Research-based Sessions for SXSW Interactive 2016

Throughout the year, the Kauffman Foundation conducts research about entrepreneurship, education, and policy. Just in time for SXSW Interactive 2016, Kauffman researchers Alex Krause and Colin Tomkins-Bergh aim to bring their findings on entrepreneurship behavior, demographics, and trends to festival-goers in Austin.

Check out the ongoing research descriptions below and go to PanelPicker to vote for them if you’re interested in seeing these sessions at SXSW Interactive 2016.


Proposed Research Sessions for SXSW Interactive 2016

Where Unicorns Come From – Genealogy of $1B+ Companies

Uber. Airbnb. Palantir. These startups are revolutionizing their markets & have broken into the club of the 102 private companies worth more than $1 billion (Unicorns).

We all know what they do. But do we really know how they came about? Where they came from? Which path led them to the Billion-Dollar Club?

In this presentation, you will learn the path the selective few took to arrive there. Moreover, you will learn about the entrepreneurial genealogy of these companies, with an in-depth look into the networks of investors, ventures, and universities that led these founders on the path of creating a unicorn.

Questions answered in this session will be:

  1. What insights can we learn from the journey of creating unicorns to help other entrepreneurs grow their companies?
  2. How do unicorns invest and acquire other companies, and what does that mean for their relating industries?
  3. What are the commonalities of Unicorn founder’s networks of investors, ventures, and universities?

Vote Now:

4 Insights from Fastest Growing Companies in the USA

Think most of the fast-growing companies in the U.S. are venture-backed, tech companies, based in Silicon Valley? Think again.

Based on research by Inc. Magazine its 500|5000 list, researchers at the Kauffman Foundation found that the fastest-growing companies and entrepreneurs often do not match the stereotypical profile we see portrayed around startups. Only about 1 percent of these fast-growing companies are in Silicon Valley, and only half of those are in high-tech.

Less than 1 in 10 of the fastest-growing companies were venture-backed, most funded through bootstrapping, loans, and help from friends and family. Join us to learn four myths and insights and how they can apply to your own company.

Questions answered in this session will be:

  1. Is venture capital a pre-requisite for growth?
  2. Is national and international expansion a requirement for growth?
  3. What role does mentorship play in entrepreneurial success?

Vote Now:

Voting Procedure:

Beginning today, Monday, August 10 through Friday, September 4, we invite you to peruse the thousands of session proposals and vote for our sessions if you’re interested in seeing them at SXSW Interactive 2016.

Public Votes count for 30 percent of deciding which sessions will be part of SXSW.

Voting is easy. Just log in to PanelPicker. If you don’t have an account, creating one is easy and it’s completely free (your sign-up information remains completely confidential).

Vote for Kauffman Foundation Sessions:

Where Unicorns Come From – Genealogy of $1B+ Companies

4 Insights from Fastest Growing Companies in the USA

Kauffman Foundation at Startup Oasis on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas.


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alex krause

Alex Krause

Alex Krause is a program officer in Research and Policy for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Krause’s expertise is in organizational behavior and human capital in entrepreneurship, especially through demographic and industry studies. In terms of demographic research, Krause runs the women’s research agenda, working to find intersections for both research and programs in closing the gender gap. In regard to industry research, Krause is interested in the academic industry, particularly in building the field of entrepreneurship research. She runs the Kauffman Emerging Scholars Program, which provides annual support for doctoral consortia, dissertation fellowships, junior faculty fellowships and the Kauffman Prize Medal – all in pursuit of excellence in entrepreneurship research. She runs the State of the Field website – an encyclopedic compilation of knowledge on entrepreneurship research written by experts in the field. 

She previously worked as the project director of Building a Community of Readers for the Kansas City Public Library. Earlier, she was an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Office of Mayor Sly James and his Turn the Page KC reading initiative and an economics analysis intern for the U.S. State Department in the U.S. Embassy in Berlin.

colin tomkins-bergh

Colin Tomkins-Bergh is a research analyst in Research and Policy for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, working to evaluate the effectiveness of entrepreneurial ecosystems following the Great Recession and performing research around the Ag Tech sector.