In a highly-anticipated return to SXSW, an all-star lineup of designers, coders, and entrepreneurs compete to pitch their worst business ideas in short lightning rounds. Winner gets funded by a real VC.
Andy Baio is a Project Director at Expert Labs, a nonprofit working on improving government by tapping into collective knowledge on social networks. Previously, he was CTO of Kickstarter, the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world, and created Upcoming.org, the collaborative events calendar acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. Original reporting on his blog Waxy.org has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, NPR, Newsweek, and MSNBC. He’s received legal threats from The Beatles, Disney, and Bill Cosby and framed each one.
Gina Trapani leads development on ThinkUp, an open source social media analytics platform. She co-hosts This Week in Google on the TWiT network, just released her first Android app, and back in the day, she started Lifehacker.com.
Jeffery is a good cop, gone bad, framed for a crime that he didn't commit in the city that never sleeps when all bets are off and all aces are wild.
In the summer of 2009, he was hit by a Prius while biking to jury duty.
He wrote about it on Craigslist ( http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/1288922120.html ), and later that week, Jay Leno ( http://www.hulu.com/watch/100880/the-jay-leno-show-craigslist-ads#s-p2-st-i1 ) read the post on his subpar television show.
And in early 2010, Revision3 ( http://revision3.com/instmsgs/secrettweet ) performed a Shakespearian version of his post, cutting off the punchline.
So, he's got that going for him, which is nice...
Jonah Peretti is known for creating viral hits, tracking online social behavior, and building technology to amplify buzz. He is a co-founder of The Huffington Post and more recently created BuzzFeed, a viral network that currently has 150 million users with over 9 million unique visitors a month. He has been called a "viral marketing hotdog" by the New York Times, "the poster boy of guerilla media" by AlterNet, and a "computer-whiz" by The New Yorker. This past October, Fast Company Magazine named Jonah one of the New Faces of Social Media.
Peretti is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab and has taught at NYU and the Parsons School of Design. His work has been covered by Time, the Economist, Fortune, and Business Insider and he has appeared as a guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and CNN.
Jonah and his team at BuzzFeed have created various relationships with companies such as GE, Comedy Central, Absolut Vodka, and IFC. BuzzFeed users share at a higher rate than Facebook or Twitter, giving these companies a diverse audience of people to share their ideas with as well as gaining real-time data from BuzzFeed's audience.
Musician and internet nerd from Portland, OR. Community manager and data wrangler at the online community Metafilter. Reliable source of questionable ideas. Serial project starter. Serial project abandoner. Banjo owner.
Mike Lacher writes and programs funny things on the internet, mostly on his site wonder-tonic.com. His work has been featured in places like The New York Times, McSweeney's, and New York Magazine. He works in display advertising at Google.
In web years, Ze Frank is a grizzled pioneer in online play spaces. Since 2001, when he released the early viral phenomena “How To Dance Properly” (http://www.zefrank.com/invite/swfs/index2.html), Ze has been creating content that encourages people to laugh, create, play, and collaborate. Ze is a frequent speaker at the annual TED conferences and two videos which outline his philosophy on media participation can be found at TED.com. Ze has recently started a super secret social gaming company. Stay tuned at http://star.me.
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