← Techstars Blog

In 2013, SXSW broadened its focus from film, music and tech, to encourage innovation in education, environmental technologies, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

This year, UP Global sponsored SXSW V2V, the newest addition to the SXSW family of events. V2V 2013 was a four-day event, bringing startup and venture capital communities together with the support of the creative industries that make SXSW so special. V2V served innovators and entrepreneurs from a broad range of industries, facilitating the connection and inspiration necessary to grow their ideas.

UP Global expanded its network of influencers through the event, providing a 3-day conference for entrepreneurs as a part of the V2V curriculum. With sponsors like Coca Cola; Sprint; .CO; AMEX; and the Kauffman Foundation, UP Global secured knowledgeable speakers, and engaged one of the largest V2V audiences.


Monday began with ‘Design and Scale’; as design is at the core of brands like Apple, Path and Square. The panel explored the methods and importance of implementing design into your company from the startup stage, and scaling it throughout the organization during growth.

3 Important Quotes: 

“Ask your team, ‘Why do you exist?’ Start with a ‘why’… Define a ‘how’… Then, [determine] the ‘what’. The ‘what’ is what you build”

“Don’t rely on the traditional PR channels. Use your partners on social. Leverage your customers”

 “Startups cram too much stuff in first launch. Be diligent and don’t be afraid to chop stuff out of your design.”


Next was ‘Fostering Startup Communities’; an inside look at the entrepreneurs and innovators who are developing downtown Las Vegas as one of the fastest-growing startup communities in the world.

3 Important Quotes:

“Communities are the accelerators! They have everything you need. Figure out how to get everyone connected.”

“Have a 30-year plan to foster startups, not something where people just rush off to Silicon Valley.”

“Proximity is important and makes Vegas a tight knit ecosystem. It has to be easy for people to physically connect.” 

To close out Monday’s activities, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, participated in ‘21 Questions’. Hsieh not only has entrepreneurial experience, but also delivered sound advice to anyone starting out:

  • A brand is just a lagging indicator of a company’s culture
  • I wish I rolled out our core values earlier…
  • It’s not customer service, it’s culture that must come first
  • Culture is to company as community is to city
Tony Hsieh talks at UPGlobalLIVE lounge for sxswv2v


Tuesday began with ‘Leveraging Diversity. In an increasingly diverse and global economy, many entrepreneurs still find themselves unsure of how to navigate, adapt and leverage the differences that are necessary for success. Here, participants learned about the various networks of support that are available to entrepreneurs.

3 Important Quotes: 

“Diverse founder backgrounds allow for new ideas. There’s an advantage to having a diverse team.”

“When you’re part of something bigger than yourself, you work harder.”

 “You can invest in companies that make money and also do good things in the world.” 


Next was ‘Fund Thy Neighbor. Global corporations are giving back locally by crowdfunding to creating an impact in the neighborhoods where we live and work. This panel disused what they’re interested in, how to get funded, what has been successful and much more.

3 Important Quotes:

“The most successful entrepreneurs will be the ones who know how to engage with their local communities first.”

“84% of people who contribute to kickstarter campaigns are new to the platform”

“There are 1600 crowdfunding platforms at this moment.”


UP Chairman Steve Case, one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, participated in ‘21 Questions’. Case inspired the audience with relatable stories and a wide-range of advice:

  •  My goal was to wake up in the morning & have nothing to do. That never happened
  • Large companies must recognize the world is changing & need a networked approach to grow
  • Working w/startups & entrepreneurs is critical to the future survival of big companies
  • If you’re not reinventing you’re going to hit a wall
  • In almost every industry nowadays the real battle is the battle for attention
  • Spend time building your company, also build your community and your nation
  • You shouldn’t to go to certain places to be an entrepreneur
Steve Case talks at UPGlobalLIVE lounge for sxswv2v
Steve Case talks at UPGlobalLIVE lounge for sxswv2v


Come Wednesday, it was time for ‘Alternatives for Corporate Collaboration’. The audience learned how startups need big companies for many reasons: as customers, strategic advisors, and investors or as a means for an exit. The panel discussed different ways big companies are developing their relationships with startups and also how you can collaborate with these companies to set up for success.

Three Important Quotes: 

 “It’s critical for large corporations to pay attention to startups; that’s where innovation is happening”

“Startups: Have patience with corporate process.”

“Corporations: We need more people in corporations who don’t think so ‘corporate’”

Wednesday also featured ‘21 Questions’ with Kevin McGinnis, VP of Product at Sprint.  McGinnis spoke to the audience about how he keeps his company fresh and innovate:

  • Do more, think less. Do something – take action
  • There are no winners in a zero-sum game
  • Focus on your network
  • Don’t sacrifice too much to get a deal with a large corporation. Stay true to your company
  • Ask for help & advice early on. Find a mentor
  • Hire for attitude & train for skill
  • Startup communities need someone to blaze the trail for others to follow
  • Employee satisfaction picks up when our employees engage in the entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Getting closer to the startup community enables us to keep our entrepreneurial mojo
Claire Topalian Claire Topalian
(@clairetopalian) Blog, Professional Writing, Communications and PR Specialist. I craft compelling, mission-driven content for companies and individuals that amplifies brand awareness, fosters community, and drives engagement. My experience includes work with tech startups, major corporations, and international non-profits. @clairetopalian