Check out what V2V has in store for 2015. Learn more about our inspirational Keynotes and 20/20 Vision talks, our compelling Panels and Core Conversations, and our hands-on Workshops and Mentor Sessions. This is just the beginning. We will announce much more programming in the coming months.
The center of each day's programming, Keynote presentations are internally-curated talks that take the form of either a solo talk, an interview, or a conversation between two individuals. These presentations bring to the stage some of the industry's most inspired thinkers. We will announce these special session in the coming months.
Exclusive to SXSW V2V, the 20/20 Vision program offers a unique point-counterpoint view on many controversial topics that are vital to startup success. Two back-to-back 20-minute talks from experienced industry luminaries, as well as cutting-edges newcomers, offer a wide and eclectic view on many important topics.
Building a Product that gets Millions of Users
Jason Lawrence Nazar (Docstoc/Intuit)
Having a great idea alone isn’t the key to business success - getting users will make or break your business. Getting millions of users launches a business into the category of true success. In order to get to disruptive customer growth, entrepreneurs and business owners need to understand how to create a product from the ground up that will drive customer engagement and loyalty. It is imperative that entrepreneurs understand how to create a consumer savvy product that appeals to the audience they’re trying to reach. In a time where a new startup is created nearly every hour, it is crucial to follow some sage wisdom that rings true for almost any business regardless of industry. Docstoc Founder (acquired by Intuit) Jason Nazar will give a powerful, innovative, honest, and even humorous look at how to take something from good to great in the path to a million.
Building a Tech Platform For Future Growth
Juan Benitez (Braintree)
When launching your startup or building a new app, the first thing you’re often focused on is simply getting it up and running. But it’s important, even in the earliest stages, to think about what you can do to ensure longevity for your business - and that means making sure your technology backend or platform is scalable and built to support future growth for yourself and your customers.As the CTO of Braintree, Juan Benitez has firsthand experience with this. Throughout his time at Braintree, the payments platform powering many of the best next-gen companies like Uber, Airbnb and HotelTonight, he’s learned many lessons both within Braintree and from working with the innovative companies that Braintree powers on how to scale engineering teams, technical platforms and global businesses. During this talk, Juan will talk through his experience scaling the Braintree platform and building tools that will grow with a startup.
How to Bootstrap, Target Right Investors
Melody McCloskey (StyleSeat)
Melody McCloskey, CEO & Co-Founder of StyleSeat, the largest and fastest-growing online and mobile marketplace for beauty and wellness services, will discuss how she initially bootstrapped the business and has since successfully raised over $14M in funding.McCloskey will share ideas on running lean in the early phases of your business, targeting the right investors for your venture, and how to convey plans for future business growth. During the session, McCloskey will also detail the first years of StyleSeat, including over a year of market research in hundreds of salons, and the learnings from that time that helped drive the company toward product/market fit.Today, StyleSeat has over 260K beauty professionals in over 15K cities in the U.S. McCloskey has raised over $14M in funding and has grown her company from 3 employees to 31. StyleSeat has helped drive over nine million appointments since launch, with more than $500M in appointment bookings flowing through the platform.
Leading the Startup UX from 0 to 100 Days
Uday Gajendar (CloudPhysics)
Imagine you've left a prominent post as Principal Designer of a corporate UX team to become Director of UX for a 20-person startup with an unfinished product, scant customer base, and team of data scientists eager to showcase brilliance. That's my story and I'd like to share how I drove the creation of the core UX strategy to build a platform for design excellence in the startup. We'll look at the steps taken from Day One in terms of: Developing rapport with key leaders (Sales, Marketing, Engineering), Defining a set of pillars, Proposing a strategic framework, and Evangelizing design principles. In addition certain methods were applied including UX Audit, Customer Development, and Pixel Pushing. What worked, and what didn't in the first 30-60 day sprint? What's the trajectory for the next 100 days and beyond for a long-term company UX strategy? Learn more in this spirited, candid overview of one person's mission to "Deliver Beauty & Soul" to Big Data in a Lean, Agile startup context.
Love and Hate: Harnessing the Drama in Design
Steve Vassallo (Foundation Capital)
Steve Vassallo is a GP at Foundation Capital who lives at the intersection of business, technology, and design. As one of the first employees at both IDEO and Ning, Steve has been at the center of design-driven decision-making for years. He has managed strong and conflicting design perspectives that arise during each stage of companies' growth, and witnessed the benefits companies reap when they keep design at their core. Now as a VC, Steve works with entrepreneurs to ensure that UX and design consciousness are at the heart of their growth strategies. Oftentimes, an investor and designer's visions can differ. As we enter the era of the ‘Design co-founder,’ Steve will discuss common challenges designers face in the startup world, offer tips on how to navigate them, and share unique insights gained from his experiences on both sides of the table. He will offer his perspective about challenges faced by design-minded entrepreneurs, and how to achieve balance between data and design.
The Rise of Maker Millionaires
Mark Hatch (TechShop)
Software startups are not the only multi-million dollar businesses and producing world-changing innovations. Mark Hatch, author of The Maker Movement Manifesto and CEO of TechShop (the first, largest, and most popular makerspace with locations nationwide), sees the maker business as the next big business. He has seen this phenomenon firsthand with companies that built prototypes at TechShop and become huge, profitable successes, including Square, valued at $5 billion, Oru Kayak (a foldable kayak) that raised $440,000 on Kickstarter and another $500,000 from Shark Tank, Lumio (a modern book lamp) and Theradome (a FDA-approved laser helmet), which each raised nearly half a million dollars via crowdfunding, and Embrace (an infant warmer) that recently attracted funding from Beyoncé. Prototypes that would have cost $100,000 in the past have been made at TechShop for $1,000. Mark will discuss the business of making and the new innovation rules for entrepreneurs.
At SXSW V2V, skilled panel moderators will guide 3 speakers through in-depth discussions (and sometimes heated debate) on topics that are specifically chosen to give entrepreneurs vital insight and information.
Can Business Build a Better World?
Kirsten Dickerson (Raven+Lily), Bryan Papé (Miir), Barrett Ward (fashionABLE)
For the majority of American history, solving social problems has been seen as the job of government, religious groups and charities. Yet in the last ten years there has been an unprecedented boom of 'social entrepreneurship' – the idea that for-profit business models can be leveraged to generate meaningful change for the world's most pressing issues. While a creative use of capitalism, can businesses that pursue a double bottom line of purpose and profit truly succeed? In this panel, three social entrepreneurs – Barrett Ward of fashionABLE, Kirsten Dickerson of Raven+Lily and Tyler Merrick of Project 7 – will share the catalytic experiences that inspired them to start their mission-driven businesses, and the trials and triumphs that they have experienced along the way. The panelists will candidly discuss what it takes to build an ethical and competitive enterprise that not only thrives, but helps others do the same.
Modern is Smarter: Using Open Source to Grow
Lavanya Rastogi (OSSCube)
With business expansion to the cloud at the top of everyone's mind, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and a lot of new options for growing businesses to take advantage of. In this session, we will go into detail about open source software and solutions, and how they can change the way you do business in a modern world. From explaining exactly what open source is, to presenting case studies of open source software (OSS) success stories, and even offering peace of mind through a detailed open source security analysis, we intend to make every person in the room familiar with open source, and excited to add it to their business repertoire.
Navigating the Regulatory Landscape as a Startup
Christopher Nicholson (Venture Politics), Tahmina Watson (Watson Immigration Law), Craig Montuori (Venture Politics), Aurora Chisté (Hack for Big Choices)
Can you imagine finding product-market fit for your startup, demonstrating traction, and raising capital only to have your startup killed by regulators? It could happen to you!Startups always have too much that needs attention with not enough time for everything—isn't it best just to focus on executing and ignore the regulators, like Uber is doing? Risk management is one of the most important skills a founder needs, and in highly regulated industries, ignoring government actors and hoping everything works out is a foolish risk.We'll discuss both defensive and offensive strategies to engaging the government, specifically focusing on examples drawn from the startup visa advocacy effort and immigrant founders' stories of problems at the border. Learn how government bureaucrats make decisions and how you can protect your startup from getting killed by regulations.
The Best City in the World
Jim Hopkinson (Hopkinson Creative Media, llc.), Adam Marelli (Adam Marelli Photo), Jey Van-Sharp (My Uber Life), Helen Todd (Sociality Squared)
Why is Paris known for Fashion, Geneva known for Banking, and why does New York think it’s the best at everything?Cities do more than offer us a place to do business. They are cultural hubs where creativity and commerce collide, and they have a gravitational pull that is well beyond the grasps of science. To live in a city, is to be a part of a force, often greater than the country it calls home. There are islands where millions of people mix the very best and the very worst of what civilization has to offer. But behind the contradictions lies a unified power, one that feeds on the ambitions of its people. Cities are not defined by ethnicity or class, rather they have emerged at the intersection of desire and possibility. At this intersection there is also economic opportunity. Join in our discussion where we explore how art, culture, and community drive economic growth; what makes a city great; and why every country aspires to create a new global capital.
The High-Growth Bootstrapped Startup
John Roa (AKTA), Dean DeBiase (Reboot Partners)
With the collapse of the financial markets in 2008, many startups were left with no choice but to bootstrap. Since then, a number of successfully bootstrapped companies have risen to prominence for their disruptive business models, pioneering products or services, and groundbreaking advances in the use of technology. This raised the profile of bootstrapping as a slow, but steady means to capitalize. Today, there is a prevailing notion that bootstrapped startups either grow slowly or fail immediately. With limited options to fund expansion, a lack of big, long-term clients, or adverse economic conditions, there are many reasons that justify this claim. In this talk, all these myths are debunked. Bootstrapped companies can consistently achieve high-growth rates during its early years of operation, take on large clients to boost their portfolio and earn a formidable position in the marketplace amidst economic uncertainties.
Core Conversations sprang out of the casual hallway interactions that happened between the panel discussions and presentations at SXSW Interactive. They have since become one of the most popular presentation formats at SXSW. We are now bringing Core Conversations to SXSW V2V. Engage with industry professionals and fellow attendees in a guided discussion around a specific topic crucial to the startup and entrepreneur experience.
Avoiding the Marketing House of Cards
Michelle Tripp (Reyes Global)
Facebook pulled the plug on organic reach. Twitter is suppressing and curating tweets. Google is altering its stance on paid inclusion. Startups and marketers are learning a tough lesson. The free lunch is over, and relying on engagement through third-party social networks is building on a house of cards.This is an actionable insights session where the first 10 minutes are focused on the top three aggressive strategies startups can use to get social media followers securely back into your hands. For the next 10 minutes we outline a 6-part marketing tactical program that shows you how to keep and grow your followers and build a brand ecosystem once you’re back in the conversation. Learn how to use social networks for building traction and community without giving up your engagement power.
Dollars and Sense: Perfecting the One-for-One Model
Todd Grinnell (This Bar Saves Lives), Ravi Patel (This Bar Saves Lives)
In the past few years, it has become a trend among entrepreneurs to integrate social impact into for-profit business models. Yet, for every social enterprise success story, there is another of failure, indicating that the marriage of 'doing good' and 'doing well' as a business is far from seamless. Todd Grinnell and Ravi Patel are two founders of This Bar Saves Lives - a company that uses its gourmet granola bars to fund the provision of lifesaving food supplements to malnourished children abroad. In this session, Todd and Ravi will discuss the c hallenges of the popularized "one-for-one" model, and address the criticisms often faced by brands based on this model. Drawing on their experience as successful social entrepreneurs of a one-for one company, Ravi and Todd will equip participants with an understanding of what it takes to succeed financially while simultaneously contributing to significant social change.
Empowering the Female Founder
Amy Balliett (Killer Infographics)
For female business leaders, it remains difficult to gain a strong foothold in the business world. Only about 8.1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women and a 2011 study of 60,000+ people found a strong preference for male bosses. Amy Balliett, co-founder of industry-leading design agency Killer Infographics, has encountered a number of gender-charged assumptions in the last 4 years as she’s worked to grow her company. In the business sphere, some people still assume that even a female founder must defer to males — or to a husband — for the final say in a transaction. This core conversation seeks to engage women and men in the V2V community to determine how widespread these obstacles still are, and to identify solutions. The discussion will also explore whether men and women have different leadership styles. Balliett, who has a male business partner, will offer up rare insights into contrasting managerial styles based on her own experience starting and operating a highly successful agency.
How We Plan to Make $1B with Crowdfunding
Jason Best (Crowdfund Capital Ventures), Sherwood Neiss (Crowdfund Capital Ventures)
Crowdfunding is much more than websites. It is an entire ecosystem of businesses and investment opportunities that will transcend the Internet of Things (IoT). Where do these opportunities exist and what do they look like? Jason Best and Sherwood Neiss are the founders of the crowdfund investing movement in the USA. After launching global trade associations and using their relationships to fosters crowdfunding ecosystems globally they now actively invest in the "crowdfunding economy." This session will breakdown the crowdfunding economy into a series of economic opportunities that will shape the future of finance and investing. Attendees will leave understanding where opportunities exist in the market and how they should be thinking of addressing these holes. Startups should attend to learn how crowdfunding is adapting to fit their needs and ways to creatively promote their businesses. And investors should attend to learn what the crowdfunding economy means to them.
Intellectual Property and Startups – Gold or Fool’s Gold
Andrew Eisenberg (Lee & Hayes, PLLC)
This interactive core conversation will discuss the pros and cons of planning, obtaining, and maintaining intellectual property as it relates to both high and low tech startups. We will also discuss the benefits and tradeoffs associated with allocating hard earned investment dollars towards IP opposed to other growing business needs. During the conversation, Andrew will propose several models for structuring a startup's intellectual property and lead a discussion relating the different models to different industries as well as relating each model to a startup's business plan, funding opportunities, exit strategies, and best and worst case scenarios.
Passion to Success: A Start-up Junkie's Story
Steven Amato (Contend Co.)
In world where credentials and education seem to be on the top of people’s minds and in the workplace, Steven Amato, just a guy from Connecticut who went to NY to write and produce theatre, found himself amidst the creative community at the age of 17 and learned gracefully and with humility, how to succeed in the worlds of production and competitive marketing with no formal training. No degree, just a plethora of reading and writing and pursuing a dream, Amato tells a colorful story about a ten-year career in playwriting that led him to a highly successful career in the competitive world of advertising and marketing. Amato engages heritage brands and their industries in how to visually communicate in a digital world while guiding them through messaging, development and distribution of their content. A wild risk-taker, Amato will guide an audience on a journey through self-discovery amidst the digital sea of change we are in, with a lot of humor and honesty.
Public Relations and the Art of Vintage Networking
Darlene Fiske (The Fiske Group: Public Relations and Marketing Strategies), Lisa O'Neill(Newton O'Neill Communications)
We've advanced so far in communications that face to face interaction has become a lost art. Small business owners and fame seekers will gather sage advice from two public relations executives in a session that will make you rethink the way you interact with your customers and the media. Standing out from the crowd is essential if you want to be recognized. You'll learn new and old school techniques that will help you to network your way into the minds of influencers.
Why Consumers Really Buy Your Product
Christian Goy (Behavioral Science Lab)
Every start up is faced with with two fundamental questions, who is our target audience and why would they buy our product over the competition? There are multiple research tools out there that provide entrepreneurs with some of the answers, but fundamentally leaves them hanging as to why people truly will buy their product. This session will focus on an all-encompassing approach from a behavioral economics point of view that will help start ups focus on the essence of marketing as a whole.
Our in-depth, instructional workshop program offers advanced-level technical information that revolves around a particular topic or skill. Workshops enable SXSW V2V registrants to gain even more expertise in their particular area of interest.
Getting It Right From Entrance to Exit
Rick Jordan (Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP), Adam Hull (Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP)
This interactive workshop will be centered around a fictional tech start-up company, following the company from formation to exit. The moderators will share real-life experiences with start-ups and maturing companies, with a focus on key formation issues, raising capital, and creating equity and other incentive plans for key people without giving away the company. Prior to the event, registrants will be encouraged to submit problems they are currently facing as well as any questions or concerns they might have. As we follow the company through its early evolution, the questions and issues submitted by attendees will be incorporated into the workshop and addressed as if they are being faced by the fictional company and its founders. For each of the significant issues faced by the fictional company, attendees will receive bullet point guides to use as reference materials when they face these issues in the real world.
How to Use Neurobiology to Make a Successful Pitch
John K Bates (Behavioral Science Lab)
You have something truly awesome to share with the world. I’m here to bring that out of you so it can live and make a real difference in the world we inhabit, together. - John Bates In this Internationally Acclaimed, highly entertaining workshop you will learn how to use Human Evolutionary Biology & Human Neurophysiology to: Make the very most of every word you speak, and WHY it works, Move your listeners to action with a new level of ease, Stand out from the crowd and be remembered, Leave your fear and anxiety around public speaking far behind, How to create and deliver pitches that move investors to sign checks, What you will learn in this lively session is applicable to pitching your business, raising venture capital, marketing, presenting, selling, and leading and motivating your team with charisma and excellence. You will learn the secrets of successful pitches that VCs don't want you to know from someone who has successfully raised $100s of Millions in VC funding.
Growth Hacking Live: Boost Your Startup in Realtime
Vincent Dignan (Magnific)
There's a lot of terrible information in the social media/online marketing/growth hacking space. My workshop intends to deliver, in real-time, real value to startups/entrepreneurs attending; including how to quickly grow a community online, how to ensure your emails get seen/answered, creating easy workflows, content marketing and user acquisition. Startups/entrepreneurs who attend will leave with every piece of software that they'll need to execute a growth strategy (free) applicable to many industries, actionable immediately- some will even see new followers/interactions during the session. I'll deliver incredible value to attendants, learnt the hard way through growing content sites with zero budget to hundreds of thousands of monthly users, through social media and social news strategies. This session will uncover the tips and tricks the big startups have used, and make them accessible to everyone who attends.
JUMP START for Start Ups: From Vision to Results
Stephanie Staidle (The Right Brain Entrepreneur)
Many of us have winning ideas, but don't know how to bring them to fruition. Without a strong vision and the skills to break through limiting barriers, those ideas can't become results. In this cutting edge workshop, Stephanie Staidle, mindset coach and creativity expert, brings you through a step by step process to help you clarify and define your start up vision. With interactive exercises that use techniques based in neuroscience to spark creativity and insight, you will leave this workshop with a whole new understanding of the business future you want to create and a personalized action plan to get you started. Participants will also gain skill in visual thinking, understanding the science behind how it works, and develop new skills to assist them in being more productive in all aspects of their lives by tapping into a 'right brain' process. Geared toward individuals who want to create a start up. Although some exercises are arts-based, no artistic talent is needed.
Tools to Strategically Position Your Brand
Sheri Koetting (MSLK)
In this hour and a half long workshop, we will cover best practices for market research and positioning. Each participant will create a positioning chart, craft a unique selling proposition, identify 1-3 target audience profiles, and create 3 key brand stories. With this information, brands will be prepared to begin effective creative exploration with an in-house or consultant creative team. Participants will leave this session armed and ready to execute targeted marketing, sales outreach and design explorations that directly answer business goals.
No matter where in the process your idea may be - conception, gathering talent, bootstrapping, stage one (or two) funding – the advice and counsel of those who have trod that path before is invaluable. SXSW V2V seeks to connect entrepreneurs with experienced mentors who can help them take their idea to the next level.
Mentor Session: Ammon Curtis
Ammon Curtis (Infusionsoft)
Mentor Session: Geoff Wilson
Geoff Wilson (352 Inc.)
Mentor Session: Janie Yu
Janie Yu (Fung Capital)
Mentor Session: Jeffrey Burlin
Jeffrey Burlin (PwC)
Mentor Session: Jennifer Peck
Jennifer Peck (Banjo)
Mentor Session: Jessica Peltz
Jessica Peltz (kbs+ Ventures)
Mentor Session: Julie Ewald
Julie Ewald (Impressa Solutions)
Mentor Session: Maria Karaivanova
Maria Karaivanova (CloudFlare)
Mentor Session: Amanda Slavin
Amanda Slavin (CatalystCreativ)
Mentor Session: Asha Aravindakshan
Asha Aravindakshan (Blue Tiger Labs)
Mentor Session: Brian Pullen
Brian Pullen (The Working Group)
Mentor Session: Brian Simmons
Brian Simmons (Eventslice)
Mentor Session: Carlos Gil
Carlos Gil (Digital Strategist)
Mentor Session: Charles H Martin
Charles H Martin (Every1's Guide Press)
Mentor Session: Cody McLain
Cody McLain (WireFuseMedia LLC)
Mentor Session: David Briggs
David Briggs (NEO3DO)
Mentor Session: DL Byron
DL Byron (Bike Hugger)
Mentor Session: Drew Bird
Drew Bird (Clearpoint Leadership)
Mentor Session: Gregory J Green
Gregory J Green (The Flagstaff Initiative)
Mentor Session: Jason Sprenger
Jason Sprenger (Game Changer Communications)
Mentor Session: Jeb Ory
Jeb Ory (Phone2Action)
Mentor Session: Jessica Tunon
Jessica Tunon (Netwalking LLC)
Mentor Session: Jim Galis
Jim Galis (Advanced Imagination)
Mentor Session: Kimberly James
Kimberly James (CBM Records)
Mentor Session: Mark Meadows
Mark Meadows (Propllr)
Mentor Session: Nick Grant
Nick Grant (Killer Infographics)
Mentor Session: Nick Spriggs
Nick Spriggs (NEO3DO)
Mentor Session: Sheena Allen
Sheena Allen (Sheena Allen Apps)
Mentor Session: Steve Guengerich
Steve Guengerich (Powershift Group)
Mentor Session: Tamara Thorpe
Tamara Thorpe (The Millennials Mentor)
Mentor Session: Tiffanie Stanard
Tiffanie Stanard (Prestige Concepts LLC)
Mentor Session: Will Young
Will Young (Zappos IP Inc)
Photo By Marco Valerio