In two weeks, 80 innovative companies in Austin will open their doors and welcome the world inside. I just spent an hour picking my schedule for NewCo Austin, and the breadth of choice is extraordinary. Here are the companies I’ve chosen, as well as those I wish I could have gone to – but you can’t be in two places at once!
Thursday, May 28th
6:00 pm – VIP Kickoff & Reception @Atlassian – I’ll be there with bells on to kick off the festival. Josh Baer, our NewCo partner and Capital Factory Executive Director (among many other things), will join me on stage for a fireside conversation.
Friday, May 29th
9.30 am – Google Fiber – Are you kidding me? Finally a chance to find out how Google plans to wire the country with super high-speed broadband? Yes please! What a great opportunity. I love NewCo. Wish I could go: HomeAway (amazing Austin success story), Able Lending (disrupting the financial services market), Dell Medical School (first new Tier 1 Research University in 50 years!), and so many more.
11:00 am – SXSW Interactive – For three weeks each year, Austin is happily overrun by SXSW. Hugh Forrest is responsible for the Interactive track of SXSW, one of the longest running and most important events of the year. I’m looking forward to seeing Hugh and learning how they do what they do – I can’t imagine a more valuable session for the CEO of NewCo to attend. Wish I could go: Context.IO (API FTW), SilverCar (wait, silver Audis on demand?!), WP Engine (we run on WP!), the ever amazing DoStuff Media (just the best) and so many more!
12.30 – Austin B-cycle – The best NewCo I ever attended was San Francisco last year, where I rode my bike between sessions. Austin B-cycle’s vision is to make that a reality every day. NewCo is all about the transformation of cities, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about the most successful bike sharing program in the US. Wish I could go: RetailMeNot (another huge success), MRC Austin/Open Arms (a new kind of textiles company!), Maggie Louise Confections (free chocolate! And really cool food tech), W2O Group, and so many more.
2:00 pm – Phunware – One of the best parts of NewCo is the serendipity of discovering new kinds of companies. I’ve always been fascinated with the intersection of technology and marketing, especially in local markets. Phunware is all about data-enabled local marketing via the Internet of Things. In! Wish I could go: BBVA Compass – (Yes, big companies can be NewCos!), Under Armour Connected Fitness (amazing story), Atlas Wearables (super high res fitness tracker), and so many more.
3:30 – Stretch Recipes – Wait, I get to cook during NewCo? Yep, this session is a “Live Cooking Experience” – sounds like a blast. Stretch is a social impact food tech/marketing company, and this sounds like a really fun way to learn about what they do. Wish I could go: Capital Factory (our host!), LiveStrong (founded by Lance Armstrong), Chaotic Moon (great name!), Spredfast (sold out, but another major success story), and so many more.
5:00 – Everfest – I run a festival company. Everfest is “the funnest website in the world” – they help people get the most out of attending festivals. Enough said, I’m in! Wish I could go: ClearBlade (product unveiling!), Nuve (sold out, but looks like incredible IoT tech), Favor Delivery (also sold out, but sharing economy FTW), and….so many more!
7:00 pm – Meetup &Anniversary Party @Capital Factory – Austin knows how to party, and this one looks to be a bender – Mama K and the Shades are playing, and we’ll get a chance to unwind, have a few drinks, and debrief on a day of visiting half a dozen amazing companies. Can’t wait!
If you ever wanted to understand the Austin startup vibe, you’ve got to come to Austin NewCo. Register here and I’ll see you there!