Philly, It Is Almost Time for SXSW 2018

Here’s how you can jump in on the Amplify Philly initiative ahead of the big event.

Amplify Philly 2017. Photo courtesy of REC Philly.

SXSW is just a little over a month away — the big event kicks off on March 9 this year — and Philly has been busy gearing up for the festival conference. Though creatives from Philadelphia have been traveling to the conference for decades, 2018 represents the third year of the Amplify Philly — a concerted initiative that aims to spotlight the talent and companies coming out of the city.

Over the years, Philly startups and artists have gotten the opportunity to share their work on a national stage through the conference. (Find extra coverage of Philly’s SXSW efforts here.) It’s also been a place for companies to meet new clients and partners and even new employees.

This year the initiative has locked down an “Amplify Philly House.” “Having a house means we will be taking over an Austin restaurant and converting it into a 2-floor Philadelphia activation,” says REC Philly founder and president Dave Silver, one organizer behind the initiative.

From 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on March 11 and 12, the space will host Philly programming including panel discussions and startup exhibits. The house will also be the site of Philly-run parties and concerts. “It’ll be all Philly all the time,” said Silver. “And it’s being promoted through SXSW’s official channels.”

So far, Amplify Philly has eight official sponsors: Comcast NBCUniversal, University of Pennsylvania, StartupPHL, GURU, Chariot Solutions, Webjunto, Arcweb, and Zivtech.

If you’re looking to get involved, Silver says Amplify Philly can offer discounted badges to teams and individuals interested in attending this year. The coalition is also looking for more sponsors and startups to join. (Here’s a look at last year’s lineup of startups and sponsors.)

And lastly, if you’re in Philadelphia and already have plans to attend SXSW this year, Amplify Philly would like to know. Take this survey to let your intentions be known.

Editor’s note: This article incorrectly stated that Mayor Kenney will attend SXSW this year. The Mayor will not be in attendance.