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
by Justin Fishner-Wolfson
Equity is the main driver of employee compensation at start-ups, yet a lot of the terminology and machinations around how to manage stock is shrouded in mystery. This session will explore how employees can maximize the returns from their hard work and how founders can structure equity packages to be the most lucrative tools possible for recruiting top talent while being fair to their employees. From day one, understand how to compare the financials behind job offers. Learn standard terms from vesting, cliffs, accelerations and triggers to the differences between incentive stock options (ISOs), non-qualified stock options (NSOs) and restricted stock units (RSUs). Know your options for maximizing the value of your equity including what it means to do an 83(b) election. Arm yourself with knowledge to hire qualified tax advisors and know what pitfalls to look for when talking to wealth management advisors. Find out what resources are available for free online and how to best protect yourself.
by Brandon Wiley
Startups love the cloud. It's lean, it's agile, it's cost-effective for startups. As cloud services proliferate, it has become possible to run your web and mobile applications using 100% cloud services. This has an added benefit over using the cloud for part of your infrastructure. There are no servers to configure and no operations team to maintain the servers. There are only the code and the customers. This is the art of freefalling, where all you need to grow your application from an idea to a successful business is a laptop. This session will cover the process of moving to a pure cloud infrastructure, the advantages, and the pitfalls as well as how to avoid them.
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.
Social discovery is the new kid on the block in the startup scene. Glancee, Highlight, Banjo, and Sonar are this year's SXSW hottest darlings. This session will provide a detailed analysis of this space by Andrea Vaccari, cofounder and CEO of Glancee. First, we will understand what is social discovery and why it is here to stay, ready to fullfil an already existing yet underserved market at the intersection of social networking and dating services. Then we will look at today's landscape: what are the most interesting players in the space, how they differentiate from one another, how they are tackling growth and privacy concerns, and how they play along with existing social norms. Finally, we will discuss about the future of social discovery: the long-term vision of bringing together the best of our physical and digital worlds, and the opportunity to create valuable services that can be easily monetized.
9th–13th March 2012