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

Getting the Most Out of The Mentor-Mentee Relationship

#sxsw #mentors

Startups need the support of experienced entrepreneurs and professionals who have "been-there, done-that"; also known as mentors. Mentors help guide burgeoning entrepreneurs through the in's and out's and growing pains of starting a successful company. They are there to provide advice and support (or a kick in the pants) and can help open doors and make introductions when needed. The mentor-mentee collaboration is an invaluable relationship and one that should not be taken for granted. Join a panel of mentors and mentees (and mentees-turned-mentors) - hosted by DreamIt Ventures - for a candid conversation and Q&A about the pro's and con's of the relationship. During this conversation you’ll gain insight into how to partner with the right mentor (or company) and how to take advantage of the relationship so it is mutually beneficial and moves the company forward.

(DreamIt is looking to do 1/2 day, 3 sessions so we have submitted several proposals)



Amy Ford Keohane


Plum Perfect

25-year media veteran with key role in building In Style from inception to one of the leading multi-platform brands in the industry (VP Consumer Marketing, VP Brand Development, SVP In Style Digital Media). Deep expertise in the consumer mindset of women, in customer acquisition and in building and growing businesses. Currently consulting and advising tech businesses targeting and solving a giant problem for women.


Andrew Ackerman

Managing Dir

DreamIt Ventures

I am a Managing Director at @DreamItVentures. I run the NY startup accelerator program for DreamIt.

Past startups include Bunk1 (SaaS for summer camps) and Layercake (digital memory database for busy families... as if there is any other type).

I advise VolunteerSpot (dead-simple scheduling tools for volunteer-run events) and mentor a number of NY area startups.

Investments include ff Ventures, RK Ventures, Avid RP, Cardiac Concepts, Hx Technologies, SpeakLike, Wizpert, et. al.


Keya Dannenbaum

Founder, CEO


Versa was founded on a deep believe in a thriving press and an informed, engaged public, and Keya's career been defined by mission-driven pursuits. She studied and worked in politics and public affairs as an undergrad at Stanford and as a PhD student at Princeton; internationally as a Fulbright Scholar in Bogota, Colombia and a Melman Fellow in Mumbai, India; nationally in the 2008 US Presidential election; and locally for the Mayor of New Haven, CT. Along the way she picked up computer science, statistics, and half of a Wharton MBA, which she left to found Versa.


Rob Arbittier



Rob is co-founder and CTO of Peeractive and their ultra-engaging shopping site, droptilyoushop.com.

In addition to developing some of the earliest computer games and the first non-visual music software for Stevie Wonder (who he toured with), Rob is a Grammy-winning engineer and has worked closely with Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, J Lo, Stevie Ray Vaughn, et. al. He also has a long history in artist development, most recently launching Austin-based, The Mrs.

Rob has sat on both sides of the mentor-mentee table, initially as a sought-after mentor in the entertainment industry and, more recently, has greatly enjoyed being mentored as part of Peeractive's participation in the DreamIt Ventures accelerator program.

Thanks to our sponsors

Miller Lite Monster Energy Esurance Chevrolet AT&T IFC Subway Austin Chronicle

Music sponsor

Sonic Bids

Interactive sponsors

Deloitte American Express Pennzoil