SXSW Interactive

An Austin Tech Pro's Guide to Navigating SXSW Interactive

At Red Fan Communications, we love to work with innovative brands that are coming up with new and better tools for our everyday lives. With SXSW quickly approaching we decided to sit down with some of our favorite Austin tech companies to see what advice they had for navigating SXSW Interactive. Below you can find tips from Atlas Wearables’ CTO, Mike Kasparian; Neil Patwardhan, founder and CEO of Skoop; and Adam Anderson, CTO of Q2.

What are you most anticipating about this year’s SXSW Interactive?

Mike (Atlas):

I’m excited to see some new innovations in wearables and fitness tech. Some companies I've been keeping an eye on from last year’s SXSW are the local guys at Sabertron, as well as Athos and Thalmic Labs (Myo).

Neil (Skoop):

It will be really interesting to see what new technologies pop up at this year's SXSW. The “wow factor” has certainly been missing from the last few years as companies scale to meet customer demands and not the other way round, where a “wow” technology creates the demand.​

Adam (Q2):

There are a number of sessions I’m excited about at SXSW, but I would say spending time with other people in the technology space is the highlight of the conference for me. There isn’t another week in the year where I can get exposure to as many interesting people and ideas.

What tips would you share for attendees to make the most out of SXSW? What events/panels/etc. would you say are not to be missed?

Mike (Atlas):

I am not paid by SXSW but I definitely recommend using their official schedule. Create an account and star your events. You can print it out or sync it to your calendar.

If you're new to Austin I'd recommend Josh Baer's Capital Factory introductory series or Capital Factory A-List Pitch – I hear it will be a great crash course for accelerators and our local startup scene. And of course if you're looking to start out the conference rejuvenated be sure to check out NBC Sports Radius Fitness Class.

Neil (Skoop):

Arrive early for sessions so you can grab a good seat and can converse with the speaker depending on the size of session. The keynotes are always fascinating to attend, but I have my eye on micro-networking topics, which Skoop is designed to do.

Adam (Q2):

Plan ahead for those “can’t miss” sessions, but leave plenty of time to interact with others organically. A random conversation can sometimes be the most valuable thing that happens during a day at the conference.

Is your company doing anything for SXSW that you’d like us to share?

Mike (Atlas):

We'll actually have a booth at SXSW Create, hosted by Silicon Labs. Stop by to challenge your friends to some pushups and win prizes!

Neil (Skoop):

75% of the fun of SXSW is unofficial, like the ecosystem of stuff that happens around the official SXSW events. Our app, Skoop for Events, is your one stop shop for all that news and more. It’s an app you cannot live without at this year's SXSW. You can sign up for free on our pre-release list today at www.grabskoop.com/events.

Adam (Q2):

We’re hosting a great recruiting event this year to give prospects a chance to learn about Q2 and our culture. This is the first year we’ve really made a big push to recruit at the conference and we are excited. Please stop by Cenote a few blocks from the Convention Center on March 16, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. to check out our #nerdcarnival!

We hope these tips come in handy for you during Interactive this year. Contact us if you are interested in connecting with Atlas, Skoop or Q2 or if you are interested in learning about what Red Fan can do to promote your tech business. We hope to see you out and about at SXSW this year!

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