What makes the SXSW Interactive Festival such a compelling event? Yes, the event features hundreds of sessions as well as dozens of fun-filled networking get-togethers. But, these activities would offer little of value without you. Indeed, a passionate and engaged community of digital creatives makes SXSW so special. The fact that so many of these digital creatives from across the United States and around the world gather in Austin every spring to share their love of innovation is the underlying root of the event’s success.
We are excited that so many of these innovators will be coming to SXSW Interactive in the next week. But we are also saddened by those who will not be with us this year. To this end, our friend Jerry Sullivan passed away on January 23 — and his presence at SXSW 2014 will be sorely missed. A mentor to many young entrepreneurs, Jerry was also a huge advocate of all that Central Texas brings to the international tech ecosystem. He was, in fact, scheduled to speak on a session titled “Austin, Texas: A City with a Soul” that is part of the 2014 Startup Austin track of programming.
Even more than his tech-related advocacy, we will miss Jerry’s friendship, his kind words of support and his eagerness to share his love for learning with so many new people. SXSW Interactive is at its best when friendly engaging people reach out to share their insights and their inquisitiveness with other friendly engaging people. Introduce yourself to someone who you don’t know at the 2014 event and you will do much to honor the strong legacy of community that Jerry Sullivan so strongly believed in!