If you're headed to SXSW this year, it's a great opportunity to start forging relationships in the VC community. There are a number of Austin events (including one co-organized by yours truly) designed to drive dialogue and develop awareness around the business side of startups. Here are five good connection opportunities:
Are you an entrepreneur, someone thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, or a talented maker who would like to join a startup? Join Blumberg Capital and Intel Capital in Austin for 10 Minute VC, Texas-style. On Sunday, March 13th, Christine Herron, Lucy McQuilken, and Aldo Franciscolo from Intel Capital, along with David Blumberg, Bruce Taragin, and Jon Soberg of Blumberg Capital, will be your hosts in Austin. We'll be available for 10-minute chats, and you set the agenda. (Hat tip to Kent Goldman from First Round Capital for galvanizing the investor community around this concept!) Feel free to give us your quick pitch, ask questions, or just start a relationship. If you can't get a meeting time, then come join us for a drink - Vince Young's has five local beers on tap and the bar will be open.
Make sure to register to attend as capacity for both meeting and mixing is (sadly) limited. Grab your time slot when you register, and plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early so that the good folks from Founder Institute can get you checked in and ready.
2. Reverse VC Pitch Preparty at SXSW - Thursday 3/10, 11:10-11:20 PM. Organized by the Larry Chiang Experience.
Yes, you read the time right: This is an eleven minute party the day before SXSW. I am using this party to prove that with my help, you and I will do more in an 11 minute party than most people will get done in five days of SXSW. After my March 10, 11 minute party...I am going to enjoy my geek Spring Break. Speakers include Tim Draper and Ethan Kurtzweil.
***NEWS: There is an afterparty w/a VC Panel! ***
An official SXSW Interactive track on March 12th from 9:30am - 6:00pm, The Lean Startup SXSW is a full day of talks and sessions on lean startup methods led by entrepreneurs who are killin' it.
Too much junk in the trunk? Get rid of those startup love handles at SXSW with 500 Startups & Eric Ries.
4. Mix + Pitch Party (UM Student Pitch Competition) - Sunday 3/13, 4:30-7:00 PM. Organized by the University of Michigan.
A bus packed with some of the best and brightest from the University of Michigan’s graduate programs rolls into Austin with an inaugural business pitch event. Students from the Business, Design, Engineering, Information, and Natural Resources schools will showcase their creative ideas while bringing the college party to you. In honor of those beer-soaked college days, join us at our pitch event supported by X PRIZE Foundation where you’ll mingle with our alums, entrepreneurs and VCs from coast-to-coast in an amped-up event with an on-campus vibe. We’ll bring hoppy beer along with talented judges and you’ll hear some fresh ideas from enterprising young grad students.
Students will formulate their innovative business pitches while crammed together on a 20-hour bus ride from the Big House to SXSW... necessity is the mother of invention. Emceed by the always fantastic Ingrid Vanderveldt, CEO of Green Girl Energy, Inc, the lightning-round pitch competition covers three themes: Mobile Apps, Sustainability, and Social Media; judging is also based on the creativity of the pitch—so expect something weird!
Update: We are ecstatic to announce the following pitch competition judges:
Jay Adelson—CEO, SimpleGeo, Inc (and Founder and Chairman, Revision3 Corp., Former CEO, Digg, Inc., Founder, Equinix, Inc.)
Kevin Koym—Co-Founder and CEO, Tech Ranch AustinMarc Weisser—Founder Managing Director, RPM VenturesChris Shonk—Managing Director, Liahona VenturesJason Bornhorst—VP of Product, Mobiata
Blair Garrou—Managing Director, DFJ Mercury
The third annual SXSW Accelerator presented by Microsoft BizSpark will take place March 14-16 at the 2011 SXSW Festival in Austin Texas.
A live audience, as well as a panel of expert judges will discover advancements in social media, mobile applications, web entertainment, and more. The best part? Product demonstrations by the most ambitious talents in the world with the most creative new ideas to change it. A glimpse of the industry's future awaits, with a guided tour by emcees Mark Suster, Brad King, Blair Garrou, and Tara 'Miss Rogue' Hunt. We are grateful to them, as well as to our sponsors: Microsoft BizSpark, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, IBM, .CO, and Turner Broadcasting System.
Note that I haven't posted private events...there are a bunch of these to attend as well, if you can wrangle invitations.
If you see other great VC-entrepreneur connection opportunities, please share in the comments. Hope to see you in Austin!