We Bees are thrilled to have contributed to the SXSW buzz here in Austin over the last 10 days. More than 20,000 folks converged on my fair city (and Ryan’s)* to revel and learn at the SXSW Interactive conference , and many more thousands descended for the Music and Film festivals. CNN did a fabulous video on startups at the Interactive conference if you want to get a feel for some of the tech-focused excitement!
While SXSW has gotten so big it's hard to know where to spend your time, Austin-based startup incubator Capital Factory publishes a fantastic list of events targeted at techies like us, and they also throw the annual ATX Startup Crawl …
Did you absently muse, what's a startup crawl? Well… picture a pub crawl. But instead of drinking from bar to bar, you drink progressively at the offices of the coolest startups in Austin with a bunch of like-minded techies. Oh, and drinks, eats, and SWAG are free. More than 50 startups joined in the fun this year! For those of us who don't have offices located along the Startup Crawl shuttle bus route, Capital Factory generously opened their office in the Omni hotel and let us set up camp. Our table was a big hit with its Angry Birds and water-balloon-launcher-turned-bird-hurdler (oh yeah, and our cool Java Platform as a Service). Despite the sudden onset of a cold and nasty rain, 1500+ people showed up to meet, greet, glug, and "shoot the bird" at fellow revelers.
Once again, we had the privilege to set up a table and talk to folks about how useful CloudBees is for mobile app development… especially if you need to get up and running fast .
In other news, we were delighted that our friends at HP featured some of our bees on video in their SXSW expo booth. As an aside, they added some amazing coolness (pun intended) to Austin's ambience with their pseudo-ice sculpture and three nights in a row of rockin' parties!
I also loved their bat signal on projected into the Austin skyline…
Our buddies at SendGrid also really know how to throw a bash, in addition to being experts at getting email delivered and easily integrated into your app. Not only did they have a very fully-stocked hospitality suite, they lavishly hosted partners, customers, and anyone else lucky to score an invite at The Tap Room, one of Lance Armstrong's bars in the heart of the Austin nightlife district. Piles of food, free-flowing drinks, pool, and a wild-west-themed photo booth kept guests well-entertained. Oh, and I'm not sure I've ever seen so many super-soft tshirts piled so high! SendGrid really does know a thing or two about branding...
Austin is known for its hospitality, but I have to say SXSW week is special. Everyone I talked to was so happy to be here… it was impossible to miss the unique energy and excitement surrounding this conference.
And seriously, when else do you see naked cowboys in the middle of the street?
-- Lisa Wells, Marketing Drone
*Yes, CloudBees is based in Boston, but we have working bees making honey all over the world, including myself and Developer Extraordinaire Ryan Campbell here in Austin. If you're nearby, look us up!
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