Day 1 of SXSW Interactive

IMG_7466   I’m a Texan; born in San Antonio (Go Spurs) and moved to Austin when I was a teenager in the 90’s when SXSW was not this huge. Now SXSW is a massive explosion of amazing tech innovations, new music and film in my own backyard. This was my first year to have a free interactive badge (after applying for a press pass for years). If you have never been to SXSW Interactive the scene is not only comical but a great place to network and meet fellow tech geeks. I ran into guys dressed as Ninja Turtles, a dude with a blinking globe on his head for Simplify, and this random lady before entering the Austin Convention Center panel sessions. The first day at SXSW I spent a majority of my time at the Convention center and events around that vicinity. I also made random people do monster face with me throughout SXSW Interactive. IMG_7469

The only panel I attended was the panel with Jimmy Kimmel. I’ve been a huge fan of Jimmy Kimmel live and the Man Show. I got distracted during the panel with the mention of the “I’m F*@#ing Ben Affleck” youtube video (after all these years it’s still hilarious). During the panel Jimmy Kimmel discussed his Obama interview, tweeting, and Kanye West (who will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live at SXSW on Friday). To view some of the videos from this panel click here and for the second one click here.

After the panel I went to the Pepsi booth who partnered with Fast Company on the SOUNDBOARD intiative. Pepsi is engaging the SXSW community to record inspiration that will help them design the #Futureofthefest. Each person would walk into a photo/video booth and submit what you want to see at the next festival (of course I submitted mine).

When I got into the show room I wasn’t that impressed. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I know it’s not that.

IMG_7406Next I attended the PayPal Event where I ran into an old buddy of mine from Edelman. This year they had the PayPal Duel which sent two entrepreneurs to Austin for the chance to pitch investor and star of ABC’s Shark Tank Daymond John on their small businesses. Peanut Butter Americano—offering the best in gourmet nut butters with a side of social justice—faced off against Earhoox—the ultimate cure for earbuds that just won’t stay put. In the end the winner of the first-ever PayPal Duel was Earhoox.*

The last event I attended was the Startup Oasis Party which had 10 start-ups on each floor. Unfortunately by the time I got there my brain had already hit capacity and I was on autopilot. I did run into my old friend Jeffery Powers from Geekazine (every tech event I attend I always run into him) and take a photo. Stay tuned for my recap of the SXSW Interactive Gaming Expo. Happy SXSW and you can follow me @nrpena for SXSW tweets.

*Per PayPal.com