Tech tycoons, music moguls, and even Mr. Obama bookmark the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference as an annual destination to find talent and innovation. Now, the City of Atlanta joins the caravan to Austin, Texas, with its ChooseATL campaign. Its message is clear: the “city too busy to hate” is the best place to (re)locate to find great careers and exceptional quality of life.
The ChooseATL entourage, including the founders of Yik Yak, Mayor Kasim Reed and hip hop star Killer Mike, will spread its Southern pride through SXSW panels and music parties from its “ChooseATL House” at the Austin Speakeasy during March 13-14.
Why is the ChooseATL takeover of SXSW an exciting opportunity for the city?
I am really excited because this is Atlanta’s time. It’s hard to go out to the world and beat your chest as a solo agent, but when you have a pack going out, like we do, I think everyone can be really proud. It is a great testimony to the Chamber leadership to see this as a way to spread the word on Atlanta. There are two wins really – the first one, internally, is how this galvanizing enthusiasm, and, the other, is breaking down a lot of silos across industries. That is a win unto itself.
Then, there will be going out there to showcase ourselves to the world – not just in tech and interactive, but with how Atlanta is a bustling place for industry and culture. We can’t package that in a headline or an ad somewhere. It is something that you have to experience. This has turned into an opportunity to leverage South-by as a place to put Atlanta on the map, especially when it comes to these industries that we are already growing in – technology, film, as well as music.
What will Atlanta showcase at the festival?
SXSW is really the biggest festival centered on interactive, film and music. On the interactive, we have Yik Yak, and it doesn’t really doesn’t get much bigger than them. Not only for their success but for their curiosity. We are excited that they want to be a part of this movement with ChooseATL.
And then there is film, an area where Georgia is really off the chain. Pinewood Studios is a sponsor. Then, we have representatives from “The Walking Dead.” The executive producer will be out there. In terms of shows being filmed right now, and from Atlanta, there isn’t really any other bigger than that.
To music, what is so cool about the music here is that it expands so many genres. We will have a great headliner there [Killer Mike]. We’re excited to showcase more than 30 of Atlanta’s biggest names and most promising up-and-comers at this year’s SXSW in Austin.
Then, there is everything in between, too. We have Chuck Reece from “The Bitter Southerner,” who will be facilitating conversation, as well as Jewel Burke and Brook Beach, these young tech entrepreneurs who are highlighting a really great endorsement on female entrepreneurs. There is just a ton that is happening. It will bring the house to life, not experientially but visually, and, most importantly, relationally.
How will ChooseATL highlight Atlanta startups at SXSW?
We will have an entire “Startup Alley” that will showcase our startups, including representatives from ATDC and some of our incubators and accelerators. We will have a “Georgia innovation hub” in the Expo, our own booth. That will be a bit more about content exchange and job connections happening there.
The biggest thing that is happening out there, especially amongst millennials, is job search and job exchange. That is why a lot of people go. We are going to showcase Atlanta and let that emerging talent know that our city is the place to come to get a gig, start a business, and build a legacy.
Check Out Atlanta While in Austin
ChooseATL House Activities:
- Four official SXSWi panels, featuring influential Atlantans such as Yik Yak Founders Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, “The Bitter Southerner” Editor Chuck Reece and Ladypreneur League Founder Porsha Thomas.
- An intimate conversation with Tom Luse, executive producer, and Michael Satrazemis, director of photography, for “The Walking Dead,” which is being filmed in Atlanta for the sixth season.
- Performances by Atlanta musicians representing a range of genres including, soulful Billboard charting artist Ruby Velle, hook-heavy alt-rock trio Kick the Robot, and hip hop artist Steve Cantrell.
- A big announcement from digitalundivided, a social enterprise that invests in the success of black and Latina women tech founders, and winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2015 Growth Accelerator Competition.
Stay Social at South-By
Hypepotamus will be on the ground covering #ChooseATLSXSW on social via Ashley Cleveland, digital marketing influencer and founder of BrandUp. Follow Cleveland as she takes on South-by at @ashleythebrand. Connect with ChooseATL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
The Hype team will also be curating #ChooseATLSXSW love through Storify.