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Key Themes from SXSW Interactive: Privacy, Policy and Pitch Competitions!

TEP SXSW 5
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It seemed that everyone at SX was asking the question “What do we do with all of this data?” Conversations were centered around who owns what as well as the careful balance between convenience and the “creepy” factor. Centered at the heart of this debate is Omlet, a mobile app-based social platform that empowers users to own their data. TEP Executive Director was lucky enough to catch up with the founders and one of their Texas-based advisors at the Hatch Pitch Competition at SXi. In addition to a really cool t-shirt, she got the clear impression that they are looking to Texas as a large market. We hope they join the hundreds of other California companies who have expanded to our great state!

People were not afraid to talk tech policy this year at SXi. There were numerous panels from Austin-based organization Austin Technology Council and the Austin Chamber of Commerce that ushered in local, state and some top federal elected officials including US Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and US Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia). We were so thrilled to see so many key organizations like HomeAway, Mutual Mobile and Computer Electronics Association joining in the discussion. The CEO also hosted an Innovation Policy Day at Lambert’s BBQ featuring sessions on “Privacy: We’re All in This Together” to “Big Data, Big Bandwidth: Next Generation Policy.” We’re looking forward to seeing how those SX discussions impact our future discussions!

Entrepreneurs were front and center at pitch competitions including the SXSW 2014 Accelerator, HATCH Pitch, The Capital Factory Pitch Day, The Austin Fast Pitch Competition, the UT Longhorn Pitch. If this seems like an awful lot of startups competing for number one, you’re right. There are so many ideas, so many brands, so many founders, all hoping their three to ten minutes on stage will mean miraculous success for their business. This magnitude of pitch competitions signals the incredible activity that is happening in the market around tech entrepreneurship. Founders, developers, mentors, accelerators, incubators, investors, are all finding each other attempting to fill holes in the marketplace. We know all won’t succeed, but this combination of innovation, curiosity, ambition and dedication is good for the US economy. And of course it’s all flourishing right here in Texas!

More Fun Pics from Around SXSW Interactive 2014

TEP Fun at SXSW 1
TEP Chairman Robert Howden with Mobile Future staff Allison Remsen, Jonathan Spalter and Diane Smith
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Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on March 20, 2014