Austin Convention Center, SXSW Interactive. March 2012.
Startups are creatures of their environment. Like living organisms they depend heavily on the interactions of their environment for nourishment, growth and even survival. Clearly, not all environments are equal when it comes to growing things – We see deserts, grassy steppes, forests, oceans, etc. in the natural world, and intuitively know that some are richer and more diverse than others in terms of the organisms that they foster. Likewise, the urban and economic environments in which startups compete for resources (money, expertise, information, connections) are similarly varied. As I have written about extensively, Silicon Valley is the top environment on planet Earth for fostering startups: So if you find yourself wearing the shoes of a Startup founder, and you are not in the Bay Area, you are operating at a disadvantage from day one.
There is a clear pathway for such startups to begin to mitigate their disadvantage.
SWSW Interactive provides such a pathway: It is like a coral reef – a vibrant collection of diversity that allows for intense networking, information sharing, deal making, and relationship building of a sort that no other event has done the same way before for startups.
SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) has grown into something akin to a force of nature. Tens of thousands of tech-savvy attendees and countless celebrities and thought leaders from the digital world coming together to share time and information with one another in Austin Texas every March. On a calendar of big events that gets more crowded every year, SXSWi stands out as a “must attend” for many if the global Technorati. And amidst the exquisite chaos of SXSWi in 2012 came the realization that it had become the “World’s Trade Show for Startups”. To be an impactful media and technology event was not enough: It had also become the must-attend event for entrepreneurs from around the globe.
The question is, then, “Will your startup be there?”
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