The Final 48 Hours: Vote to Shake Up Education

Startup Education is the largest initiative in the world to provide year-round programming and resources dedicated to giving anyone, anywhere the opportunity to take action to improve education. SXSWedu is one of the most prominent conferences in the world focused on bringing people together to share ideas about fostering innovation in learning. Some say its a match made in education innovation heaven, and today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve submitted three proposals to present at next year’s SXSWedu conference. But we need your help!

30% of SXSWedu panel selection is based on public votes, which means your willingness to “thumbs-up” our proposals can mean the difference between new, action-oriented, and far-reaching approaches to improving education being shared, or the same ‘ol same ol’ narrative being told about the possibilities for education to evolve. We hope that our track record and vision going forward will inspire you to support our involvement in SXSWedu, but if that’s not enough, here are three key topics for discussion we’d like to add to the story being told at the conference:

  1. Edtech solutions, alone, will not transform education. Communities of people equipped with entrepreneurial skills, who are empowered to take action will transform education.
  2. A collaborative innovation process that involves multiple stakeholders, perspectives, and skill-sets is the best innovation process when it comes to improving educational outcomes.
  3. Creating the space to challenge what school traditionally looks like, feels like, and results in, spurs creativity and produces fresh ideas for designing improved models for learning.

Take Action: Place Your Vote by Friday, September 5th

Public voting officially ends Friday, September 5th. If you’re interested in helping us shake up the usual narrative about innovating education, and share the incredible grassroots work our Community Leaders around the world are doing to affect change, then complete these 3 quick steps:

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Step 1: Create an account on SXSW Panel Picker. (If you already have one, skip to item #2 below)

  1. Click here to be directed to our SXSWedu proposal webpage.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner, select “Sign In.” You will be directed to a new page.
  3. On the Sign-In Page, select “Create Account.” Insert the required information, and your account will be confirmed.

Step 2: Vote for our three proposals

  1. Click on the links below
  2. On each page, select the “thumbs up” icon in the upper left-hand corner (Yes, you can vote for all three!)

Step 3: Share the opportunity

Know other people who want to shake things up?

Easily share this opportunity by clicking on the Twitter icons below:


Interested in checking out other SXSWedu panel submissions from Startup Education Community Leaders? See them highlighted here.

Want to learn more about Startup Education? Visit our website

Have comments or questions? Email

Entrepreneurs! The 15 SXSW Panels You Can't Miss.

Mashable published a list of 38 SXSW panels to attended this year. Because, you can’t be everywhere at once, here are the 15 panels geared towards entrepreneurship and business.

Also, check out UP Global’s programming at Startup Oasis – Launch, Meet, Eat, Pitch, Party.


Friday, March 7

The Next Steve Jobs May Be From Africa
When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Who: Claude Migisha Kalisa, Fred Mweetwa, Gertjan van Stam, Jessica Colaco
Where: ACC 9ABC
Why: It isn’t often that we get to learn about and see tech innovations in Africa — and yet some of the very best mobile payment systems are already in use there. During this session, we hope to learn some new perspectives on mobile banking, e-commerce, mobile education and more.

Your Founder Is Your Product Manager
When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Who: Alicia Dixon, Jason Shah, Paul Young, Teresa Torres
Where: Hilton Garden Inn Red River
Why: This is a terrific group of people who will share their views on startup evolution and how to transition the product management role from the founder to the first product manager.

A Fearless Approach to Social Change
When: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Who: Jean Case, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin
Where: Hilton Salon H
Why: Case is a dynamic speaker, and she’ll talk about her experience leading social change. It’s also a good opportunity to learn about unlikely partnerships and creative collaborations.

Saturday, March 8

Breaking the Mold: How to Thrive When Allies Turn
When: 9:30 a.m – 10:30 a.m.
Who: Jehmu Greene, Joanne Bamberger and Sally Kohn
Where: ACC 10AB
Why: All three of the women on this panel have faced a tremendous amount of social backlash for challenging viewpoints contrary to their own. Listen to their stories about how to be an agent of change while even allies are turning against you, and especially as that plays out in digital media. All three are great speakers.

Media and the Personal Brand
When: 12:30 p. m – 1:30 p.m.
Who: Bill Simmons, Nate Silver
Where: ACC Ballroom D
Why: Simmons and Silver will talk about how independent voices are shaping our digital media landscape. They’re both brilliant — come with questions.

The Original Gangsters of Crowdfunding
When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Who: Katherine Woo, Katie Bisbee, Kevin Conroy, Paull Young
Where: Austin Convention Center 9ABC
Why: This session will bring you back to the roots of crowdfunding with the folks who have been doing it the longest. Learn why they were successful then and how they’ve stayed in the game as crowdfunding went mainstream.

Always Be Testing: Detecting Novelty in A/B Tests
When: 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Who: Amelia Showalter
Where: AT&T Conference Center Classroom 102
Why: The former director of digital analytics from President Obama’s re-election campaign is going to show how her team tested email, web and ad campaigns, and how they used those lessons to learn and adapt quickly. The workshop is a smart choice for anyone involved with digital content, audience engagement or email newsletters. Showalter is a spectacular speaker and a wonderful mentor.

Sunday, March 9

A Cloud of One’s Own
When: 11 a.m. – Noon
Who: Dave Sanford, Jeff Kramer
Where: Sheraton Austin Capitol View North
Why: You’ve undoubtedly heard a lot about the cloud, but this session promises to delve into the special needs and opportunities presented by emerging personal clouds. This should be an active discussion session rather than a traditional PowerPoint presentation, which means it’s a fantastic opportunity to get expert answers to all your questions.

Everyone’s a Curator — Do Museums Still Matter?
When: 11 a.m. – Noon
Who: Jennifer Yin, Kathryn Jaller, Sarah Bailey Hogarty, Willa Koerner
Where: Omni Downtown Longhorn
Why: These days, everyone’s a curator. Learn about how technology can be leveraged to curate, and what the future holds for museums. If you see the parallels between online storytelling and art curation, this should be fascinating. This is a fantastic opportunity to ask Koerner about how the SFMOMA has continued to attract an audience and cultivate its community while it’s shut down for renovations. There are lessons here for anyone hoping to build a relationship with their audiences.

Hacking Princess Culture: Girls, Games, & Science
When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Who: Jennifer Oxley, Lindsey Shepard, Sara DeWitt
Where: Long Center Dell Hall
Why: With so much focus on how professional women can lean in and crack the glass ceiling, this session looks at changing the future for women by starting with girls. If you saw GoldieBlox’s Super Bowl commercial and got excited, this is a good pick for you.

I Measure Every Single Thing My Kid Does
When: 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Who: Amy Webb (Webbmedia Group and Spark Camp)
Where: ACC Ballroom F
Why: Last year, Webb explained how she used data and analytics to hack online dating and meet her husband. This year, she’s back to explain her data-driven approach to parenting. Even if you’re not a parent yourself, you’ll learn how to apply the techniques of Big Data to everyday life, your startups and more.

Monday, March 10

If Content Is King, Who Is Sheriff?
When: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Who: Gail Marie, Kristina Eastham, Mike Schmidth, Robert Hernandez
Where: Austin Convention Center, Room 12AB
Why: More content doesn’t always mean better, especially online. Who is the gatekeeper for digital content, who helps readers decide what to trust and who sets the ethical standards? Hernandez is a great speaker with a deep background in journalism.

It’s Not Rocket Science: UX for Niche Communities

When: 11 a.m. – Noon
Who: Joseph Medwid, Kevin McMillin
Where: Four Seasons Ballroom
Why: We’re always excited to hear from NASA, but this session in particular will talk about the particular needs of user experience design for very specific purposes. What if your system is only for five users? What if you don’t really need to scale your experience? There should be many lessons learned that you can apply across industries..

Platforms vs. Publishers: A Big New Theory
When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Who: Zach Seward
Where: Driskill Hotel Maximilian
Why: Zach Seward posits that a big decision for media brands is where they choose to settle on a spectrum between publisher and platform. It might feel a little meta, but should be a good discussion for anyone who wants people to read, share and pay for their content. Zach is brilliant and generous — even if this topic itself isn’t of interest, go to hear Zach’s perspective, which will undoubtedly broaden yours.

Do Algorithms Dream of Viral Content?
When: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Who: David Carr, Eli Pariser
Where: Austin Convention Center Ballroom D
Why: Where Old Media meets New: a New York Times media reporter/columnist and the CEO of Upworthy talk viral content and the role of algorithms. This should be a great discussion.

Are you ready to Pitch? These expert judges will give feedback at Startup Oasis.

This weekend, the UP Global team will be in Austin, TX at Startup Oasis! Along with celebrating the launches of some exciting companies, providing awesome mentors for Office Hours, and throwing a few can’t-miss parties, lunches, and happy hours… we’ll be hosting two pitch competitions on Friday and Sunday.

We’re excited to announce the pitch competition’s judges – thanks to our friends and pitch partners at Bigcommerce and NASDAQ!

If you’re headed to Austin this weekend, make sure not to miss Startup Oasis!

Friday’s Judges (click photo for full profile):

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Sunday’s Judges (click photo for full profile): 

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Come Party and Pitch With UP Global and Sprint at SXSW Interactive!

This year at SXSW, one of our Global Partners, Sprint, is joining us at Startup Oasis to help you party and pitch!


Kickoff Party – Presented by Pinsight Media+ powered by Sprint

We’re kicking off Startup Oasis with one heck of a party, thanks to Pinsight Media+, a new mobile advertising platform powered by Sprint. We’ll have lots to drink, great food to order, fun swag, and much more. We’ll also be bringing you an awesome music act, The Bones of JR Jones. Come by at 8 when the party gets started and be prepared to go until 2! Register here!

Pitch Booth – Presented by Sprint Accelerator 

Get ready to give your best 60-second pitch in Sprint’s pitch booth! Hop on in and film yourself pitching for the world to see. Taken as an idea from the Grammy’s backstage vine mirror, we’ll be publishing your pitches to the world with one single click. Get great exposure by adding in your twitter handle and posting it – or send it to yourself for promotional material. All of this is thanks to Sprint’s Accelerator, located in Kanas City.

Sprint will also be participating in Office Hours if you want to book some one-on-ones, and Sprint execs will also be judging the Pitch Hour competitions happening in our space!For more information on what UP is doing at SXSW, check out Startup Oasis, powered by UP Global and the Kauffman Foundation. We’ll see you there March 7-9!

Join UP Global and the Kauffman Foundation for Startup Oasis at SXSW Interactive!

What are your plans for SXSW? Join us for Startup Oasis at SXSW Interactive at Old School Bar & Grill on 6th St.!

SXSW on 6th Street

This year, UP Global & The Kauffman Foundation will be hosting our community at Old School Bar & Grill on 6th St. on March 7-9 during the first three days of SXSW Interactive.

#startupoasis is the place for everything startups on 6th St.

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Here’s what we’ve got going on at Startup Oasis:

Office Hours:

Like previous years and events, Office Hours are scheduled 10 minute blocks of time where anyone can sit down and talk with a mentor one-on-one. We work within our network and our partners to bring you the best mentors across a diverse range of skill sets. Unlike previous years, we’ll be launching an online platform where you can sign up in advance for Office Hours. We’ll also be doing Office Hours walk-ins for those who don’t want to commit to anything in advance. Click here to book some time with mentors.

Launch Pad:

In the past, we’ve seen a lot of companies launch in their hotel rooms – where’s the fun in that? This year we’re bringing you Launch Pad – we’ll start every morning off celebrating companies that launch at SXSW by offering press, photos, filming, and, of course, a celebratory drink! Click here to sign up to launch at Startup Oasis.

Pitch It with Post It®:

Think Happy Hour meets Pitch Competition. We’ll be hosting a 60-second pitch competition, bringing in awesome judges with a bunch of amazing prizes. Click here to sign up to pitch at Startup Oasis.

Pitch Booth:

Photo booths are so last year! Come to our Pitch Booth sponsored by Sprint Accelerator to pitch your idea to the world. Pitch in our booth, automatically upload your video on Vimeo and blast it out to the world.

Lastly, our partners will be doing innovating things in our space, too. For example, Pinsight Media + Powered by Sprint will be throwing our opening party on Friday night, bringing in an awesome band to start off strong. We’ve also teamed up with Tech Cocktail to put on exciting programming in the space for all of Saturday. Not to mention, we’ll be hosting 500 Startups and .CO for a half-baked pitch competition.

Throughout March 7-9, the Startup Oasis will be a collaborative and chill lounge thanks to Turnstone Furniture who are turning the top floor into a relaxing escape from the craziness of SXSW. Come by, order a snack, have a drink, take a nap, or enjoy the people watching from our 6th street patio.

The full schedule can be found at – join UP Global and The Kauffman Foundation at #startupoasis.

Any questions? Want to sponsor an event? Contact us at