With SXSW about get underway, I wanted to provide a brief snapshot of some of the activities the Microsoft BizSpark team and our many startup partners have planned for the event, and also where you can find us in-person/online to get a better taste for the goings-on and the movers and shakers in attendance.

Front and center is the second annual Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator, a forum that is designed to help emerging companies launch the next wave of innovation in software. Starting on Monday, March 15, a total of 32 companies, led by some of the world's smartest entrepreneurs, will introduce new products and services that promise to set trends and drive new market opportunities, all in front of a live audience and a panel of experts.

Then on Tuesday, March 16 - just like NCAA March Madness - the 12 companies who advance from the day before will be invited back to present again to new judges, as they hope to win the Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator award, which will be announced at the end of day. We, as title sponsor, hope to see you there!

For additional information around Microsoft BizSpark activities at SWSW, visit www.bizspark.com/sxsw or review the list of key activities below:

  • BizSpark Accelerator at SXSW: Monday, March 15 and Tuesday, March 16 at the Hilton Hotel Downtown (500 East 4th St.)
  • Piryxtopia 2010 – A fundraiser for Haiti: Saturday, March 13, 9pm–1am at the Speakeasy (412D Congress Ave.)
    • Teaming up with non-profit Startup Weekend and Microsoft BizSpark, Piryx will host the 2nd annual Piryxtopia Charity Bash. This event is focused on raising money for the charity “We Hear Your Voice"). Register here and visit the event Facebook page to find out how to track down a Piryx 314 card.
  • SXSW TECH Cocktail: Sunday, March 14th. 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM at Palm Door (401 Sabine St.)
  • Late Night with Cheezburger: Sunday, March 14, 10pm–2am at Cedar Door (201 Brazos St.)
    • Late-night party that will feature margaritas, beer, and of course—cheeseburgers, and karaoke.
  • "Dine with Dino" and OneRiot, Loopt, and Taptu. Be treated to monster-sized dinners as their journey through panels, parties and downtown Austin leads T-Rex and friends to free meals at secret destinations. March 14, 15 and 16, thirty inflatable - though massively terrifying - dinosaurs will be abandoned at SXSWi hot spots.

Whether you’ll be joining us at SXSW in-person or virtually, be sure to follow us on Twitter @BizSpark (Hashtag #SXSW) for real-time updates and check back on the BizSpark website for photos, videos and other content from the event!

Posted by Jacob Mullins (@jacob)
Marketing manager, Microsoft Corp.