It’s a Wrap…The Rackspace Open Cloud Experience At SXSW Interactive

SXSW Interactive 2013 featured five days of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, the SXSW Trade Show and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best in technology innovation that this truly international event has to offer. This year, Rackspace hosted the Open Cloud Experience at Champions Sports Bar in downtown Austin, which became the heartbeat of everything OPEN at the 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival.

Rackspace exclaimed “Rackspace Open-Sourced the Cloud. Experience It Here,” for the entire world to see, on a five-story banner that hung proudly on the side of the Marriott Courtyard above the main entrance into Champions. And thousands of festival goers came to witness the open cloud evangelists who were on-site at the Rackspace headquarters during SXSW. Let’s recap some of the Open Cloud Experience for you, in case you didn’t have the chance to attend the 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival, and visit Rackspace in person at Champions.

Open clouds over Austin

We kicked off Rackspace’s SXSW experience two days before the festival in Austin officially started by welcoming StartupBus, whose six busses rolled into Rackspace’s San Antonio HQ at the Castle last Wednesday, bringing with it 150 ‘Buspreneurs’ charged with conceiving, designing, building and launching new startups in just 72 hours. Check out StartupBus Cruises Into The Rackspace Castle En Route To SXSW. Then, the entire StartupBus crew joined us at Champions for the final pitch session to crown the StartupBus All-Star on Friday evening, the first official day of SXSW 2013.

On Thursday night, Austin put the spotlight on its vibrant startup community with the SXSW Startup Crawl. Rackspace’s own Robert Scoble, Startup Liaison Officer, along with the Space Cowboys from the Rackspace Startup Program visited a plethora of startups on a good old fashioned pub crawl, startup style. See what you missed with StartupBus Finals At Rackspace & SXSW Startup Crawl 2013.

Friday morning brought the load in and set up of the Scoble studio, where the man interviewed some of the hottest startup CEOs of 2013 throughout the duration of SXSW. Before he went into host mode, we sat down and got his festival insight with Scoble On SXSW. And before we knew it, the 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival was in full swing –  the doors to the Rackspace headquarters at Champions Sports Bar opened with the exclusive Rackspace VIP Opening Reception sponsored by RightScale.

Scoble in the studio

The weekend brought the opening of the Rackspace Open Cloud Experience, and what an experience it was for festival attendees at SXSW 2013. Inside the Rackspace Winner’s Circle, participants witnessed how startup companies are using open cloud technologies. Get all the details Inside The Rackspace Winner’s Circle At SXSW: Startups Using Open Cloud. Continuing the celebration of startups, Rackspace hosted Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, with the Lean Startup Party sponsored by NEO on Saturday night.

Inside Rackspace’s Developer Zone at Champions, technology evangelists and developers shared their insight on the open cloud. Find out more on the Developer Zone with Inside Rackspace’s Developer Zone At SXSW: Devs Talk Open Cloud. And the Rackspace Open Cloud Community was in the house throughout SXSW Interactive getting festival goers signed up and tuned in to what’s going on in the community and its forums. Learn more about the community with Join the Rackspace Open Cloud Community at SXSW.

Sunday evening, Rackspace saved the best for last, with a top shelf event to close out SXSW Interactive 2013, the All Star Happy Hour. The line on the sidewalk outside of Champions stretched the length of the block, as hundreds arrived early to get in. Inside the All Star Happy Hour, it was a who’s who of tech rock stars; too many to mention. Even Rackspace Chairman and co-founder Graham Weston made a surprise appearance at the All Star event. Good times were had by all!

The line outside of Champions

The last day of SXSW continued with the Open Cloud Experience and Scoble finishing up his hottest startup CEOs of 2013 interviews, and with the winding down of the Winner’s Circle, Developer Zone and the Rackspace Open Cloud Community. In no time at all, we were all saying our goodbyes, breaking down and loading out equipment, packing the left over swag and catching flights back home – or like I did, loading up the Suburban and heading over to Gruene, Texas for some SXSW decompression before returning home to San Antonio. We can’t wait for next year’s SXSW Interactive. And with that said, we’ll see you back in ATX soon!

John McKenna loves startups and is a Space Cowboy with the Rackspace Startup Program. He also crafts customer stories and produces really cool videos for the Customer Reference Program. John enjoys telling stories through his writings…and loves the beach, the ranch, his dog Blue and most of all his three beautiful daughters.


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