A panel during this year's SXSWi included panelists (from left) Blake Yeager of TechStars Cloud, Jody Newman of The Friendly Spot, Celina Peña of LiftFund and Ryan Salts of Cafe Commerce/Break Fast & Launch. Photo by Garrett Heath, courtesy of SA Flavor.
A panel during this year's SXSWi included panelists (from left) Blake Yeager of TechStars Cloud, Jody Newman of The Friendly Spot, Celina Peña of LiftFund and Ryan Salts of Cafe Commerce/Break Fast & Launch. Photo by Garrett Heath, courtesy of SA Flavor.

Every year, Music, Film and Interactive sessions converge in the heart of Texas at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. Cities and countries across the globe use the increasingly popular SXSW conference as a platform to showcase the economic opportunities and lifestyles unique to their regions in hopes of attracting individuals and businesses to their area. One of the most admired SXSW campaigns highlighting inventors, designers, entrepreneurs and city culture was the online platform Chicago Made, a one-stop shop for anyone interested in finding more information.

San Antonio and other cities can take a page out of the Chicago Made playbook by creating a showcase for conferences and expos like SXSW. A city can demonstrate its approachability by illustrating support for the creative class of makers, innovators, artists and entrepreneurs. Through support of organizations like TechBloc, San Antonio is making strides to consolidate that voice towards a consumable message for larger audiences. Collaborating on these types of initiatives will move the conversation forward in a way that is attractive to both job seekers and job creators.

When boiled down, what really makes a city cool is the people that live there. San Antonio has a lot to offer those interested in living a sincere and laid back lifestyle, while still innovating and making breakthroughs on an international level. Irrespective of whether San Antonio has a SXSW booth to illustrate that sentiment, plenty of San Antonians are already vying for an opportunity to share their knowledge with the SXSW community. Through the SXSW PanelPicker, we have an opportunity to help San Antonio share its success on a national stage, with a simple vote – or thumbs up.

Local individuals, institutions, and companies have proposed numerous SXSW panels for 2016. Below is a list (though maybe incomplete – please let us know if we’ve left someone out), of the San Antonian-based panels in need of your support. We can share our voice, but we need a little push to do it. All it takes is a couple of minutes to give us that push by supporting the SXSW San Antonio community. We love San Antonio and are excited to share these great stories at SXSW 2016.

*Featured/top image: A panel during this year’s SXSWi included panelists (from left) Blake Yeager of TechStars Cloud, Jody Newman of The Friendly Spot, Celina Peña of LiftFund and Ryan Salts of Cafe Commerce/Break Fast & Launch. Photo by Garrett Heath, courtesy of SA Flavor.

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Ryan Salts

Ryan Salts is director of Outreach and Engagement at Café Commerce. He graduated from St. Mary's University with an Accounting degree but soon realized his passion was people. Using his understanding...