place “where knowledge junkies get their fix.” A decade later their brand would include books, board games, a thriving t-shirt line, and a website that attracts over 2.5 million unique visitors per month. In the last three years, their brainchild has appeared on Inc. magazine’s 50 fastest growing media companies. Pearson and Hattikudur will discuss how to shepherd a brand through new mediums and formats, the digitization of traditional media platforms, and building successful & meaningful e-commerce ventures, all while staying true to your brand.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Rio Grande Ballroom, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Network Effect: Building a Business Around Sharing

    by Drew Houston

    Drew Houston, CEO and Co-Founder of Dropbox, has led Dropbox's growth from a simple idea to a service millions around the world rely on – a modern day Network Effect. From the classic example of the telephone to today’s social networks, every so often a new medium grows from obscurity to ubiquity because the more people that use it, the more enticing it becomes. That nearly 60% of adults online own at least two Internet connected devices not only increases the capacity of sharing but creates a need for it. In this session, Drew will sit down with a well-known tech influencer to discuss how to take a need in the market and turn it into a service so fundamental to people’s everyday lives, that it encourages them to recommend and share it with everyone.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Ballroom D, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

Monday 12th March 2012

  • Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Backwards in Heels

    by Pooja Sankar, Victoria Ransom, Michelle Zatlyn, Piya Sorcar and Kara Swisher

    Ginger Rogers may have said it, but today's female entrepreneurs are proving it. Right now, women are starting and leading new and innovative companies at an unprecedented rate. From e-commerce to healthcare to Internet infrastructure, women are breaking new ground across all industries these days. But, why now? What are today's female entrepreneurs doing differently to build sustainable businesses and get the attention and credit they deserve? What unique struggles do they still contend with and what advice can they share with tomorrow's generation of female leaders? These questions and more will be addressed in this entertaining panel.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 12th March

    In Salon C, Hilton Austin Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

  • Your Arts Organization = A Startup Business

    by Cariwyl Hebert

    If you’re an artist or work for a young arts organization, you run a start-up. A start-up where the product is culture, the audience is becoming more and more segmented by age, and the metrics for success are hard to come by. Lots of rewards and just as many challenges, right?

    In this session we'll discuss the triumphs and challenges encountered once we turn a passion project into something bigger--fundraising, developing business models, audience building, and collaborations--to name a few. This Core Conversation provides the venue you need to problem-solve and idea-share with others. Not involved in the arts but starting something new in another industry? Join us anyway! A lot of what we’ll discuss will cross over to other genres.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 12th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center

  • The Future of Innovation and Young Entrepreneurs

    by Shahed Khan

    Entrepreneurship has been growing exponentially, Teen Entrepreneurship has been rising alongside. What motivates teens to start their companies at such a young age? I would like to share the statistics of successful teen entrepreneurs who started at an early age, and encourage younger entrepreneurs to start pursuing their dreams at an early age.

    At 11:15am to 11:30am, Monday 12th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center

  • The Business of Kevin Smith

    by Kevin Smith and Bob Moczydlowsky

    You've seen his films, bought his DVDs and followed him on Twitter.

    You know him as an actor, writer, director and founder of View Askew Productions and the SModcast Podcast Network. He's also the author of bestselling books and smash-hit comics. Kevin Smith has built a highly successful and profitable media empire over the course of his career, and he's done it on his own, sometimes-controversial terms.

    In the realm of Direct-To-Fan Marketing, Kevin Smith's only true peers are Radiohead, Trent Reznor and the PIXIES. His true super power is the ability to think and act like a fan — a skill he's used to build a loyal audience that sticks with him across all manner of projects and platforms.
    Moderator Bob Moczydlowsky, VP of Product Marketing for Topspin, will lead a discussion with the polarizing-but-never-boring entrepreneur on the ins and outs of direct-to-fan marketing, the disruption of Red State's 2011 release and his future beyond filmmaking.

    Don't miss "The Business of Kevin Smith."

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Room 18ABCD, Austin Convention Center

  • Work When Startup Culture Hits Mainstream

    by Mark Gilbreath

    We’re all seeing this happen – friends in healthcare, film and finance to name few catching what can only be dubbed “the startup bug”. John Battelle even said it himself back in July 2011, “the whole world is an Internet startup now”.
    And it’s true, but startup culture is just not our norm when it comes to work/life balance. Startups work never ends and by nature, they’re always innovating just for a small chance that they’ll break through. To them, the model of commuting to a 9-to-5 job just doesn’t compute.
    So, what happens when suddenly a whole nation’s work life turns upside down? And what changes must be made to acclimate the majority of the U.S. workforce to a wholly different work style?
    In this panel, we’ll dissect the growing trend of “startup-ness” that is building outside the technology industry and discuss what changes are needed, what innovations this may bring about, and whether or not entrepreneurialism and startup culture is made for the masses.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Rio Grande Ballroom, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center