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Boston to Austin: 12 MIT Sloan sessions to catch at SXSW

Headed to Austin for South by Southwest Interactive? MIT Sloan students, alumni, and researchers will be there, presenting their latest work and insights into the startup scene, the future of artificial intelligence, and more.

Here are the MIT Sloan highlights for the conference, with a few extra MIT favorites.

Friday, March 11

Accelerators: Flaming Out or Burning Hot?

MIT Sloan research affiliate Yael Hochberg discusses whether there is a startup accelerator bubble and presents the 2016 Seed Accelerator Rankings.

Mobile Deep Linking: Let’s Talk About Apps, Baby

No more app silos! Bobby Lo, SB ’08, MNG ’08, joins a panel on using deep links to create seamless interaction between mobile apps. Lo is the founder and CEO of Vurb, a company working to solve the problem.

Saturday, March 12

$5 Trillion Question: What’s the Future of Retail?

3D printing. Personal robots. Virtual reality. So much for the salesman. MIT Sloan visiting scholar Michael Schrage joins a panel on what the retail industry will look like in 2025.

Get Your Readers and Listeners to Pay You Money

Matt Lieber, MBA ’12, discusses Gimlet Media’s membership program on a panel about media paywalls. Lieber is the co-founder and president of Gimlet, a podcast network.

#PitchAustin MBA Pitch Competition

Students from MIT Sloan and other leading business schools face off in a startup pitch competition.

No CTO, No Problem: Building A Non-Technical MVP

Can a technology-based startup build a product without a technical lead? On this panel, Erica Swallow, MBA ’15, explains how education startup Noble Impact did just that. Swallow is vice president of product at Noble Impact.

Saturday, March 12 - Monday, March 14

MIT #HackMed Health House

Student-run MIT Hacking Medicine hosts a three-day series of events including workshops, panels, a hackathon, and a pitch competition.

Sunday, March 13

Rodney Brooks in Conversation with Nicholas Thompson

Rethink Robotics founder, chairman, and chief technology officer Rodney Brooks talks robotics and artificial intelligence with editor Nicholas Thompson. Brooks is the former director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.

Beyond Form: Designing with Fluid Objects

Yet-to-be-invented materials could shift between solid and liquid states, opening up entire new fields of product design. Patrick Van Hoof, MBA ’14, discusses the implications with MIT Media Lab research assistant Sang-Won Leigh. Van Hoof is the director of product strategy and innovation at digital agency Huge.

Secrets for Tapping University Innovation and Talent

A panel discussion on how private industry can find new opportunities at universities. The panel includes Amy Salzhauer, MBA ’96, founder and CEO of consulting firm Ignition Ventures.

Monday, March 14

We the People: Using Tech to Solve Big Challenges

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, SB ’86, SM ’88, joins a panel of executive branch staffers to discuss data-driven justice, digital government, and new opportunities for open data and community engagement. Smith has served on the boards of MIT, MIT Technology Review, and the MIT Media Lab.


Attending South by Southwest Edu March 7-10? MIT Sloan Associate Dean Cathy Canney joins a March 9 panel on Graduating to Digital-first Branding in Higher Ed.

Did we miss any MIT Sloan students, alumni, or faculty presenting at South by Southwest? Email us at

For more info Zach Church Editorial & Digital Media Director (617) 324-0804