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Belfast’s entrepreneurs given opportunity to fly high and attend SXSW 2018 in Austin Texas

19 Oct 2017
Belfast’s creative entrepreneurs are being offered the opportunity of a lifetime to position themselves on the world stage as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017.

Belfast entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of developing digital or immersive technology, music, film, television or cyber security services for the international market are being invited to pitch their innovative business ideas for the chance to attend South by Southwest (SXSW), the world’s leading conference for music, film and interactive technology in Austin Texas from 9-18 March 2018.

As part of Global Enterprise Week 2017 which runs from Monday, 13 – Sunday, 19 November, Belfast City Council will be investing up to £2,000 in one promising entrepreneur to provide them with a platinum SXSW conference pass (giving access to world premieres, roundtables, workshops, and parties), flights and accommodation. The winner will also receive one year’s free office accommodation at the Innovation Factory, along with business support and development.

The pitch process opens on Friday, 20 October, and the deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday, 3 November.

Councillor Mairéad O’Donnell, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee said: “A key part of our Belfast Agenda is developing Belfast’s international business opportunities. And for this exciting opportunity, we’re seeking creative entrepreneurs in the early stages of developing their business, products or services for the international market who have a burning ambition to grow their business globally.

“We want to select someone who not only has a strong and innovative business pitch, but who also has the confidence and energy make the most of the incredible opportunities presented by SXSW in terms of new investment, partnerships and profile.”

Francesca O’Connor, Assistant Artist Manager at Champion Sound Music added: “I’ve attended SXSW and it’s been a real catalyst for my business development. I’ve significantly increased my network of contacts, I’ve got inspiration to develop my business and perhaps most importantly, I’ve gained the confidence to deal with the big players in the creative industries.”

A panel of industry experts will meet to consider the applications on 6 November and shortlisted applicants will be informed on 7 November, in time for them to prepare to deliver a three-minute ‘elevator pitch’ to our panel of industry experts in the Oh Yeah Centre on Thursday, 16 November as part of Output Belfast.

South by Southwest (SXSW) began in 1987, and has continued to grow in both scope and scale. The music event grew from 700 delegates in its first year, to over 28,000 and film and interactive events are now attracting over 51,000 delegates. Keynote speakers have included Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Nicolas Cage, Tilda Swinton and Danny Boyle.

For further information visit
SXSW Pitch competition 1 SXSW pitch competition 2