2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Density: How to Create Silicon Valley in Your City

#sxsw #Density

“The problem is not that most towns kill startups. It's that death is the default for startups, and most towns don't save them. Instead of thinking of most places as being sprayed with startupicide, it's more accurate to think of startups as all being poisoned, and a few places being sprayed with the antidote. Startups in other places are just doing what startups naturally
It seems like the mayor of every city in the world has proclaimed that their city will be the "next Silicon Valley." Leaders in these cities are meeting these challenges and striving to create vibrant startup ecosystems - with mixed results.
Find out what is actually working in Austin, DC, Chicago, and Moscow. The primary theme of the discussion will be the importance of density - particularly central hubs for convening and curating activity. Learn about what's common and different among the strategies and tactics pursued by 1871 in Chicago, Capital Factory in Austin, Digital October in Moscow, and 1776 in DC.



Donna Harris



Donna Harris is co-founder of 1776, a major initiative which convenes and accelerates startups from around the world by connecting them to the political, intellectual, social and financial capital that make Washington, DC unique. She is also a Founding Member of the K Street Capital angel network and is an active angel investor. Donna is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Georgetown University, is on the Advisory Board of Global Entrepreneurship Week, is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Prior to starting 1776, Donna was Managing Director of the Startup America Partnership.


Josh Baer

Mgr Dir

Capital Factory

Joshua Baer helps people quit their jobs and become entrepreneurs. In 2008 he founded Capital Factory, the largest startup incubator and co-working space in Austin, Texas. Joshua founded his first startup in 1996 in his dorm room at Carnegie Mellon University and now teaches a class at the University of Texas for student entrepreneurs. He is the a Return Path Fellow and is the most active email investor in the world. Joshua was recently recognized as the 2013 Austin Community Leader of the Year and a 2013 Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaBaer


Maria Adamian


Digital October

As Curator at Digital October, Maria organizes international conferences, oversee strategic partnerships, create and put to life new formats of educational and business events and projects.


Steve Collens


Pritzker Group

Steven led the team that designed and launched 1871, Chicago’s center for digital startups, which opened in May 2012, and he continues to serve on the board of directors. He is also a co-founder and board member of MATTER, a new startup center focused on health care technology companies, which will open this fall.

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Music sponsor

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Interactive sponsors

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