The U.S. Embassy in Athens is delighted to support the participation of 12 Greek professionals at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, from March 11-20, 2016. The U.S. Embassy is also collaborating with two other international institutions, The Hellenic Initiative and the Austin-based International Accelerator, for the participation of 30 Greek startups in SXSW Interactive 2016.
This is the second year the U.S. Embassy is supporting Greek professionals showcasing their endeavors in the SXSW Festival and the third year for the Hellenic Initiative and the International Accelerator to support a Greek startup delegation. This program offers young professionals and entrepreneurs the opportunity to attend the Interactive, Film, and Music sessions of the Festival, learn about new technologies and innovations in diverse fields, and network with their international peers.
The 12 Greek professionals directly supported by the Embassy are representing the creative industries in Greece, including music, film, and art as well as education, technology, and innovation.
A Greek booth at the SXSW Startup Expo will showcase the Greek startups, where they will be presenting their products and services to an audience of more than 100,000 festival participants. The Greek startups will also have the opportunity to participate in a special Pitching Event for potential funders, hosted by the International Accelerator.
Last year’s Greek delegation to SXSW was part of the Embassy’s longstanding work with Greeks in the tech, entrepreneurial, and arts sectors, aimed at sharing U.S. models in business and culture. The wide promotion of the program majorly benefited the Greek participants, with some of them receiving requests for possible partnerships. This year’s delegation is expected to be even more successful. The delegates’ SXSW experiences will be covered in real time by Huffington Post Greece, featuring interviews with the participants and videos from the events.
Thomas J. Pierce, Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, notes:
“Part of what we do at the U.S. mission in Greece is showcase American models of business, culture, and education for a Greek audience. Another part is making connections. So, for a second year in a row we are sponsoring a delegation of Greeks in the creative industries to go to SXSW. The festival is a place where things start, and where they gather momentum. You’ve got film openings, pop-up concerts, and lavish displays of wearable technology. Food trucks to beat the band, and hordes of investors looking for the next big thing. I’m delighted that, again, we’ve found a group of Greek innovators who are doing terrific work in the middle of a severe economic and social crisis. I’m confident that each delegate will make connections in and out of her or his field, and that the result will be more connections between the U.S. and Greece.”
SXSW is the top American festival on new technologies, innovation, film, and music, which attracts almost 100,000 people from all over the world. There are thousands of presentations by entrepreneurs, business executives, technology specialists, innovators, scientists, artists, designers, and media and entertainment experts. The world’s top companies in technology, innovation and entertainment – like Google, YouTube, Twitter, Samsung, and Facebook – organize exhibitions, workshops and networking events for the SXSW participants.
The Hellenic Initiative