Let’s stop and recognize all of the amazing people on the SXSW team who work all year round to make these two of the best weeks in Austin. Their focus is always putting everyone else in the limelight, but they deserve a lot of credit for making it happen year after year.
It’s hard to talk about the magic of SXSW without mentioning Hugh Forrest, Director of Programming. Hugh has been involved since before Interactive was called Interactive and as it grew in prominence so did his role. Hugh is a mostly behind the scenes guy who never seeks attention for himself. During the year, he’s actively involved with the Austin Chamber, Capital Factory and a number of non-profits. SXSW wouldn’t be what it is today without him.
SXSW wouldn’t be here without Katie King, either. She brings home the bacon for SXSW and works out all of the partnerships and sponsors. This year was the 7th SXSW Startup Crawl but with Katie’s help it was the first official one and happened in the middle of SXSW instead of the night before.
Chris Valentine has been part of SXSW for as long as I can remember and was the driving force behind the creation of the SXSW Accelerator and Startup Village. There have been so many years where I was in a jam and didn’t know where to turn and Chris saved my a — . Now he’s totally focused on the SXSW Accelerator which keeps getting better and better.
This year Dhinuka Perera took the reigns for the Startup Village and it was a totally seamless transition. There was more going on at the Startup Village than ever but you would have thought that Dhinuka had been running it for years. I’m looking forward to working more closely with him on new programming for 2018!
Of course I also have to give a shoutout to Cindy Y. Lo and her team at Red Velvet Events. They are the secret sauce behind of a bunch of the SXSW activations going on and we never would be able to pull off the Startup Crawl without them.
I know that there are literally hundreds of people who make SXSW possible and these are just a few who I got the pleasure of interacting with. Give a shoutout in the comments to someone at SXSW who rocked it for you!
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