Startup America goes Southwest

Like many new startups, our new CEO Scott Case officially kicked off his gig on a weekend.  This past Saturday, we had the chance to travel to Austin and the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference, along with some great folks from the White House, to hear from entrepreneurs in the trenches during two panel sessions.

The traveling team, which also included U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra, Sean Greene of the Small Business Association, Ronnie Chatterji of the National Economic Council, Todd Park from Health and Human Services and others first kicked off the day with a breakfast hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.  Scott and the White House team had the opportunity to hear from local entrepreneurs about what they believe has made the Austin ecosystem a strong one for startups, as well as what they see as some of the barriers and challenges.  

Following the breakfast, entrepreneurs from around the country had a chance to share their thoughts about the challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs during two panel discussions with Scott and the White House team.  There were some exciting announcements, including the launch of Rock Health, a new accelerator for mobile health startups, as well as insights from some of the hottest tech companies such as LivingSocial and Gowalla during the session.

Since this is SXSW, one of the most popular conferences for the interactive set, we thought we'd give you a flavor for the discussion by sharing some of the tweets from the sessions (in chronological order):

@SteveCase: At #SXSW today? Join White House and#StartupAmerica team for discussion about entrepreneurship #suasxsw

karlbuttnerWhite House Startup America panel kicking off at #SXSW. Entrepreneurs rock! #suasxsw /cc @tscottcase

openforumCelebrate entrepreneurs to inspire new generations of entrepreneurship! Don't be afraid to take a risk says @tscottcase #SUASXSW

HPstartup@tscottcase on #SUASXSW panel: how many in the audience have startups <1 year old (many hands). How many are scared? (laughter)

slobotskiGood comments at @startupamerica panel re: need to build ecosystems & regions of innovation w/in new regions of the US #SUASXSW

kristalberg@startupamerica Here's a barrier to joining start ups or starting a business: student loan payments. How do we deal with that? #suasxsw

RT @todd_park: Many congrats to @RockHealthFund for launching today at SXSW: seed accelerator for health apps! Check them out! #suasxsw

usptoEntrepreneurs line up to ask #suasxsw panelists questions

andystoll#suasxsw Thx for letting me ask the ? on hyperlocal entrep community-bldg. Advice: find more way to connect the connectors. #willingtohelp

@jenniferland: A place to put all ideas for what the government could do to support entrepreneurship in the US

sujamthe@startupamerica real inspiration of startup energy here #suasxsw #Sxsw panel repeating again now!

@eastwickcom: People & conversation at #suasxsw spark hope in future of innovation – amazing creative/economic vision from passionate entrepreneurs

sujamthe@gowalla fr Austin, nice the @startupAmerica panel calling entrepreneurs to share their feedback live here #suasxsw #sxsw

jwThe challenges America faces in small biz start with education. Biz must partner with public ed to train skills. #suasxsw #apprenticeship

SBAgovGot ideas on how to reduce barriers for entrepreneurs trying to start&scale companies? Please share: #suasxsw

@cschultz: "Entrepreneurs need mentors - a network of people around you who care about your success" - @tscottcase #suasxsw

todd_parkThanks so much to all of the folks who gave us terrific ideas @ Startup America sessions SXSW #suasxsw

After the panel, Scott Case and Aneesh Chopra headed over to the CNN Grill for a live interview with's technology correspondent John Sutter.  

All in all it was a fantastic opportunity to hear from some of the country's most innovative entrepreneurs, and we're excited about putting the ideas we heard at SXSW to work!