Home What’s Left For Startups At SXSW?

What’s Left For Startups At SXSW?

It’s Monday and that means that the Interactive portion of SXSW is drawing closer and closer to its close tomorrow after a weekend of great talks, panels, parties and overall hoopla. While some of the most fun parts of SXSW may be behind us, there are still a lot of great things to go see in Austin, especially for those in the startup and entrepreneurship communities. So if you’re looking for some interesting panels to attend before you catch your flight home later this week, here’s a run down of some of the remaining startup-related talks and events.

This afternoon, a keynote interview with Twitter’s Evan Williams will surely provide any striving entrepreneur with some intriguing insights into his tactics for success. Williams will be joined in Exhibit Hall 1 by Umair Haque of Havas Media Lab at 2pm. Later on in the afternoon, author Clara Shih, whose book The Facebook Era was one of our Weekend Reading suggestions, will be signing copies of her book at the South by Bookstore. The signing starts at 3:20, so get their early and on time because 10 minutes later there is a trio of interesting panels to choose from.

At 3:30 in the Radisson Travis, Jason Oberfest of ngmoco and Eroc Eldon of Inside Network will be presenting on how online games can take advantage of social media. We’ve seen a lot of interesting developments in web-based gaming lately, especially with the success of Zynga on Facebook. New technologies are making in-browser games much more powerful than anything we’ve seen before, and the opportunities to tie social networking into the experience make the possibilities for startups in this genre very promising.

If gaming isn’t your cup of tea, head on over to the Courtyard Rio Grande A to see Elizabeth Hallmark and Drew Scherz of Texas Comptroller speak on “Building Happy and High Performing Teams.” This is similar to a topic discussed by David Russo in his book 17 Rules Successful Companies Use to Attract and Keep Top Talent, which we also profiled in our Weekend Reading series.

But stealing the 3:30 time-slot might be a discussion of the future of incubators with some startup super-stars. Naval Ravikant of Venture Hacks, David Cohen of TechStars and Paul Graham of Y Combinator will join a few others to discuss what they call the “Seed Combinator,” but really startups and entrepreneurs could glean value from anything these guys chose to talk about, so don’t miss it.

After those panels, pick up and walk over to the Hilton at 5pm for what should be a fascinating discussion about customer service in the world of today’s social networks. This five-member panel including Jeremiah Owyang, CNET‘s Caroline McCarthy, and executives from Microsoft, HP and Comcast should shed some light on how customer support has evolved “in a 140 character world.”

Tomorrow morning, as the Interactive portion closes out, entrepreneurs may want to stop by Ballroom A at 9:30 for a discussion on protyping web applications. Are wire-frames and mock-ups going the way of the Dodo? Darren Delave and Michael Leggett of Google think so, and will present on ways “make and present prototypes to improve all stages of the design and development cycle.”

But the real issue every startup and entrepreneur wants to know about is how to get money from investors. At 3:30 tomorrow in Hilton A/B, don’t miss legendary investor Reid Hoffman and Justin Fishner-Wolfson of Founders Fund present on “Getting Your Company Funded.” The talk promises to debunk the myths and questions behind VC funding, term sheets, options, liquidation, “much much more.”

And finally, a good way to close out the festivities is to check out day 2 of the Microsoft BizSpark Accellerator competition at the Hilton. You can stop by and check out the companies which present throughout the day, but come back at 6pm to see which of the 12 finalists will be crowned this year’s winners. And if you aren’t in Austin, you can still watch for free online at the Accellerator homepage (granted you have Silverlight installed, of course).

Also, remember that everyone at SXSW is tweeting like crazy at all of these events and discussions, so use Twitter search to find out more information if you can’t make it to each event. Each event’s description on the SXSW homepage also includes the official hashtag for the event so you can easily see what people are saying about it on Twitter. If you have any other suggestions for startups and entrepreneurs at SXSW, let us know in the comments.

Photos by Flickr users toprankonlinemarketing, and magerleague.

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