March 18, 2013

SXSW brings great opportunity for tech companies

The South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festivals might be wrapping up this Sunday, but its effects could be long-lasting. Running from March 8 -17 this year, SXSW is not only a convergence of independent films and musical performances, but an opportunity for hopeful technology companies to get their big break.

Scott Weiss, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, told NBC News that this is the year of the gadget at SXSW. Weiss explained that he was looking for companies that "transcend the petri dish," adding that one of the hottest companies from 2012's gathering, Highlight – a mobile application – never took off in the mainstream. 

Weiss added that global mobile commerce is becoming more important. While it used to be commonplace for businesses – like boutiques or car shops – to have televisions on display, he said, they could soon be replaced by a mobile device or cloud service.

Steve Case, an investor in companies like Zipcar and LivingSocial, told the news source that another big trend is that Internet-based companies are thinking beyond the Internet.

"Companies are focusing on how the Internet can transform other parts of the economy, like healthcare or education … Half the economy hasn't been disrupted by the Internet," he said.

Even though LivingSocial has experienced recent problems, Case said that he is not deterred, and that when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, the road is hardly ever completely smooth.

Whether or not entrepreneurs take their companies to conferences like SXSW, it is important to be prepared for the possibility of every opportunity. With more organizations wanting to have strong computer systems and the latest innovations, technology mergers and acquisitions are becoming more common.

Finding business valuation resources is a key step that aspiring businesses can take. Having financials in order will not only make a company more appealing to possible buyers, but it will also make the process easier for the acquired company.