Since last couple of months, I was debating whether I should go to SXSW Interactive or spend the same amount on our startup. Now I can certainly say that, it would have been a big mistake if I would have opted for the later. I had a wonderful, life changing experience @SXSW.
I believe SXSW is the place where you can validate your idea, product or service and share your dream mission with number of Tech Leaders, Investors and Media. I thought it would be fair to write about my first experience which may help other start-up founders.
Demos & Pitching:
At SXSW, you will get number of opportunities to demo your start-up product. Thanks to the Start-up incubators. We were able to demo our product “Inwiter – Video Greetings app” at Tech Cocktail and TechBreakfast. It was amazing to see and meet DC Tech members, enthusiasts and industry experts at one place. There are so many pitch competitions where your idea or start-up would be provided a feedback. We had a chance to pitch at Startup Oasis and got a good feedback from the judges.
Here is the video greeting created using the selfies and great memories at SXSW using Inwiter Video Greetings App.
Networking with the right people is not easy. SXSW provides environment and space for connecting right people at the right place. Moreover, you may never get this much time from either Media or the Angels and Venture Capitalists to pitch your idea. I was able to connect to number of great thought leaders and certainly it’s going to have a positive impact on our next steps.
Brand Awareness & Trade Show:
If you have a start-up ready to roll, it is the best place for brand building and awareness. You can also learn innovative ways of spreading the word out.
Sessions & Interviews:
Samsung, PayPal, Nest, Mashable, TechCrunch, IBM and Microsoft are some of the lounges where I was able to connect with number of people. And also Guy Kawasaki was interviewing various Industry leaders in the morning hours at PayPal. Especially if you start your day early, it is better to visit these Lounges and meet people.
There are special groups like CMO Club, Founders Club and Hatch Pitch. I attended Hatch Pitch event and Founders club at W hotel. It’s the best place to get connected with co CEO’s and founders and to learn from each other.
Eat, Drink & Party:
Last but not the least, you can have lots of fun. Unwind the hectic day in any Bar. Entire Austin downtown is filled with SXSW parties. Start your day with nice breakfast, Juice & coffee in various lounges.