Team RelishMIXers, Rich, Clayton and Will… relishing SXSW 2013!
Attendees showed up at 8AM and began their conversations in earnest. The event presented an opportunity for students to introduce themselves to potential employers as well as prospective cofounders and funding sources for their own ventures.
Indeed networking, always a strong suit at USC seemed to be the highlight of the event as the initial schmoozing session ran some thirty minutes over schedule.
As part of the event, a panel of speakers discussed their own experiences launching and working at startups. The “View from the Trenches” discussion panel consisted of Marc Karzen, CEO of RelishMIX, Garrett Brown, Vice President of Partnerships & Development at Bitium, and Nasi Peretz, Co-Founder/CTO of several startups and current SC PhD student.
As the main focus of the event was to increase networking opportunities for alumni and students, the event coordinators employed an innovative system to make the process more efficient. Following the initial networking meet and greet, alumni were asked to line up and take a few seconds at the mic in order to publicly introduce themselves and their businesses. After the intro session, attendees were then assigned to breakout groups based on their field of interest and encouraged to spend time talking with alumni.
The combination of allowing alumni to address the audience along with utilizing breakout groups following the announcements resulted in some serious synergy. Students were able to zero in on the value they’d be able to add to alumni companies as they were able to know who a particular alumnus was as well as their field of business ahead of time.
While there were several local tech startups in attendance some of Silicon Beach’s bigger bruisers were noticeably absent. At a risk of editorializing, this is a huge oversight on their part. If LA startups are committed to turning the city of Angels into the world’s e-commerce tech hub, they will do well to take advantage of opportunities to zero in on entrepreneurial minded talent at USC.