It’s been a mad couple of weeks for the crew behind Amplify Philly, the nonprofit led by REC Philly’s David Silver and Philly Startup Leaders’ Yuval Yarden. The team has been on a monthslong push for months to get a substantial Philly tech presence at Austin’s South by Southwest, which is kicking off today.
And so, with backing from 15 Philly companies to the tune of more than $140,000, the group managed to organize at least 19 startups for SXSW’s startup exhibition.
Pressed for a final number, Yarden said in a text message: “It’s so hard to say, people are flocking in from all over. They’re speaking, hosting events, exhibiting, just attending.”
Philly’s own Mayor Jim Kenney also confirmed attendance and is already on the ground flanked by representation from the City’s Department of Commerce and the Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski’s Office of Data and Digital Transformation. Kenney will be joining the U.S. Conference of Mayors delegation to talk technology, innovation and policy.
— Jim #VaxUpPhilly Kenney (@PhillyMayor) March 10, 2017
Comcast’s Danielle Cohn is manning the Comcast booth and spreading the word about the upcoming LIFTLabs startup accelerator, which kicks off in Philly in 2018. Another iteration of the startup support hub is scheduled to launch in Atlanta in 2018.
— Danielle Cohn 🚀 (@daniellecohn) March 10, 2017
Archna Sahay, the city’s director of entrepreneurial investment, is also on the ground in Austin. Last we checked, she was taking in a panel on smart cities featuring Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
— Archna (@ArchnaSahay) March 10, 2017
Attending the same panel was the city’s data chief Wisniewski.
— Tim Wisniewski (@timwis) March 10, 2017
Though not directly at SXSW, Ben Franklin Technology Partners gave a shout to its portfolio companies exhibiting:
— Ben Franklin (@bftp_sep) March 10, 2017
Though Philly’s camp is still settling in (many are set to fly in during the weekend) this year’s edition of South By Southwest is likely to feature the biggest Philly presence to date. We’ll keep an eye out during the weekend for more locals representing the 215 on the national stage. Hit us up if you want to write a guest post about your experience there.