Entrepreneurs often pitch their ideas as “the X of Y”. Match.com for farmers… Foursquare for parking lots… Gilt Groupe for grandparents. It is both efficient and lucrative to take what already works and extend it to a new niche, a new country or a new context. Innovation through localization or specialization has launched many successful businesses.
On the flip side, say you have a truly innovative and disruptive idea. Good for you! That’s only the beginning. Companies like Groupon and Gilt launched with unique business models, but now they each have a slew of imitators and have spent fortunes to stay at the front of the pack. In a time of easy capital, fast development and expensive intellectual property rights, how else besides capital can a company stay defensible?
The start up scene continues to thrive. You may have got funding and you may have an awesome product but how will you make those first key partnerships with clients and ad agencies? This is new territory for many blue chip clients and most ad agencies. They know they need to play in the start up space but they are afraid. All you guys are much younger, and cooler, you don't wear suits so how can we take you really seriously? How will I know whether you are the next FourSquare or the next pets.com? The panelists will be able to share all their different viewpoints. We have an investor and incubator, we have a recently funded start up making their first deals, we have an ad agency and we have the all important client who is making those purchasing decisions for her brand. We will hear from all of the panelists and then invite any start ups in the audience that would like some advice to ask questions. All the panelists are used to talking freely about the subject rather than inflicting death by powerpoint.
At 100 million strong, Millennials are the biggest generation in American history. They possess nearly a trillion dollars in spending power. They're flipping every social custom and convention known to man on its head. You can't beat them so how can you join them?Chevrolet, in partnership with MTV through its swat team Scratch, is re-imagining the automotive experience from concepts to ownership and recently put young buyers in charge of product planning through two concept coupes. Taking a cue from the software industry, the Chevrolet concepts serve as prototypes to start a discussion, to iterate and co-create the future of transportation. This isn’t just a slight change in workflow, it’s a complete reboot with direct consumer input taking center stage. Hear Director of GM Advanced Design Frank Saucedo and Viacom Media Networks' Senior Vice President of Scratch Anne Hubert discuss how the cars and relationships came to be and how the process will transform Chevrolet for the future.
Health Technologies start-up companies pitching their products and/or services in round one to high profiled industry expert judges.
Emcee: Frank Moss (Bluefin Labs)
Judges: Dr. Geeta Nayyar (AT&T for Health), Doug Ulman (Livestrong), Adam Koopersmith (New World Ventures)
Finalist: Cellscope, BodiMojo, Jiff, Medify
For more information about the SXSW Accelerator event click here - http://sxsw.com/interactive/star...
by Doc Searls
It is standard in business to talk about "acquiring," "capturing," "locking in," "owning" and "managing" customers as if they were slaves or cattle.In the Internet Age, shouldn’t we be free to set our own terms, control our own data, and even state the prices we are ready to pay—outside of any company's silo? And haven't free customers been a promise of free market as well as the Internet from the start?Doc Searls says yes. Doc co-authored The Cluetrain Manifisto, and his new book, The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge — due out in May 2012 from Harvard Business Review Press. He has also been working since 2006 with developers on tools for customer liberation, through ProjectVRM at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.Some of those tools are now coming to market. But will they prove out? In "Are Free Customers Better Than Captive Ones?" Doc tackles that question and invites many more. Bring your own to what will prove to be a highly interactive session.
9th–13th March 2012