Interactive invasion: locals pitch big ideas at SXSW

Before the musicians pulled out their gear and stages popped up on rooftops and streetcorners in Austin, TX, for the famed South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival, nearly 100 local tech pros headed to the Lonestar State for South by Southwest Interactive, the premier gathering of digital prophets and technology soothsayers from around the country. Cincinnatians who made the trek included an impressive range, from professionals at digital agencies and big companies such as Procter & Gamble and E.W. Scripps to a determined, if sleep-deprived, troupe of startup entrepreneurs.

Four locals made the competitive slate to give official SXSW talks – Krista Neher  of Bootcamp Digital; Marty Boyer of Possible Worldwide; and Peg Faimon and Glenn Platt of Miami University’s Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies.
New this year: Cincinnati’s gathering place, #SxCincy Haus. CincyTech organized talks by local experts and provided a hangout place for weary conference-goers and Startup Bus participants. (For a peek at the CincyStartupBus’ stop in OTR’s Brandery, watch this video.)

It was the first salvo in a local effort to raise Cincinnati’s flag at SxSW, which is attended by tens of thousands of digital marketers, technology entrepreneurs and consumer-oriented thought leaders from around the world.
“Our goal is to showcase the consumer marketing expertise across all levels of the Cincinnati business community,” says Carolyn Pione Micheli, CincyTech communications director. “Having the Haus and being one of only 10 cities to send a Startup Bus to Austin was a good start. Next year we’ll get even bigger.”

For a fresh take on what it was like to live the SXSW Interactive experience, Soapbox checked in with attendees who came home with wisdom and insights to share.

The Insider: Justin Thompson, senior investment analyst, CincyTech

The Newcomer: Colin Flynn, P&G assistant brand manager; co-founder, Righting Style

The Upstart: Mike Bott, general manager, The Brandery; co-founder, Simply Done

The Wild Card: John Back, software developer, Rockfish Interactive

The Rising Star: Danny Stull, founder, VenturePax

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