Austinpreneur's Guide to SXSW 2011

This originally appeared on Joshua Baer’s Austinpreneur blog.

If you’re an entrepreneur coming to Austin for SXSW 2011, here are the events you won’t want to miss!





  • 10:00am Capital Factory Office Hours
  • 12:00pm Inbox Love Lunch
  • 5:00pm-7:00pm Entrepreneur’s Lounge at Fogo
  • 5:30pm Data Cluster Party
  • 8:00pm Capital Factory Dinner
  • 8:00pm-11:00pm Tech Cocktail


  • 10:30am Accelerator
  • 5:00pm-6:00pm Trilogy Alumni Happy Hour
  • 5:00pm-7:00pm Entrepreneur’s Lounge at Fogo
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm StartupBus Finals
  • 9:00pm Startup Digest / Kauffman Foundation Party


Everything starts with the ATX Startup Crawl on Thursday the 10th at 4:00pm.

After you check-in on Thursday hop on the Smiley Shuttle and catch a ride to 20 Austin tech startups within a 1 mile radius. Visit Capital Thought, Gowalla, Infochimps, OtherInbox, PeopleAdmin, Tabbed Out and a dozen other startups. Each one will have beer, games, music and more waiting for you. Most startups are clustered so that you can visit 2 or 3 at each stop. More than 1,000 people have RSVP’d so we know this is going to be a blast!

Friday night lets Ignite SXSW!

In this Ignite we’ll ask 16 experts in their fields to look ahead 10 years and help us understand how our every day lives will be affected by advances in technology and society. This will be an official SXSW event promoted in the booklet and directory. Anyone with a SXSW badge can attend without a ticket but we still would appreciate if you would register so we can plan better. There are a limited number of tickets for sale to friends of Ignite who will not have SXSW badges. We’re psyched that Dorkbot will be joining us for the event and setting up around the perimeter of the Music Hall.

Saturday you don’t want to miss Jason Cohen’s talk Saturday at 11:00am in Salon AB:

A Bootstrapped Geek Sifts Through the Bullshit

After starting four companies, I’ve found that some widely accepted advice lead me to failure while trusting my (inexperienced) gut lead to success. So many business philosophies profess they’re the One True Way, yet different business face different hurdles. With stories, six actionable lessons, and a workshopping of 37signals’ philosophy, you’ll learn when to follow the rules and when to go your own way.

Saturday at 3:30pm please attend my interactive talk in Salon AB:

5 Secrets to a Killer Elevator Pitch

Everyone in a startup should be able to give the “elevator pitch”, even the programmers! Having the right pitch can help you land a big customer, catch an investor’s interest, or just explain what you do to your mom. Learn about the 5 secrets to a killer pitch from an expert speaker who has pitched at TechCrunch50, SXSW Accelerator, Ignite, DEMO, and many other competitions. This is not for beginners! These investors have seen thousands of pitches and invested in hundreds of companies. Come to this presentation after you’ve already given your pitch a 100 times and are really ready to take it to the next level. First I’ll spend 20 minutes talking about the 5 secrets and show some killer examples. Then the panel of investors will take five volunteers from the audience and work with them to improve their 2 minute pitch. Come prepared! And just to eat my own dog food, here is a 5 minute elevator pitch for this presentation!

I need 5 volunteers to come up on stage and pitch their company, and then receive some feedback from myself and other mentors. Please email me or reach out on Twitter if you’re interested in being one of the companies.

Lean Startup SXSW

If you’re not planting at the Convention Center for the day, it might be worth the trip up to the AT&T Executive Center at UT for Lean Startup SXSW. Many of my favorite speakers will be on stage including Eric Ries, Dave McClure, Hiten Shah, Ash Maurya, Jason Cohen and Steve Blank. I’m sure this will be an incredible event and full of quality people.

Capital Factory

Applications are being accepted for our third summer program with Capital Factory 2011! Partner with 20 successful entrepreneurs to be your mentors, plus get $20,000 in cash, free office space, legal services and more. Now is the time to meet with mentors, ask questions, and get feedback. Sunday morning we’re holding Capital Factory Office Hours from 10am-noon at the Convention Center and its open to anyone who wants to stop by. Location will be announced on Twitter so follow @CapitalFactory.

Inbox Love

I’ll be making sweet Inbox Love for lunch at a special email lunch I’m putting together with Jared Goralnick and 500 Startups. Inbox Love is focused on email as a platform – it’s not about email marketing, spam or security. I’m looking forward to seeing many of the connections I met at the Inbox Love conference in Mountain View last month in a casual setting. Thanks to Port 25 for sponsoring! If you would like to attend please email me or reach out on Twitter for more info.

StartupBus Finals

FIVE buses full of 40 strangers are converging on Austin from around the country. On the way here, they are forming teams and building startups in a StartupWeekend fashion. They will arrive on Thursday for the ATX Startup Crawl and then have the weekend to try and get some initial traction with their product. On Monday evening, we’ll be having finals to choose the best companies from all of the buses. You don’t want to miss this event.


On Tuesday come see me compete in the DAS IronGeek competition. I’ll be typing Dvorak, assembling computers, and other feats of geekiness. Come cheer me on, I need your support!

Entrepreneur’s Lounge

Hanging out at Fogo next to the convention center is now a tradition for SXSW entrepreneurs. Also known as the “Meat Up” because its held at a Brazilian restaurant. Go up on the rooftop deck, enjoy some drinks and snacks, and meet up with other entrepreneurs and investors.

What other entrepreneur events are YOU looking forward to? Please leave a comment.

About Bryan Menell

Bryan is the Managing Editor for AustinStartup and the CEO of Mahana. He is a co-founder of Capital Factory, an investor and advisor, and runs the popular Austin Tech Happy Hour with his wife.


  1. This is helpful. Thanks.