Who Was the Champion of SXSW?

We’ve closed the curtain on a fantastic SXSW 2014 here in Austin. If you were in town, we hope you made it home safely and have fully recovered. It was our first SXSW in our new downtown office, and the hundreds of guests who made their way to and through our new home enjoyed taking in the conference and Austin from 24 stories up.

With SXSW Interactive sometimes giving the digital industry a platform for launching breakthrough products like Twitter in 2007 and Foursquare in 2009, the conference always fosters a hope that we’ll find ourselves with front row seats to the next big digital thing making its grand debut.

This year worked a little differently though. From our point of view, the SXSW Interactive champions this year were brands themselves – not for the glittery, 6-figure sponsorships they ran, but for coming to learn and engage with startups and creative innovators. Our own SXSW experience with top global brands and agencies fully reflected that theme.

Some of the highlights of our week included:

  • Partnering with Evol8tion to host private workshop events with leading global brands and agency partners
  • Bringing together representatives from Capital Factory, Bazaarvoice, Google and Mohr Davidow Ventures to share perspectives on Austin’s culture of innovation and creativity – and how that applies to running a global brand
  • Spending a half-day with leaders from ZenithOptimedia on a Startup Sprint exercise mapped to global campaign opportunities
  • Being named the winner of the 2014 SXSW Startup Pitch Competition hosted by the CMO Club
  • Hosting Michael Brito in our office to sign his new book, “Your Brand, The Next Media Company
  • Being recognized by Entrepreneur as one of 6 “SXSW’s Entrepreneurs to Watch

These were just a few examples, and there were many more all over town. This year it was clear brands and agencies have embraced SXSW as a platform for drinking in the creativity and innovation (and perhaps a few other beverages) they know they need to grow their own businesses.

We’re looking forward to seeing you again next year and making SXSW even more impactful.

Lastly, I hope you’ll consider making a contribution to SXSW Cares, which has been created to help people affected by the tragic accident that took place during SXSW this year.


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