This year marks the 25th Anniversary of SXSW, the world renowned gathering that unites more than 420,000 people from across the globe. Each year SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people expand their knowledge and have the opportunity to meet fellow innovators on a mission to change the world. Featured speakers at this year’s gathering include philanthropist and investor Melinda Gates; internationally renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés; tech pioneer and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki; social influencers like Karlie Kloss, Guy Raz and Eric Liedtke; and many more. The festival is the essential destination for social impact leaders, startup founders, investors, philanthropists and innovators.
The Case Foundation team is excited to announce that we will take the stage at four sessions this year and that we are also partnering with TechCo where we will host a series of video interviews with startup founders, investors and ecosystem builders dedicated to pushing the Inclusive Entrepreneurship movement forward. Be on the lookout for our Facebook LIVE videos from SXSW debuting on March 10th HERE. We also invite you to check out the Startup Night SXSW 2018 presented by the Kauffman Foundation in partnership with TechCo, as part of their annual Startup of the Year program.
Some other events we’re excited to attend are Latinas in Tech, a showcase with Latina stars in the tech industry who will have a candid conversation on the state of entrepreneurship for female founders of color and how we can move the industry forward. Attendees can also check out a panel with Kansas Senator, Jerry Moran, as he takes the stage with business and policy experts who will discuss a variety of issues that are impacting entrepreneurs during their session on Supporting Startups to Fuel American Competitiveness.
And while in Austin, one must eat, and eat well. In addition to the hundreds of SX sessions and parties, you’ll find top-notch Texas restaurants and food trucks to keep you busy. Our team of former Texans here at the Case Foundation recommends Micklethwait Craft Meats, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ—the Austin outpost of famed Black’s Barbecue, Launderette, Franklin’s Barbeque, Le Politque, Emmer & Rye, Tiger Fork and Hula Hut. For those looking for a memorable sunset, try the Oasis on Lake Travis.
Keeping with tradition, the Case Foundation has done your homework for you and detailed the 33 can’t miss sessions that are guaranteed to challenge your mind and change your view of the world at SXSW. Mark your calendars and see you there!
- Engaging Millennials to Support Education, Mar 8, 2018 – 11:00am – 12:00pm Nnamdi Asomugha of The Asomugha Foundation and Derrick Feldmann of Achieve will discuss the current state of education and how a generation can support educational advancement for all of America’s youth. Feldmann will also debut the newest study from the Millennial Impact Project, a multi-year study in partnership with the Case Foundation on how Millennials engage with causes.
- Attracting VC Investment Outside of Silicon Valley, Mar 9, 2018 – 12:30pm – 1:30pm presented by Capital Factory—hear from three VC’s who recently made investments in Texas-based startups to find out what factors they considered and how you can make your pitch stand out from the rest.
- Opening Sessions at the HBCUSXSW18 House, Mar 9, 2018 – 1:00pm – 5:00pm featuring presentations on navigating SXSW, high demand technology careers, high growth company building, and multi-generational wealth creation. Featured speakers include Janice Bryant Howroyd (Founder, ACT-1 Global), Brian Bracken (Founder, Kairos & $KRS), Yulkendy Valdez (Founder, Project 99), Pat Kirkland, (Founder, Pat Kirkland Leadership), Samson Williams (Cofounder, Axes & Eggs), Jamarlin Martin (Founder & CEO, Moguldom), Arif Gursel (Founder & CEO, Black TechUnion), Sheena Allen (Founder, Capway), Rodney Williams (Cofounder, Lisnr), Dave Parker (Founder, Six Month Startup), Alicia Jones (Financial Education & Coach, Journey To Wealth), Berto Horne (Founder, The Perfect Gentlemen) and more.
- Return on Inclusion: Investing in Diverse Startups, Mar 9, 2018 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm featuring Arlan Hamilton from Backstage Capital, Kai Bond from Comcast Ventures/Catalyst Fund, Sutian Dong from the Female Founders Fund and Charles Hudson of Precursor Ventures, panelists will discuss the challenges that entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds face as they look to raise money and build their businesses, and will explore how startups can leverage their diverse perspective as a competitive advantage.
- Giving Back Rocks: How Austin Brands Do It, Mar 9, 2018 – 5:00pm – 6:00pm what do a jewelry designer, hair care billionaire, tennis player, and hospital have in common? Successful businesses that give back to the community, while remaining “on brand.” This session highlights how an unconventional collection of panelists: Kendra Scott, John Paul DeJoria, Andy Roddick, Austin’s St. David’s HealthCare—leverage their individual talents and brands for serious philanthropy.
- Improving Diversity and Reducing Harassment in VC, Mar 10, 2018 – 11:00am – 12:00pm join Reed Albergotti, a reporter at The Information; Niniane Wang founder & CEO of Evertoon; and Sarah Kunst founder & CEO at Proday.co as they discuss the culture within the VC community, ideas around improving diversity among decision-makers at VC firms, and the climate for women in tech.
- Film + Storytelling in a Politically-Charged Era, Mar 10, 2018 – 12:30pm – 1:00pm national Geographic leads a conversation on how private and nonprofit sectors have stepped up to tell the stories of those affected by political actions, increasing activism and empathy. This panel features creative industry pros – top Hollywood directors and execs – sharing how they partner the profit-bearing potential of the business world with visionary storytelling to make waves on Capitol Hill.
- Latinas Removing Barriers in Tech, Mar 10, 2018 – 12:30pm – 1:30pm this session explores the role of Latinas in tech both as users and as leaders of tech companies. Join Carolina Casares of Yahoo Latin America and Spain, Kety Esquivel from Edelman, Claudia Romo Edelman of UNICEF and Samira Saba of Smartmatic for the discussion.
- New Girls’ Network: Women Funding Women, Mar 10, 2018 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm leaders from iFundWomen, Portfolia and Belle Capital USA share insights on the vast and growing ecosystem of organizations looking to capitalize on the underserved market of women-led companies.
- Convergence Keynote: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mar 10, 2018 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic leads a conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates — national correspondent for The Atlantic, best-selling author, and current scribe of Black Panther comics—about culture, politics, and social issues in the Age of Trump.
- Where Are the Women? How to Diversify Journalism, Mar 10, 2018 – 3:30pm – 4:30pm four leading female print and multimedia journalists from the BBC, The Fuller Project, Vignette Interactive and Women Photograph shed light on the gender imbalance in journalism through the lens of their own global reporting.
- The End of Global Hunger? AI Will Make it Work, Mar 10, 2018 – 3:30pm – 4:30pm panelists from XPRIZE, Google, Gates Foundation and the UN World Food Programme will discuss how AI’s disruptive potential could help end global hunger.
- Creating New Stories of Immigration, Mar 10, 2018 – 3:30pm – 4:30pm narratives of immigration play a crucial role in shaping public opinion and public policy, but nuanced narratives are all too often missing or ignored. The story of the individual, model immigrant is exalted, but what of those who don’t fit this image? Panelists working from varying perspectives and platforms will discuss their efforts to create new forms of storytelling that represent the immigrant experience in all its contours and speak to those on multiple sides of the issue.
- Tech-no-color: Advancing Women of Color in Tech, Mar 10, 2018 – 3:30pm – 4:30pm a panel including Aubrey Blanche of Atlassian, Lafawn Davis of Twilio, Y-Vonne Hutchinson of ReadySet and Janet Ikpa of HIRED will shine a light on how to further build diversity and inclusion strategies with a focus on women of color.
- Resistance & Disruption Through Diversity & Data, Mar 10, 2018 – 5:00pm – 6:00pm join Hilary Sloan, director of business development at ShopStyle; Nicolette Mason, diversity pioneer and founder; and Blake Gifford, attorney and digital influencer, as they discuss the power of activism and the opportunities for influencers to take a stand.
- The Future of Business is Female, Mar 11, 2018 – 12:30pm – 1:30pm join Sonal Shah, Executive Director of the Beeck Center and Case Foundation Board Member as she leads a discussion with Stephanie Lampkin from Blendoor, Jennifer Stybel from the Rent the Runway Foundation and Cindy Whitehead from The Pink Ceiling exploring why intentionality around equal opportunity for women is a cornerstone to building and funding a successful startup enterprise and how new research and the #MeToo movement have opened up new pathways for investing in women leaders.
- Corporate VC: The Firms, The Myths, The Legends, Mar 11, 2018 – 5:00pm – 6:00pm corporate Venture Capital is the topic of discussion in this session with Iris Capital, Orange Digital Ventures and Verizon Ventures led by Crunchbase/TechCrunch. They share more on the the rise of Corporate VC, the benefits they can offer startups and the key differences and similarities they share with traditional VC firms.
- Minority Report: Engaging Kids of Color in Tech, Mar 12, 2018 – 9:30am – 10:30am Kimberly Bryant of Black Girls Gode, Laura Donnelly from Latinitas, Dalinda Gonzalez-Alcantar of Border Kids Code and Daniel Lucio of Google Fiber take the stage to share how high-touch programs are engaging minority youth in the tech world and inspiring them to go from becoming tech consumers to tech creators.
- A Better World: Next-Gen Tech for Social Good, Mar 12, 2018 – 9:30am – 10:30am presented by CI&T—speakers from KnowTheChain, Thorn and Comrade share how companies are harnessing the power of technologies to amplify a social cause or mission.
- Designers Who Broke the Internet, Mar 12, 2018 – 11:00am – 12:00pm join some of the designers behind Hulu, Twitter and Instagram to hear what their rationale and guiding principles were when they disrupted their respective ecosystems.
- Women Rule, Mar 12, 2018 – 12:30pm – 1:30pm join POLITICO’s Editor Carrie Budoff Brown as she sits down with female leaders on the Women Rule podcast to talk power, politics and policy, and explore how dynamics shift when women have a seat at the table.
- Black Women & The Invisible Billion Dollar Startup, Mar 12, 2018 – 5:00pm – 6:00pm breaking down barriers for black women founders is hard. Join TresseNoire, Be Nimble, Precursor VC and KeepUp for a conversation about how they are creating solutions to support black female founders and drive toward a world where the next billion dollar founder is a black woman.
- Latino Entrepreneurship: Scaling to Excellence, Mar 13, 2018 – 9:30am – 10:30am how can Latino entrepreneurs manage the challenges to scaling their businesses and what resources are available to assist them? Check out this panel discussion featuring entrepreneurs and leaders that have dealt with this problem.
- Democratizing AI for Individuals & Organizations, Mar 13, 2018 – 9:30am – 10:30am AI is the focus of the conversation when Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Director of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and Chief Scientist of AI/ML at Google Cloud; Megan Smith, CEO of shift7 and former U.S. CTO; and Joanne Chen, Partner at Foundation Capital take the stage. They will discuss the enormous potential AI has for improving the world, from increasing productivity to creating new medicines, as well as the challenges that it must overcome to produce these results.
- The Truth about Diversity in Tech, Mar 13, 2018 – 12:30pm – 1:30pm Vice President of Public Policy at Lyft, Joe Okpaku discusses what drove him to pursue work at an early stage tech startup, how he thrives as a black executive in Silicon Valley, and offers advice to others looking to blaze their own unique career paths and improve people’s lives.
- Agents of Mass Construction, Mar 13, 2018 – 12:30pm – 1:30pm filmmakers and environmentalists are teaming up to leverage film and storytelling to make a positive impact for nature. Mission Blue’s Sylvia Earle, Exposure Lab’s Jeff Orlowski, race car driver Leilani Munter and academy award winner Louie Psihoyos make media that Psihoyos calls “weapons of mass construction.” They will discuss taking viewers to the depths of the oceans and up close with endangered wildlife to turn audiences into agents for change.
- Earth v. Mars: The Future of Exploration, Mar 13, 2018 – 12:30pm – 1:30pm National Geographic unites renowned explorers and astronauts as they dive deep into the future of expeditions on Earth, Mars and beyond. Speakers include Brian Skerry and Nadia Drake of National Geographic, as well as Leland Melvin and Nicole Scott from NASA. Together they will share the risks and rewards of pushing the limits of our capabilities as a species; breakthroughs in the potential to make a new home on the Red Planet; and surprising insights that are making us rethink staying put right here on Earth.
- Why Black Women are 2018’s Best Investment, Mar 13, 2018 – 3:30pm – 4:30pm The Case Foundation sits down with inclusive entrepreneurship champions providing important connections, training and mentorships for entrepreneurs, as well as with the investors and influencers working to change the way capital and media attention flows to diverse entrepreneurs. Our VP of Social Innovation Sarah Koch will moderate a conversation with Cheryl Contee of Fission Strategy and Kathryn Finney of digitalundivided.
- Creating a Movement Through User Generated Content, Mar 13, 2018 – 3:30pm – 4:30pm User Generated Content (UGC) has quickly become a valuable form of marketing, and today’s rich analytics environment means we have more information than ever about how people are reacting to brands and using different platforms. But creating a campaign that leverages UGC across multiple channels—playing to each of their strengths—remains a challenge for many marketers. Join Kate Coughlin from National Geographic, Megan Bond from the ONE Campaign, Monique Carswell from Comcast NBCUniversal and Jessica Zetzman from the Case Foundation to explore how to use UGC to break through.
- How Can Venture Capital Achieve Gender Parity? Mar 13, 2018 – 5:00pm – 6:00pm how can women seize more of the venture capital pie? Doree Shafrir, senior tech writer for BuzzFeed News and author of STARTUP: A NOVEL, will moderate a panel with Trail Mix Ventures GP and entrepreneur Soraya Darabi, Homebrew founder and partner Hunter Walk, and Parity Partners program director Natalia Quintero.
- Journalists Shattering the Business Status Quo, Mar 14, 2018 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm join a compelling conversation about how journalists and editors are conquering stereotypes and busting myths every day through their digital, online and print platforms. Seasoned media influencers share how news agencies are crafting stories about entrepreneurs of color, female founders, and the inclusive ecosystems that shatter the status quo. Jade Floyd of the Case Foundation will moderate a discussion with Megan Rose Dickey from TechCrunch, Valentina Zarya from Fortune Magazine and Vanessa De Luca from Essence Magazine.
- Building a Bada#$ Business Against All Odds, Mar 15, 2018 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm this session is taught by experienced entrepreneurs from underrepresented sectors of tech who’ve made something out of nothing. Join Danielle Leslie from Course Alchemy, Tara Reed from Apps Without Code, Thomas Stovall from Candid/I’m Black in Tech and Aniyia Williams from Tinsel as they discuss the challenges they overcame and the opportunities they created.
- How Tech Hubs Outside SV Lead The Way on Diversity, Mar 15, 2018 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm Detroit, Kansas City, Coeur D’Alene, Chattanooga: Cities with robust tech ecosystems show how starting a company outside Silicon Valley can create more opportunities to under-represented entrepreneurs and elevate diverse business ideas. Speakers from St. Martins Press, SLACK, UBS and Innovation Collective take the stage.
Finally, I’m excited to also serve as a WeDC Ambassador this year where I will be joined by fellow Washington, D.C. creatives, chefs, makers, entrepreneurs and innovators who each represent DC’s vibrant business sectors. Led by the Washington DC Economic Partnership and Executive Office of the Mayor, D.C. is committed to inclusive innovation focusing on providing access, opportunity and resources to the people, companies and organizations. Be sure to check out the many #WeDC House events taking place at SX this year.
Have a session you want us to share that didn’t make the list? Tweet us @CaseFoundation and @JadeFloydDC