Photo courtesy of SXSW

Photo courtesy of SXSW

It’s time to soak in all of the knowledge from South by Southwest Interactive, which officially begins Friday.

And even though some people with badges never step inside a panel discussion, they are missing out on some thought provoking discussions. Don’t be one of those people. Go to the panels, book signings and discussions. Check out these events and enjoy your time at SXSW. It really is a magical conference filled with brilliant people.


Two Ways to Keep the Austin Startup Scene Weird: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Austin Chamber of Commerce office in the Hilton Hotel. A panel of top entrepreneurs in Austin talking about opportunities in healthcare innovation and alternative funding models. The panel features Dan Graham, owner of Notley Ventures, David Altounian, professor of entrepreneurship at St. Edwards University, Mellie Price, founder and CEO of SoftMatch and Suzi Soza, co-founder and CEO of Verb.

Austin’s Best Ed-Tech Startups: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Austin is a hot bed for educational technology startups. This panel gives an overview of the ones to watch. It features Charles Thornburgh, CEO of Civitas Learning, David B. Palumbo, vice president of learning services at SoftMatch and John Raymond, CEO of ImpactLab.

Exploring Austin’s Startup Funding Landscape: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Lots of buzz lately about whether Austin has enough money to fund its startups even though the city takes the lion’s share of venture capital in the state. This panel is surely going to attract a crowd interested in the city’s funding sources. It features Christopher Shonk, general partner of ATX Seed Ventures, Claire England, executive director of Central Texas Angel Network, Laura Kilcrease, managing director of Triton Ventures and Tom Meredith, co-founder of Meritage Capital.

Austin’s Best Hardware Startups: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Five minute pitch presentations by five of the city’s hottest hardware startups. The panel features Andre Yousefi, cofounder of PCH Lime Lab, Jean Anne Booth, CEO of UnaliWear and Rick Yang, partner of New Enterprise Associates.

Austin Goes Global: Best International Startups: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – It’s a big world and Austin startups are finding markets outside the U.S. and international startups are also setting up shop in Austin. This panel features Dawn Winchester, CDO of Publicis, Fred Schmidt, director of international affairs at Capital Factory, Joel Eriksson Enqvist, investment manager of Creandum, John Erskine, vice president of publishing with Cloud Imperium Games.

Weird Goes Galactic: Austin’s New Space Economy: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The space industry is one of the region’s top growth sectors according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce. That’s the major subject of discussion at this panel featuring Dorothy Swanson, former CFO of NASA/Johnson Space Center, Stephen Kreher, senior director of economic development for the Austin Chamber of Commerce and Tom Markusic, CEO of Firefly Space Systems.

Creating a More Diverse Austin Startup Scene: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The panelist include Aviva Pinchas, growth marketer with Automattic, Charmane Sellers, advisory board member with Enterprising Women Foundation, Koy Mcdermott, chief strategy officer of Leaders Inspire Leaders and Michael Henderson, founder and CEO of Doing Development.


Reflections on the Austin Tech Scene Then and Now at 9:30 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel in the Austin Chamber of Commerce offices. This panel features Howard Falkenberg with Staats Falkenberg & Partners, Neal Spelce with Neal Spelce Co. and Pike Powers, CEO of The Pike Powers Group LLC.

Ding! Speed Meetings with UT Austin Entrepreneurs at 11:00 a.m. at 3Ten Austin City Limits. The event features Bob Metcalfe, professor of innovation at the University of Texas at Austin and his team from the UT Innovation Center and a round of speed meetings with Austin entrepreneurs.

The Future of Grocery Shopping at 5 p.m. at the Driskill Ballroom featuring Eric Bee, CMR&D Manager at Chaotic Moon Studios.

Can Austin Rule the AI World? at 5 p.m. in the Austin Chamber Offices at the Hilton. This panel features Doreen Lorenzo, co-founder of Vidlet, Akshay Sabhikhi, CEO of CognitiveScale, Amir Husain, founder and CEO of Sparkcognition and Manoj Saxena, founding general partner and managing director of The Entrepreneur’s Fund.


The Media’s Role in Austin’s Tech Boom at 11:00 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel in the Austin Chamber of Commerce offices. The panel features Susan Lahey, reporter with Silicon Hills News, Brent Wistrom with Austin Inno, Colin Pope with Austin Business Journal and Joshua Rubin with The Daily Dot.

Get Backed – book reading – 1:00 p.m. Sunday in Room 10AB of the Austin Convention Center by its authors Evan Loomis and Evan Baehr.

How Austin Leads the Business of Social Media at 2:30 p.m. featuring Virginia Miracle and Sam Decker with Spredfast, Erik Qualman with Equalman Studios and Krupa Patel Bala with Facebook.

How to Raise Capital for your Healthcare Company at 3:30 p.m. featuring Michele Skelding with the Austin Chamber, Rick Anderson with PTV Healthcare Capital and Casper de Clercq with Norwest Venture Partners.


Personal Rapid Transit: Available NOW for Austin at 12:30 to 1:30 at the Westin Austin Downtown in Continent 3. The panel features Richard Garriott de Cayeux, founder of Austin PRT.


From Success to Significance at 9:30 a.m. in Salon E of the Hilton Austin Downtown. This talk by Joshua Baer, founder of Capital Factory, discusses the importance of fellowships for personal and professional growth.