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Your Guide to SXSW 2024

Get ready to mingle with industry luminaries, visionary founders, and potential collaborators!

by Carley Deardorff

SXSW 2024 is right around the corner, set to ignite Austin, Texas, from March 8th to 16th. Are you ready for a whirlwind of inspiration, innovation, and endless possibilities?

Do y’all feel it? The streets of Austin are buzzing with anticipation, and the air is filled with the promise of groundbreaking ideas, inspiring conversations, and invaluable connections-- many of which have already begun at SXSWedu. This time of year, every year, Austin transforms into a bustling epicenter of creativity and entrepreneurship, drawing in a diverse crowd of innovators, investors, builders, and dreamers. I often say that this is the week (or two) that Austin pretends to be NYC.

If you're anything like me, you're eager to make the most out of this incredible event.

Whether you're here to pitch your newest endeavor, expand your network, or simply soak in the infectious energy of Austin, this is your moment to shine. Whether you're a seasoned attendee or a first-timer, SXSW offers a myriad of opportunities to connect, learn, and thrive.

To help you navigate through the whirlwind of opportunities, I've curated a comprehensive guide featuring some of the most exciting events happening at SXSW this year that are curated from our DivInc partners that are builting equity into their events from the foundation. These are your people where diversity isn’t a trend, or something to be legislated, it is who they are.

Sustainable Action For International Women's Day | March 8th | RSVP Here

Listen to experts, leaders, and brands discuss the future of sustainable buying, creating a circular economy, policy, and much more. Featuring female-founded company, Anact partnered with REI, Grove, Goodwill, and more.

Equitech Texas Welcome Breakfast | March 8th | RSVP here

This Equitech in ATX breakfast event will be a place for a mix of mission-driven, under-estimated founders, funders, and allies to convene, make connections, and celebrate each other!

La Startup Casa | March 8th | RSVP here

​Join us at La Startup Casa, a newly established annual gathering in Austin, independent of SXSW, aimed at recognizing and showcasing the dynamic Latinx/e startup ecosystem.

​Hosted by Inicio, with support from Google for Startups, this premiere day-long event provides a collaborative and festive space for true connection and thought provoking content. 

​This will be the largest gathering yet for the Latinx/e startup community during this celebration of innovation. To make the change we all seek, let's show up and show out.

Future of Food | March 8th-10th | RSVP here

Future of Food is focused on fostering innovation and collaboration within food systems, future-food-focused conversations, activations, and receptions. Various locations will host a series of tasting experiences, interviews, and discussions on building a more resource-efficient, inclusive and resilient food ecosystem. Highlights for 2024 include: 

  • Temple Grandin, Autism Advocate
  • Arlan Hamilton, Backstage Capital
  • Bryon White, Builders + Backers
  • Natasha Harper Madison, City of Austin Council Member 

Please Note: Sunday programming located within Capital Factory House

Midwest House | March 8th-12th | RSVP here

Midwest House is returning for SXSW 2024! Catch us at Half Step Bar on Rainey St. from March 8th through 11th with nightly music, panels, brunch, and free programming representing and celebrating the best (and most welcoming) of the Midwest. Including partners Supply Change Capital, Technexus Venture Collaborative

Female Quotient’s EQUALITY LOUNGE® | March 9th - 10th | RSVP Here

85% of purchase decisions are made by women. 51% of the U.S. population are women. Yet, only 2% of VC funding finds its way to women. Just under 5% of public sector suppliers are women-owned businesses. And women hold a mere 5% of CEO roles in the S&P 500.

Equality is possible… when good intentions meet intentional actions.Promote us. Procure us. Fund us. Find us. Join us in the Equality Lounge® @ SXSW.  Founders, forward thinkers, and forces of the economy are all found here.

All are welcome. No exceptions. No badge required.  

  • Empowering Women in Media and Tech: Driving Diversity and Inclusion for a More Equitable Future
  • Inspiring Action: Ashley Judd on Reproductive Rights
  • Advancing Visibility for Women in Marketing and Sports
  • Closing the Impact Investing Gender Gap
  • Cultural Equity in Women’s Sports

International Women's Day ayana Launch Event | March 8th | SOLD OUT RSVP Here

Hear from women founders who’ve been there, done that. This evening is about lighting the way for future founders, giving the lowdown for current entrepreneurs, and dropping wisdom on the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship. 

​At the heart of ayana's mission is to create a community of thought leaders who share resources, lift each other, and build an unstoppable network. Together, let's create a world where the entrepreneurial spirit knows no gender boundaries, and every woman has the opportunity to flourish and succeed.

Espacio Latino Innovation Hub | March 9th | RSVP Here

The Espacio Latino Innovation Hub sponsored by the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Nasdaq Foundafio is set to convene the Latino community once again for its second annual Latino Innovation Hub. This year, the focus of the hub will be on exploring the future of wealth, with a specific emphasis on AI and its impact on the workforce, and entrepreneurship.

​The event will feature engaging panels, interactive workshops, and activation booths for sponsors, providing ample networking opportunities. The panels will serve as a platform for thought leaders to share invaluable insights, spark meaningful conversations, and inspire the audience.

​The workshops and activations will be designed to facilitate learning and hands-on experiences, offering valuable resources and action-oriented activities. Attendees will also have the opportunity to engage in "office-hours" sessions with loan officers, venture capitalists, and gain insights on topics like How to Get Certified as a Minority-Owned Business and Tech Up-skilling (resume/courses).

Dolphin Tank: Women in Tech | March 9th | RSVP here

You’re invited to Dolphin Tank: Austin by Springboard Enterprises in partnership with The Female Quotient. Springboard’s Dolphin Tank brings the power of our collective community to women entrepreneurs innovating in technology. Our Dolphin Tank events showcase exciting women-led companies and provide them with the opportunity for connections, capital, and insight from our audience of investors, advisors, and industry leaders. Speaker include:

  • Anna Consani, Head, Community, Goodwater Capital
  • Arlan Hamilton, Founder, Backstage Capital
  • Nneka Ukpai, Head, Financial Innovation, Better
  • Kerry Rupp, General Partner, True Wealth Ventures
  • Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient

PRESENTING COMPANIES:

  • Gerry Poirier, Founder and CEO, AngeLink
  • Evelyn Mora, Founder and CEO, VLGE Inc
  • Briana Franklin, Co-Founder and CEO, Cadet

Capital Factory House | March 8th - 12th RSVP here

For 5 days, get all kinds of great food, drinks, swags, and networking at events such as the Startup Crawl, Backstage Access, and more at the Capital Factory House!

Black Future House | March 8th-10th | RSVP here

Black Future House is a 3-day event bringing the sports, entertainment, tech, and creator communities together to shape a better Black Future. This year’s lineup is already feeling like a movie—12 panels, two parties, two culinary experiences, a Black chef competition, and more. Some highlights for 2024 include

  • Jeff Jenkins, Chubby Diaries & DivInc Alumni
  • Arlan Hamilton, author, Your First Million, international speaker, and founder of Backstage Capital
  • Arion Long, founder of Femly
  • Elaine Weltrother, Journalist & NYT Best-Selling Author
  • Marcus Smith, Founder of Circle M Unmasking Mental Health

Building Ecosystems for Startup Communities + HH | March 13th | RSVP here

Please join Dell for Startups, Intel Ignite, Solidworks for Startups, and citizenM for a happy hour and panel at the citizenM Austin Downtown hotel rooftop. 

​The panel will include the following speakers:

  • ​Blair Dodson (moderator)
  • ​Jillian Friot (Solidworks for Startups)
  • ​Emily Gupton (Austin Women in Technology)
  • ​Lesley Robinson (Ayana)
  • ​Grace Lanni (DivInc)
  • ​Wendy Howell (Executive Council Network)
  • ​YJ Lin (Dell for Startups)

The Established® House | March 10th | RSVP here

Join us for a gathering of startups, investors, entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs), and innovation enthusiasts. The events will take place at the Established® House presented by Established, EcoMap Technologies, Established Ventures, and Startup of the Year. This year will mark our 12th year of producing events in Austin, and we are thrilled to invite you to an inspiring, educational, and fun experience.

 Creative Industries Expo | March 13th | No RSVP Needed

The Creative Industries Expo is the convergence of all industries on the cutting-edge of technology, design, social good, health + wellness, and more.

Mindfully curated, SXSW spends the year searching for brands, services and products that will take attendees into the 22nd century and beyond. Hundreds of exhibitors from across the globe meet under one roof to ignite passions, collaborate and share groundbreaking discoveries.

Wednesday is Austin Industry Day at the Creative Industries Expo, which means the event is free and open to the public! Stop by the exhibit hall and discover the most innovative companies, ideas and thought leaders in the creative industries.

THE LIGHT HOUSE | March 10th | RSVP Here

Join us for THE LIGHT HOUSE at The Belmont! This in-person event is a wayfinding point and beacon for those who want to connect about more than what the status quo has to offer to our communities during Austin's most exciting time of the year.

Immerse yourself in a day filled with inspiring talks, interactive activations, and intimate screenings in our screening room. Connect with like-minded individuals who share a vision for a more responsible tech future that puts people first as we explore the implications of AI and responsible technology.

Vision: 8291 Presents UNITY @ SXSW | March 12th | RSVP here

In collaboration with SXSW, and other partners, Vision:8291 emphasizes using artistic, entrepreneurial, and cultural assets within the Austin BIPOC community to invest in and develop BIPOC-led grassroots organizations. "DAWA’s Unity Concert Brings Together Austin’s Rising BIPOC-Led Acts"

'Between bringing out a number of guest speakers from community organizations between sets, Mahone added, “Community is our greatest technology, because before the phones, before any of that, we had each other. If we knew that more, then we wouldn’t have to have so many things.”

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