Tech Tuesday Takes a Look at South by Southwest

11:21 AM, Mar 12, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - For "Tech Tuesday" at 9NEWS, we turn our attention to Austin, host every year, for the South by Southwest Interactive conference.

Colorado once again had a big footprint at the conference. Gregg Moss and Scott Yates sat down to talk about why the conference gets so much attention every year. Here's a part of what they talked about:

First, "South by, as the people who go like to call it, started as a music festival, and added this technology component. For the tech companies, it's all about the parties, and figuring out which one to go to. 

In 2007 the best way to figure out which party was hot was this new little app called Twitter. If it wasn't for South by, the world really may have never heard of Twitter. If you are a Twitter hater, that's the moment in time you'd want to change. 

This year the most buzz went to Elon Musk. He invented PayPal, which changes the way we move money. He made a mint and then risked it all on Tesla. Now Tesla is the Car of the Year, and Musk is now thinking about how to get us to Mars. He's got a sense of humor, too. He said he wants to "die on Mars, just not on impact.

As for the Colorado companies who were there, there were dozens. 

One highlight is TechStars, a company that helps launch other companies. They are an incubator/accelerator, started in Boulder, and rated as the best in the world. 

Not only did they have a massive party, but their companies were everywhere. For the second year in a row a TechStars grad won a key pitch competition. I mentioned them briefly last week because if you have a start-up and want to go through TechStars, the application deadline is Thursday. 

Two Tech Stars companies made a big showing at SxSW. 
One is PivotDesk. They are a kind of a matchmaker between companies that have some extra desk space and brand new companies that just need a couple of desks. 

They had a contest to take pictures of their stickers in spots all around Austin, so they got lots of notice from that.  

Another is Simple Energy. They are leading the charge to help utilities get smart meters and help all of us understand our home energy use better. Their co-founder made a presentation with a high-ranking White House official, but that official had to Skype in because of the sequester.

Click on the attached video for more on Tech Tuesday.

This post was created by Scott Yates, a serial entrepreneur and CEO of the business writing service, BlogMutt. To suggest hot, tech start-ups for him to feature in future installments, contact him via his blog or better yet, go and pitch to one of the start-up events in Denver or Boulder, and he will probably see you there.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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