More than 24,500 attendees are registered for the South By Southwest Trade Show in Austin, Texas, where displays, conferences, and presentations will highlight the latest in film, music, and interactive media. Among the exhibitors will be the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which is ready to market the state’s opportunities for entrepreneurs, as well as gaming and film professionals.
“This is a timely and dynamic opportunity to meet and talk face to face with entrepreneurs and talented, creative people from around the world and persuade them to locate to Michigan to work and start a business,” says Michael Finney, MEDC’s president and CEO.
The economic development agency will promote entrepreneur services along with business and capital assistance, and community development programs. In 2011, Michigan rose to 15th from 25th for most venture capital developments, says the Michigan Venture Capital Association.
In addition, MEDC staff will highlight the state’s employment opportunities, low cost of living, close proximity to work and home, convenient access to shopping, and thriving social, entertainment, and four-season recreational scenes.
“Our goal at South by Southwest is to elevate Michigan in the minds of the pre-eminent players redefining the business prospects derived from the confluence of media, technology, creators, and consumer trends,” Finney says. “And, of course, the Pure Michigan brand creates a positive impression about quality of life in our state.”
The MEDC won’t be alone in its efforts. Representatives from Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Ferris State University, Wayne State University, University Research Corridor, The Right Place of Grand Rapids, Automation Alley of Oakland County, and Detroit-based watch manufacturer Shinola will also be on hand.
Regional players will host a session called, “We’re Moving to Detroit, and So Should You.” The event will include various Detroit staples, including coney dogs. Meanwhile, local musical acts such as Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas will perform at SXSW.
The trade show runs March 7-16 at the Austin Convention Center and other venues. The MEDC will be posting updates from the show throughout the week at michiganbusiness.org/SXSW.