The Buffalo Lounge came to town this week in a networking event that provided a preview of things to come next month in Austin, Texas.
Sponsored by i2E and the Greater OKC Chamber, the networking event at the IAO Gallery in Oklahoma City brought two hours of food, drink and conversation among many of the Oklahomans who plan to descend on Austin next month.
The Buffalo Lounge promotes Oklahoma in areas of film, music and interactive software at the annual SXSW festival. This year’s SXSW festival is March 7-16.
All Buffalo Lounge events involving Oklahoma musicians, film makers and interactive software developers will take place at the Avenue on Congress in Austin. An exhibition booth also will promote Oklahoma at the SXSW festival.
Kurt Foreman, the Chamber’s Executive VP of Economic Development, stood in front of a large Buffalo Lounge logo (complete with gigantic buffalo head) to welcome the crowd with brief remarks on Oklahoma City’s economic and cultural renaissance and how the Buffalo Lounge effort fits in.
Then he reached into a glass bowl held by Josh O’Brien, the Chamber’s Director of Entrepreneurial Development, and pulled out a name of a lucky winner of a Platinum SXSW pass. The winner of the pass, valued at up to $1,595, was Chad Grubs from The Hub. Chad also received access to a hard-to-come-by downtown Austin hotel room during the festival.
Josh also took the stage for a few minutes and introduced the 10 entrepreneurs who have been named finalists in the Buffalo Lounge Elevator Pitch Competition. The entrepreneurs will pitch their interactive startup businesses before a live audience and a panel of judges on March 10. They are competing for $10,000 in cash awards.
In case you missed it, here are the Oklahomans who will be pitching next month in Austin:
Armore, Steve Cersonsky, Oklahoma City
Baton, Justin Briggs, Oklahoma City
Crunch Magic, Waylon Flinn, Norman
Idefi Group, Brady Deaton, Tulsa
InspireVive, LLC, Jared King, Bixby
Service Chicken, John Burdin, Oklahoma City
Siren, Ryan Phillips, Norman
Sivi, Ashok Kamal, Oklahoma City
The Two Guys Bow Tie Co., Tim Paslay, Broken Arrow
Who Is On My Wi-Fi?, John Kerber, Oklahoma City
Also addressing the networking event audience of approximately 100 people were David Kittredge and Ginger Roddick, both of whom are organizers of the Buffalo Lounge events.
The Buffalo Lounge is a collaborative effort to spotlight Oklahoma companies and innovators at the South By Southwest Conference, which annual attracts more than 50,000 visitors in the areas of film, music and interactive. Several successful companies such as Twitter, Foursquare, Phonebooth and Highlight were either introduced or spotlighted at SXSW.
The Buffalo Lounge began in 2010 when the Oklahoma Film & Music Office, the Idea Collective and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber led an effort to create a collaborative initiative to increase Oklahoma’s presence at the SXSW festival.
More than 30 Oklahoma companies, agencies and organizations have participated in previous events held by the Buffalo Lounge in Austin. This year, the Buffalo Lounge will host four events at the Avenue on Congress, as well as a booth at the SXSW Exhibit Hall.
For more information about the Buffalo Lounge, visit the website at www.thebuffalolounge.com.