SXSW V2V Advisory Board members play an integral role in shaping the event. They are founders deep in the trenches of entrepreneurship disrupting their industries. They are coaches and advisors to startups who are changing the way we experience the world. They are a field team that reports back with knowledge and insights on industry trends. Along with offering counsel on various event elements, they review session proposals as a part of the PanelPicker process and contribute to the V2V blog. We greatly appreciate the expertise this accomplished group extends to the event!
Get to know the Advisory Board by reading below. If you get lucky you'll have a chance to meet them in July!
Executive Director, Million Mile Month | @hi5steve
Social entrepreneur, 30+ yrs marketing, advertising, technology, health & education; founder of 4empowerment, nonprofit Cyberways and Waterways, established Million Mile Month and Green Ribbon Schools programs. Prior: Int’l/US marketing w/Textron, SSC&B:Lintas NY, VP Interactive Director at GSD&M. Recognized as "Shaper of the Future" by Converge. MBA Wake Forest Univ., BA FSU, an avid scuba diver.
Number One Tip for Startups: Capital to support operations and a solid advisory team.
Operations Director, Global Talent at Ashoka | @dcasha
Asha has over a decade of impact in the private, governmental and philanthropic sectors leading strategic, financial and operational initiatives. She is passionate about the potential of applying innovative solutions across sectors and their ability to strengthen governance, improve education and transform lives. Asha enjoys advising startups and students.
Number One Tip for Startups: Trust your gut.
Director, CMU's ETC
Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories and transformational experiences across texts, comics, games and other media.
Number One Tip for Startups: Have someone who really cares and owns the financial details as well as the creative team.
President & Co-Founder, DISCO | @JGarcia3rd
For over a decade Juan Garcia has been creating edutainment for broadcast and broadband. He is the executive producer of Energy at the Movies, an award-winning STEM TV special now in syndication on PBS. He is also the producer of Energy 101, a groundbreaking new “course app" from The University of Texas. In 2014 he co-founded and launched DISCO, an edtech startup, in partnership with Adobe.
Number One Tip for Startups: Remember the two “T’s”: timing and team – both will play a huge role in the success of your startup.
Vice President, Generation Opportunity | @JulieG
Julie Germany is the Vice President of Grassroots Activism at Generation Opportunity. In her free time, she serves on the board of White Coat Waste Project, as well as on the board of the Army Heritage Museum Foundation.
Number One Tip for Startups: Define the principles your organization will operate under -- and live by them.
Founder and Principal, Gimbut and Associates
Martha Gimbut is the principal and founder of Gimbut and Associates. Martha has over 25 years of marketing, sales, technical support and strategic leadership experience in Fortune 100 companies, high tech start ups and non-profits. As the principal and founder of Gimbut and Associates, Martha works with start ups, non-profits and technology companies providing a wide range of strategy, planning, marketing and business development services.
Number One Tip for Startups: Have a clear understanding of your value proposition and your routes to market.
Founder, LG Pictures | @LynGraft
I film entrepreneurs (500+) such as the founders of Whole Foods, LinkedIn, Zappos, Playboy, Clear Channel, Craigslist & Tom’s. I’ve produced over 700 videos including CNBC’s first primetime TV series ‘American Made’, 200 videos for Dell, 150 for Presidential Campaign & 35 videos for Microsoft. I serve on the Dell Advisory and SXSW Interactive Boards and have a BA in Electrical Engr. & an MBA.
Number One Tip for Startups: Create a story that builds an emotional connection with your audience that inspires them to take action on your behalf & remember you.
Principal, Powershift Group | @sguengerich
Steve is a co-founder of Appconomy and principal at Powershift Group. He is an entrepreneur, co-founder and vice president of Appconomy, Inc. and author of several books and numerous articles on information technology.
Number One Tip for Startups: If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.
CEO, Sandbox Communities | @scottyhendo
Scott Henderson helps organizations attract and engage audiences by using physical places, events, and media to create shared experiences. He’s at his best seeking, discovering, and connecting awesomeness. He’s currently launching Sandbox Crew, which is the galvanizer of people, ideas, and companies at Tech Square in Atlanta, Georgia.
Number One Tip for Startups: Focus on the problem you're solving for people and the human need that drives the problem.
Creative Director | @krening
Karen is a creative director focused on scientific awareness. She co-organizes Brooklyn based sci-cabaret The Empiricist League, and is an instructor for NYU SHERP’s Entrepreneurial Science Journalism course. She’s a 2015 Synthetic Biology LEAP fellow, and recently completed worked with Natalie Kuldell (MIT) on visuals for "Biobuilder" (O’Reilly, 2015).
Number One Tip for Startups: Be patient. Great work takes time.
Co-Founder, Workshop | @gingin
Virginia cut her teeth in digital when it was an emerging industry; working for NYC’s first DSL company, riding out the dot-com boom at an internet incubator. After 15+ years at agencies/start-ups, she narrowed on technology-sparked solutions for business + life. Virginia is a consultant, a partner at Workshop and helps imagine a world where we design for the fringe instead of the target audience.
Number One Tip for Startups: If you think you need to pivot follow your gut. Do it quickly. The in-between/indecisive period is where you lose money, momentum and faith.
Lynne d Johnson
Tech Evangelist/Digital Strategist, LdJ Communications
Lynne d Johnson is a tech evangelist and digital marketer who has led teams to develop creative content and community experiences for popular media brands like Vibe, Spin and Fast Company. She's also worked on B2B content marketing and growth strategies for tech startups Rocki, Spotify, TrekkSoft, TagMan. At agencies like R/GA, Waggener Edstrom, Converseon, Heartbeat Ideas, Whispr Group and WeAreSocial she developed digital and social media solutions for various CPG, retail, health, B2B tech, and cosmetics brands.
Technologist, Polycot Labs | @jeffk
I'm a 30-something technology guy in Austin, Texas. I design new services at HP Cloud. I write a lot about the future, particularly procedural content generation, augmented reality, software bots, and 3d printing. Before HP I ran a boutique web consulting shop for 10 years, and built software at Whole Foods Market.
Number One Tip for Startups: Don't be afraid of making the wrong decision, be afraid of not following the customer.
Vice President, Jon Peddie Research | @kat5
Kathleen Maher heads JPR's software studies group. She reports on software being used for computer aided design (CAD), entertainment production, game development, etc. In addition she is the editor-in-chief of JPRs quarterly and bi-weekly publication, TechWatch.
Number One Tip for Startups: It's not enough to have one dynamite product, have a follow up and a roadmap.
Digital Marketing Manager | @RandalC
Randal is currently the Digital Marketing Manager for a $1.7B global CPG manufacturer. His experience includes developing and implementing integrated strategies, creating and maintaining digital platforms, and launching campaigns to build brand health, awareness, and sales. He engages early stage ventures in trial and test scenarios, advising them on growing their business within the category.
Number One Tip for Startups: Know the value you create & articulate it with conviction & data. Customers must understand & believe your proposition in under 10 seconds.
Senior Marketing Manager, National Restaurant Association | @annatauzin
Texas roots. East Coast hustle. Innovator, connection point, and executor at the National Restaurant Association. Fascinated by #restaurants, #foodtech, mobile payment & elegant user experiences, especially in tech and hospitality. Volunteer sous chef for Miriam's Kitchen and advisory board member for SXSW, DC State Fair, and Improvonia.
Number One Tip for Startups: Have focused conversations with the industry you are targeting. Make sure you truly understand the pain points. And pay attention to #UX!!
Director, Producing Future | @producingfuture
Technology entrepreneur, startup advisor, board member, coder, author, speaker, and documentary filmmaker. Extensive experience in digital strategy, media, marketing, and advertising, as well as open source and cloud computing.
Number One Tip for Startups: Talk to your users and then talk to them some more so you make a product they actually want.
President, Martin Waxman Communications | @martinwaxman
Martin Waxman is a content marketing and social PR strategist, conducts social media training and workshops and teaches digital strategy at UToronto. He co-founded 3 PR agencies and is a member of the SXSW Advisory Board and chair-elect of PRSA Counselors Academy. He writes a monthly column for Marketing magazine, hosts the Inside PR podcast and speaks at conferences across North America.
Number One Tip for Startups: Awesome startups need to percolate, evolve and develop a culture, personality, and goals before they’re ready to take center stage.
President, Operator Foundation | @blanu
Brandon has worked for the last ten years in open source and peer-to-peer software. He founded many open source peer-to-peer software projects, including Freenet, Tristero, Alluvium, and Project Snakebite. Brandon has also worked in peer-to-peer Interent video delivery at Swarmcast as Senior Engineer and then at BitTorrent as the Director of Product Management.
Number One Tip for Startups: The greatest challenge startups have is managing rapid growth without losing either the competitive edge or the company culture.
IT Product Manager - HR Systems at Atlassian | @austinbeergeek
Eric has over 20 years experience both in and out of IT in various industries including Software, Aerospace & Defense, Pharmaceuticals, and Semiconductors. Always having one foot in each of IT and the Business side of things, Eric has a unique perspective on the "Big Picture".
Number One Tip for Startups: Don't forget the basics: Take care of your people and they will take care of the business.