over the last month I took a deep dive with International Accelerator (based in Austin, TX). When I dove in I was immediately tasked with helping the team finalize SXSW events & trade show activities. It has been a daunting feat, that has left me so tired (SO TIRED Y’ALL), but has left me great life experiences…..and really good connections! I enjoyed being a part of the madness, and can’t wait to take some of my new skills and experiences along the road with me. Today I finished/published a “Recap” of our events there, and I’d like to share with you all! For me personally, I underwent a series of daily transformations (ranging from euphoric to incredibly grumpy to extremely anxious). I learned a lot about myself (what I’m into, and what I’m not willing to tolerate), and got to know the IA team a lot better. So, without further ado – SXSW in a nutshell!
International Accelerator just spent a week recovering from the SXSW mania, which takes over beautiful Austin, TX every year in March. Recovery is probably not the best way to describe how we have spent our last week, because we’ve actually been hard at work, burning the candle at both ends, following up, calculating results, sharing information, touching base and simultaneously being a support system to one another. International Accelerator is (thankfully) a team made greater by the sum of its parts, and we really came together to pull off our events this year! So, thank you to our team, and thank you to our sponsors and partners that made this SXSW such a successful event for us: Casa Mexico, Mexican American Cultural Center, The Hellenic Initiative, INC Monterrey, Galvanize, Silicon Labs and many more individuals. So, here is a recap of what we did, and how it went for us!
Our events were in full swing from March 8th-March 14th. One whole week. Seven whole days. 168 hours or 10,080 minutes or 604,800 seconds; how ever you gauge it, we spent a lot of time immersed in the incredible (and busy) world of SXSW. This Austin staple has been taking over our city since 1987 and has blossomed into this amalgamation of pop-culture and tech that is unlike any other festival around the world. We are (of course) very proud to call Austin the home of this gem, but we can also get a bit overwhelmed when it arrives! The downtown epicenter and the East Side of downtown become immensely over populated, causing traffic rerouting and delays for anyone trying to live a normal life while the city is taken over. Thankfully many businesses respond appropriately by either giving their team time off, remote working permissions or packing everyone up and diving into the madness together (which is the IA approach).
Day One: So, we first dove into the madness on Thursday March 8th, with our Startup Coaching Event hosted at the Mexican American Cultural Center off Rainey Street. We opened this event to all the startups that signed up to be a part of our Pitching Competition. We ended up have 49 startups attend our event – 73% of the startups that pitched the next day, and the gracious participation of 33 coaches. This event went off without a hitch, and participation was so high that we had to set some tables and chairs up outside to accommodate our overflow (we were thankful for that good ole Texas sunshine). SCORE Austin even came to cover our event this day, so be sure to go over and check out their photos and write up as well!
Following the coaching event, we had a lovely evening of networking with startups, mentors and influencers at the home of Angelos Angelou. We were wined and dined and sent home to sleep a few hours before we did it all again the next day! The invitation was open to everyone participating in our events throughout SXSW, and the attendance was massive: we had over 200 RSVPs! Thanks to everyone who came out to mingle and network, and thanks to the Angelou’s for hosting such an amazing (and delicious) event for all!
Day two: On Friday March 9th, we kicked off the morning with some of the best coffee anyone has ever had in their lives.
Thanks to Zu Cafe for keeping us fueled throughout the competition! (Coffee = life)
The event officially began at 9:00 AM with words of welcome from Angelos Angelou, The Consulate General of Mexico – Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez – and others. Then, we proceeded to make our way through 67 pitches, from startups representing 11 different countries, sorted into two separate rooms, almost non-stop until around 5:00 PM. Then the hustle was real: we calculated results, put together a top 10 winners list, and presented the results to an auditorium full of people at 5:30 PM.
Keeping this machine moving timely was a feat, so thank you to everyone who helped make that happen! Though, of course, we had some motivation to keep us moving: the Silicon Labs Awards Ceremony and Casa Mexico kick off party began at 6:30 pm!
So, we headed over to the event where we were graced with dignitaries (including Mayor Steve Adler!), organizers, mentors, influencers and too many entrepreneurs to count. This event was an incredible wrap up to all the hard work we put in! Thanks to Silicon Labs for sponsoring this amazing evening for all of us.
Day three: Saturday March 10th was marked by a “top 20” brunch at Silicon Valley Bank, where startups could learn more about International Accelerators program, and get access to possible mentors and connections. Then our team spent some time setting up our trade show booth (which takes way longer than one would imagine), and spent some time networking with the international presence at SXSW. Luckily, this is really fun work that involves attending events up and down Rainey Street…..so we can’t complain!
Day four-seven: The SXSW trade show kicked off on Sunday March 11th , where we were joined by startups at our booth to showcase their businesses. We ended up having a total of 11 different companies showcase with us throughout SXSW: Sync BNB, Whiise, Kids in the Kitchen!, The Beloved Republic, Politica, Intrideo, United We Fly (who even brought some tunes for us), Rental GURU, Petralog,Adventum, Metavallon.VC.
Meanwhile, as all the magic was happening at our booth, our team members were tagging out on overseeing that endeavor, and attending panels, pitch competitions, meetups, happy hours, brunches & so much more!
Needless to say, the events we attended were amazing and lucrative. We have hundreds of new connections, many new friends, and some new candidates for our portfolio! Cheers to the City of Austin for allowing such an amazing event to take place in our backyard, and cheers to the attendees, presenters and the dreamers that make it all possible!
To find out more about IA peruse our website.
HERE is where you can apply to join our program.
Be sure to follow us on our social media to stay up to date on everything!
(Originally published on International Accelerator’s BLOG)
Morgan Messick is a Pop-Culture fanatic, Podcast Host, Booktuber & total #BookBabe living in Austin, TX with her Husband and two dogs — Scoop & Eleanor. She aspires to grow her #TBR pile, do all of the hiking, travel as often as possible and make a joke at every turn. She utilizes laughter and yoga for daily medicine, thinks that Harry Potter is magic for all ages, and truly believes Die Hard is a great Christmas movie (SO DEAL WITH IT.)
Catch her musings here, and around the web — links in the “about” page!