The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery. Each year, over 500,000 of the world’s leading creatives, technologists, entrepreneurs and investors attend.
An incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, the South by Southwest (SXSW®) features five days of compelling presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer. From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to discover the technology of tomorrow today.
Expanding diversity, equity and inclusion at SXSW is a very important part of our intentional strategy to increase authentic and natural diversity and inclusion throughout the innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ecosystems. Why? It’s simple.
SXSW shapes global narratives and perspectives; fosters authentic conversations and dialogue; and creates serendipitous moments and opportunities to connect with the leaders of tech, capital and culture.
HBCU@SXSW as captured in this USA Today and Harvard Business Review article is OHUB’s signature annual university relations, young professionals, startup entrepreneurship and recruitment initiative. Each year, major corporations, tech companies, startups, ecosystem builders, influencers and foundations sponsor HBCU@SXSW so top African American and Latinx technical and non-technical business talent from our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI’s), Tribal Colleges and Predominantly White Institutions (PWI’s) with intentional diversity and inclusion initiatives can gain the necessary immersive exposure, interactive learning opportunities and direct access to paid summer internships or permanent jobs in the innovation economy that are afforded by attending SXSW. HBCU@SXSW is a part of South by Southwest (SXSW), the largest interactive technology conference and festival on the planet. In 2018, more than 500,000 attendees experienced amazing keynotes, hundreds of panels and exclusive networking opportunities that provide buzz-generating exposure and opportunities to engage with decision makers in the innovation economy. In 2016, we sponsored 50 college students to go to SXSW. In 2017, 100 students from 41 colleges and universities attended. In 2018, 150 students from 60 colleges and universities attended. In 2019, we are planning to sponsor up to 300 students to attend. Ninety (90%) of the students that attend HBCU@SXSW are placed in paid summer internships or permanent jobs.
Our thesis is simple: Diversify SXSW and we will diversify the innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem for all. We accomplish this by bringing the smartest and brightest minority college students to SXSW.
“SXSW Interactive is excited to be working with Opportunity Hub on helping to bring more HBCU students and young people of color to Austin in March,” said Hugh Forrest, Director, South by Southwest Interactive Festival. “Exposing these entrepreneurs to all the opportunities for learning and networking that SXSW has to offer is important in their development as cofounders. These young HBCU entrepreneurs are likewise important in the continued development of SXSW as a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem for all. Initiatives such as this one are a strong step towards achieving the goal of a more diverse tech industry.”