Startups listen up! Here’s why you should go to SXSWi

Image: Google.com

South by Southwest Interactive is one of the most important events of the year, especially for tech startups. At Parallel18, we love being #InTheMiddleOfTheAction so of course we’re going to SXSW Interactive this year.

You may be wondering if you should go, if walking the convention floor helps your startup in any way. The answer is yes. As we get ready for the biggest festival in Austin, Texas, we’ve been talking and reading a lot about why it is important for us and startup/tech people to be there.

Good thing Devin Baptiste, CEO of GroupRaise.com, and a Texas native is visiting Puerto Rico this week. Devin is a SXSWi veteran so when he stopped by our offices he gave us his two cents about why startups should be there:

  1. Visibility to investors — many VCs and angel investors go to SXSWi to get a glimpse of what’s going on in the startup scene. Have your pitch ready, you never know who you’ll end up talking to at one of the many parties happening during the festival.
  2. Connection to customers — with 33,825 people from 85 foreign countries you can do some intense customer discovery. Don’t be shy, engage in conversation with the person standing behind you in line for the taco food truck or the Uber driver!
  3. Exposure to brands — many big brands and companies will be there and this means a chance to see what they’re up to, but also to try and get the introductions you wanted.
  4. Knowledge — in addition to the top speakers at the official conference, there are meetups and events covering almost any subject around tech/startup communities. There’s a good chance you can find one (or more) directly related to what you do and be part of a discussion that may keep going for long after SXSWi ends.
  5. Meet like-minded people — the best thing about SXSWi is that you are surrounded by people who speak your language, understand what you’re going through as a startup founder/team, and are passionate about doing awesome things.

Convinced? We are! If you plan to go to SXSWi this year, let us know. We want to meet and hangout! We might be in Austin, but we still plan to #WorkHardPlayTropical.

Image: wtop.com

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