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Tech Cocktail Austin

SXSW Sessions You Might Possibly Want to Attend

SXSW sessions to attend

If you’re attending SXSW Interactive, the mega-festival that takes place from March 7-11, you’ll have over 1,000 sessions to choose from (not to mention the parties). You may give preferences to the parties, but here are some sessions you might want to check out.

Friday, March 7

Gary VaynerchukGary Vaynerchuk Tells You How to Rock SXSW

  • When: 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: Start your time in Austin with actionable advice on how to make the most of your SXSW experience.

Book Signing – Gary Vaynerchuk

  • When: 1:40-2:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D Foyer
  • Why: Because you bought Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

Michael DellBeginnings: A Panel About Entrepreneurism with Michael Dell

  • When: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: Take the opportunity to hear the founder of Dell speak – along with executives from The Knot, Shutterfly, and TripAdvisor.

Saturday, March 8

Julian AssangeA Virtual Conversation with Julian Assange

  • When: 11:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: Assange of WikiLeaks has become even more relevant after Edward Snowden’s disclosures. It looks like privacy might just be a theme of SXSW 2014.

Sophia AmorusoNasty Gal: Turning Heads While Turning Profits

  • When: 11:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D
  • Why: If you haven’t heard of Sophia Amoruso, you should. Her company is one of the hottest in the LA tech scene, and she’s grown to over 300 employees and $50 million in funding.

Kathryn FinneyKathryn Finney: The Real Reasons Why There Are Few Blacks in Tech

  • When: 11:45 am-12:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom E
  • Why: Because we don’t talk enough about this issue. Learn why the current solutions aren’t working from Finney, managing director of digitalundivided.

Kevin Bacon6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon: A Social Phenomenon Turns 20

  • When: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D
  • Why: Yes, Bacon will be there. And apparently some “surprise guests,” too. They’ll be talking about memes.

Steve CaseSteve Case: The Rest is Rising: Entrepreneurship in America

  • When: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: Steve Case is the cofounder of AOL and now an investor and philanthropist. Learn about why you don’t have to startup in Silicon Valley, and which government policies will affect startups in the future.

Matt MullenwegMatt Mullenweg: The Open Source Revolution: From Blogs to Homes

  • When: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Where: Radisson Town Lake, Riverside Ballroom
  • Why: Learn more about the open source movement and what’s in store for the future, with WordPress founder Mullenweg and his fellow panelists.

Mark CubanOne on One with Mark Cuban

  • When: 5:00-6:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: Cuban, the investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, will have a lively conversation with marketing expert Guy Kawasaki.

Sunday, March 9

Rachel SklarRachel Sklar: One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor

  • When: 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Where: Sheraton Austin, Capitol ABCD
  • Why: Sometimes it feels like it’s all about who you know, and Sklar (of Change the Ratio and The Li.st) plans to help you overcome that. Expect a provocative look at the status quo.

Ben HorowitzBen Horowitz: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

  • When: 3:30 pm-4:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, shares insights from his latest book, The Hard Thing about Hard Things.

Randi ZuckerbergRandi Zuckerberg: Are We All Producers Now?

  • When: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom 5
  • Why: Zuckerberg will talk with Dana Brunetti, the producer of House of Cards, about the intersection of Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

Book Signing – Randi Zuckerberg

  • When: 4:40-5:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D Foyer
  • Why: Because you bought Zuckerberg’s book, Dot Complicated.

Book Signing – Ben Horowitz

  • When: 4:40-5:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D Foyer
  • Why: Because you bought Horowitz’s book, The Hard Thing about Hard Things.

Shaquille O'NealWearables & Beyond With Shaq

  • When: 5:00-6:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: Apparently Shaq has plans to dominate wearables – find out what they are at this session.
Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian: Be Awesome Without Their Permission

  • When: 5:00-6:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D
  • Why: Ohanian will share insights from his five-month bus trip across the country, where he met with entrepreneurs and college students doing awesome things.

Book Signing – Alexis Ohanian 

  • When: 6:10-6:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D Foyer
  • Why: Because you bought Ohanian’s book, Without Their Permission.

Monday, March 10

Edward SnowdenA Virtual Conversation with Edward Snowden

  • When: 11:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: This recently-added session promises to be one of the most popular at SXSW, with Snowden being piped in from Russia to continue the conversation around privacy and government spying.

Tim Berners-LeeTim Berners-Lee: Computing the Future: MIT Scientists Tell All

  • When: 11:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Where: Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon H
  • Why: If you’re a little more technical, you’ll want this opportunity to hear the forward-thinking Berners-Lee in person. He and his colleagues promise to illuminate what the world of computing will look like in 10 years.

Robert ScobleRobert Scoble: Top Tech Innovation Trends for 2014

  • When: 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom A
  • Why: Joined by other panelists, Scoble will be peering into the future and probably blowing your mind.

Book Signing – Robert Scoble

  • When: 1:40-2:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D Foyer
  • Why: Because you bought Scoble’s book The Age of Context.

Frank GruberFrank Gruber: Where Did All the Jobs Go?

  • When: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Where: Courtyard Marriott, Rio Grande Ballroom
  • Why: Our very own Frank Gruber will be moderating a panel with executives from oDesk, Elance, and TaskUs to talk about outsourcing and crowdsourcing.

Tuesday, March 11

Tim O'ShaughnessyTim O’Shaughnessy – A Social Marriage: Tips from a ‘Social Couple’

  • When: 9:30-10:30 am
  • Where: Sheraton Austin, Capitol ABCD
  • Why: The LivingSocial cofounder is joined by his wife for this session. It’s not often that you hear entrepreneurs talking about their personal lives, so this should be unique – but expect plenty of business talk, too.

Ben HuhBen Huh: The Form Factor Is the Message

  • When: 11:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Room 18ABCD
  • Why: Huh, the CEO of Cheezburger Networks, will show you just how smart he is (despite all the cat photos) in talking about the future of media and technology for creators and consumers.

Biz StoneBiz Stone in Conversation with Steven Johnson

  • When: 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: Biz Stone is the cofounder of Twitter who’s now working on Jelly, a new kind of search. He’ll be talking about connectedness, collaboration, creativity, and new ideas.

Chelsea ClintonChelsea Clinton: Harnessing the Power of Tech and Data for Development

  • When: 2:00-3:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: This is the March 11 keynote. Maybe her parents will show up, too?

Tim FerrissThe Tim Ferriss Experiment: Testing Human Limits

  • When: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom E
  • Why: This promises to be an entertaining session with the author of the 4-Hour Workweek and the 4-Hour Body.

Blake MycoskieBlake Mycoskie: TOMS & the Future of the One for One Movement

  • When: 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
  • Why: TOMS founder Mycoskie will be unveiling the next product in the One for One movement.

Book Signing – Blake Mycoskie

  • When: 4:40-5:00 pm
  • Where: Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D Foyer
  • Why: Because you bought Mycoskie’s book Start Something That Matters.
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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and positivity. Since 2011, she has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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