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Turn up for startups

Presented by the Kauffman Foundation in collaboration with Tech.co, Maggie Mae’s in downtown Austin, Texas, was transformed into a place of innovation, connection, and celebration for America’s makers, doers, and dreamers at SXSW 2018.

At South by Southwest (SXSW), that’s exactly what we did; hosted a house takeover that was home base for some of America’s most innovative entrepreneurs to connect, pitch, and celebrate.

Thousands of entrepreneurs flooded in and out of the “American Cities House” March 10 at SXSW. Presented by the Kauffman Foundation in collaboration with Tech.co, Maggie Mae’s in downtown Austin, Texas, was transformed into a place of innovation, connection, and celebration for America’s makers, doers, and dreamers.

Mentor marathon

Throughout the afternoon, mentoring was available to anyone who walked in the door. Mentors included pitch coaches, and experts in venture capital, marketing, policy, technology; coaches dedicated to women entrepreneurs, and specifically black and Latina women; and coaches who helped connect mentees to resources and people in their ecosystems.

A recent national survey commissioned by the Kauffman Foundation showed that first-year startups lagged behind more established startups and older businesses when it came to connections with other business owners. More specifically, the survey showed that nearly a quarter of black and Hispanic first-year startups have one or fewer business owners in their network.

We believe community support, and the ability to make connections to access information and resources, is crucial to successful starts and growth of new businesses.

  • 39% of first-year startups know more than five business owners
  • 55% of older businesses (5+ years) know more than five business owners
  • ~25% of black and Hispanic first-year startups have one or fewer business owners in their network

Startup Night

The house then turned up for Startup Night. The pitch competition found 25 diverse startups vying for prizes and a ticket to be a Startup of the Year semifinalist at Innovate Celebrate 2018.

The top five startups of the night included:

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