Join the group that's putting Philly front and center at #SXSW 2016 - Philly


Jan. 11, 2016 7:44 am

Join the group that’s putting Philly front and center at #SXSW 2016

SXSWPhilly is making sure the local tech scene will be heard loud and clear at this year's South by Southwest. The group is looking for more entrepreneurs and sponsors to get involved.

At SXSW 2015.

(Photo by Flickr user Anthony Quintano, used under a Creative Commons license)

Full disclosure: Comcast, which is sponsoring SXSWPhilly, was the title sponsor of the Philly Tech Week 2015.

Every spring, tens of thousands of people — and brands — from all over the world gather in Austin to discuss and revel in the promise of the future. Want to know what the next hot movie, band or app will be? Show up at South by Southwest and soak up the intel.

Until now, companies, bands and individuals from Philadelphia have made their own ways to and through nine days of conferences and events. But this year is different.

Philly is unmatched when it comes to our vibrant startup culture, our internationally renowned artists, filmmakers and musicians. A super cool city like Philadelphia deserves celebrity status at SXSW. A heaping helping of love from Philly makes a much greater impact than a performance here, and a booth there.

Here’s how we’re gonna do it.

A broad coalition of local companies, from enterprise to nonprofit, have joined together to create SXSWPhilly with the theory that there’s power in numbers. Independence Blue Cross and Comcast have already stepped up to sponsor, and SXSWPhilly organizers are seeking additional funds from area businesses.

Showcasing the excitement of living and working in Philly at SXSW is a compelling proposition for the region’s businesses. It’s a great opportunity to recruit talent and create an emotional tie to our hometown. Turns out it’s pretty affordable to join the effort. All Philadelphia-area booths will be located in one area of the convention floor, there will be Philadelphia-branded events, such as a concert of local talent produced by REC Philly, and a daylong mixer.

Right now, SXSWPhilly is seeking funding, as well as participation. There’s an active SXSWPhilly Google Group with over 70 members, and a number of committees ready to help make this initial effort a success. If you are already planning to go to SXSW, you can join the group and benefit from all that co-branding.


“The efforts of the group really mirror the overall personality of the city,” said Yuval Yarden, who’s leading the SXSWPhilly initiative and is also program director at Philly Startup Leaders. “Startups and established companies are working to mutually support each other. For example, funding from Independence Blue Cross helps secure a place in Austin for Philly biotech startups.”

Calling all entrepreneurs and sponsors

The SXSWPhilly initiative needs your help.

Your company can get international attention in one of several ways. As an entrepreneur, you can do a demo or presentation at the Philadelphia trade show and mixer. As an established business, your sponsorship speaks volumes about your commitment to boosting the city’s image on the world stage.

SXSW 2016 takes place in Austin, Texas, from March 11-20, 2016. There are multiple tracks, but the primary track for tech and startups is SXSW Interactive, from March 11-15. During that time, visitors can participate in the Trade Show (March 13-16), as well as the Job Market and Health/MedTech expo (both March 12-13). The film conference and festival runs from March 11-19, and the SXSW music conference is March 15-20.

Ticket discounts are still available prior to Jan. 15. Ticket holders and exhibitors can get access to hotels, an increasingly rare commodity as the event approaches. If you want to learn more about Philly programming and see how your company can be a part of it, please take the survey here.

Sue Spolan

Sue Spolan is Director of Marketing at Zivtech, a Philadelphia startup that specializes in open source app and website development.

  • Mike Krupit

    Great idea and thanks to all who are trying to make it happen. I was definitely into this and willing to participate a couple of months ago when first discussed, but for me and Intronet, it’s a little late for us to start planning for SXSW. Most hotels are gone and there isn’t enough time to get product, marketing, and connections set up for such a big event. Count me in next year if we can get it planned in the Fall!


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