Technology 5 min read

SXSW Conference and Festival: The Latest Announcements and Updates



The ten-day long SXSW Conference and Festival just kicked off last Friday in Texas. Here are some of the latest updates from the event.

South by Southwest, or the SXSW Conference and Festival, is an annual gathering of people from interactive media, film, and music industries held at the city of Austin in Texas every March. The event began in 1987, and since then has grown into one of the most prominent conferences in the United States and around the world.

This year, SXSW will run from March 9th to March 18th in different venues across Austin. Aside from the conference sessions, attendees of SXSW will have the opportunity to participate in different events and festivals such as music, film, comedy, and gaming events along with some special Q&As and lounges.

There are over 25 event sessions that participants can choose from. The list includes:

  • Brands & Marketing
  • Cities Summit
  • CLE
  • Code & Programming
  • Design
  • Entertainment influencers
  • Experiential Storytelling
  • Film & TV Industry
  • Food
  • Government
  • Health
  • Intelligent Future

These are just some of the topics that will be covered during the event sessions. So, attendees are highly encouraged to create their own list of activities here.

If you’re looking forward to meeting the SXSW Conference and Festival speakers, this year’s roster includes:

  • Shira Abel, CEO, Hunter & Bard
  • Michael Abitbol, SVP Business & Legal Affairs/Digital, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
  • Brad Abrams, Product Manager, Google
  • Tanya Acevedo, Chief Technology Officer, Houston Texas Airport System
  • Harsh Acharya, Sr. Director Product Management, Dell
  • Dan Ackerman, Section Editor, CNET
  • Michael Addicott, Manager of Curation, Pandora
  • Adeola Adejobi, Founder, Avant-Garde Network
  • Emeka Afigbo, Manager and Developer Programs, Facebook
  • Ben Alamar, Director of Sports Analytics, ESPN
  • Chris Albert, EVP of Global Comm, National Geographic
  • Tim Allen, Partner, Microsoft
  • Todd Arata, VP Brand Management, Comcast
  • Shaun Archer, Head of UX Research, Capital One
  • Jonathan Armstrong, Software Developer, IBM
  • Lara Avisov, Data Science Source & CoChair UberPride, Uber

For the complete list of conference speakers, you can go here.

SXSW Conference and Festival Updates

Here are the latest happenings and announcements from the SXSW Conference and Festival over the weekend.

SXSW “Release It” Pitch Competition Winner

SXSW Release It is an annual competition held by SXSW to provide companies with a platform to launch their new and innovative products or services. It is a special pitch competition where participating companies are given a chance to talk about their products and services in front of a panel of hand-picked judges.

On Friday, the judges and organizers of the SXSW Release It announced the winner to be Potrero Medical. This is a company that creates early predictions of acute kidney injury, sepsis and hemorrhaging through proprietary sensors and data gathered from a patient’s bladder.

SXSW Film Festival Announces World Premiere of Ready Player One

Ready Player One is a film directed by Steven Spielberg based on the bestseller sci-fi novel by Ernest Cline. Its World Premiere was announced at the SXSW Conference and Festival on Saturday followed by an initial screening yesterday at the Paramount Theatre.

The film is set in 2045, where people can temporarily escape reality by immersing themselves in a virtual world known as OASIS. The latter gives anyone the power to go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone they want to be.

The story revolves around the adventure of Wade Watts who tries to save OASIS together with his friends from the evil entities threatening to destroy it.  Ready Player One will have its official opening in 2D and 3D on March 29th.

For the complete lineup of films in this year’s SXSW Film Festival, click here.

Elon Musk at the SXSW Conference and Festival

Yesterday, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk held a surprise question and answer session at the SXSW Conference and Festival. The tech genius and billionaire told attendees that his company has already started “building the first Mars, or interplanetary ship.”

Read More: Who Will Have the First Successful Manned Mission to Mars?

During the Q&A event, Musk expressed his hope that once SpaceX’s BFR rocket system launches, more people will start believing that Mars travel is possible.

“The biggest thing that would be helpful is just general support and encouragement and goodwill,” Musk was quoted as saying. “I think once we build it we’ll have a point of proof of something that other companies and countries can go and do. They certainly don’t think it’s possible, but if we do they’ll up their game.”

Musk also mentioned to his audience some anecdotes about his other ventures, including Tesla and the Boring Company. When asked about his inspiration, Musk raised eyebrows by saying the names of Fred Astaire and Kanye West.

Stay tuned as Edgy Labs brings you the latest happenings and live updates daily from the SXSW Conference and Festival!

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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