Hamburg is sending its largest ever start-up delegation to the South by Southwest festival in Austin this year. Hanna Asmussen and Lisa Dahlke, co-founders of Localyze, are newcomers to this gargantuan festival. Together with Franziska Löw, the trio specializes in a B2B software solution designed to make recruiting processes for employees from all over the world as efficient as possible. Asmussen reports on her first impressions and experiences from the world’s largest digital and creative festival for Hamburg News.
Last-minute preparations for the trip had been made, the suitcases packed and a rough schedule for the next days had been drawn up. We made plans on the airplane about whom we wanted to meet, events to visit and how to design our pitches. The 10-hour flight passed quickly and we landed in bright sunshine. After an extra day in Houston, we headed to Austin with the team from the Tomorrow fintech, which had just landed. We arrived in Austin at midnight. We had just hours to go until we had to be ready for our 7 am start. We were going to the International Start-up-Day in San Antonio and were eager to see what awaited us.
International Start-up Day in San Antonio
We worked on our pitch en route to San Antonio (March 8), as we wanted to present it to business angels in the Alamo Angels network later. We stopped first at Rackspace, a successful web hoster in San Antonio. It was exciting to see how big the company has become since it was set up in 1996, and how corporate culture is lived here and how they give something back to society through various commitments. After a little sightseeing, we soon realized that the city’s young, dynamic atmosphere is attracting more and more start-ups just like Austin. The pitch event was the last item on the agenda. Each start-up had 120 seconds to pitch to an audience of investors. We were a bit excited at first, but the pitch was great. We ended it by saying: “The world needs somebody who builds bridges instead of walls.” A remark, which is not uncontroversial in the United States. We dared to say it anyway and got very positive reactions.
Focus on female founders
The events on Sunday (March 10) were held under the theme of female founders, at least for me. After the European Media Breakfast, we went to an inspiring lecture about leading women and spent the afternoon on the grounds of the Reeperbahn Hamburgers. Three others and I were part of a panel on stage during Digital Media Women’s Day to discuss female founders. This is where I got to know Michelle Müntefering. I’m hoping for more talks in Germany, as she, as a representative of the German Foreign Office, is well acquainted with our issue.
Asmussen reviews her first visit to SXSW in a video clip. She talks about her experiences, networking and inspirations that she will take back to Hamburg.
Guest commentary by Hanna Asmussen, co-founder of Localyze