Startup Crawl is fall answer to SXSW Interactive

Jeremy Hintz

Austin Startup Week is the fall version of South by Southwest Interactive.

For those who are tech junkies, Austin Startup Week provides a much needed break from the incessant music conversation from Oct. 7-11. The week features events such as “Find a Co-founder” and meet-and-greets with startup lawyers. For students, Startup Week festivities provide opportunities to find an internship or a job that offers experience in what is typically a smaller and less structured company. Headlining Austin Startup Week is the Startup Crawl. 

The Crawl is hosted by Google and takes place Oct.10. Sixty-five start-up companies will set up camp on the ground floor atrium of the Omni Hotel and fill the “hot tech” requirement of The Crawl’s official slogan: “Hot Tech. Cold Beer.” 

“There are a lot of great companies this time around,” said Allyson Weber, ATX Startup Crawl Event Coordinator. “There’s a lot of opportunity for [UT students] to find a potential internship or job.”

The relatively informal atmosphere and abundance of cold beer create an ideal forum for talent-hungry companies to meet with potential candidates in an informal setting. 

“Startup Crawl honestly isn’t that much crazier than a normal week for us, just maybe with more people than usual,” said Shaan Shah, co-founder of MakerSquare, one of the Crawl’s featured companies. 

MakerSquare is a start-up company that teaches fast-paced intensive courses on web development. Students learn everything from HTML and CSS to Ruby on Rails and AJAX in just 10 weeks. 

“Most start-ups are always hiring even if we don’t have intern positions posted anywhere,” Shah said. “If you come to us with an idea and say, ‘What you guys do is really cool. Here’s what else I think you should be doing and here’s how you should do it,’ we’re going to
be impressed.”

Because start-up companies aren’t fixed with the same rigid hiring policies as big corporations, The Crawl can provide an event for attendees to find a company with which they identify with for more than just skill set. 

“We look for people that will fit before we even think about the skills you could bring to the table,” Michelle Skupin of RetailMeNot said. “We have to know first and foremost that the culture is going to work on both sides.” 

RetailMeNot is a website and a mobile app that helps consumers find coupons for popular retail locations. 

“Follow up on a personal level and create a conversation that shows you really want to contribute,” Shah said. The best bet for a potential employee, Shah said, is to show up and show passion.

Startup Crawl tickets are still available for free on Capitol Factory’s website.