Courtney Markgraf was a graphic designer at an ad agency in Tempe, Arizona before she won our SXSW sweepstakes. After a whirlwind week in Austin, she was inspired to move to San Francisco to pursue her dream of working at a startup. Read more about her life-changing experience below.
It was a fierce competition, but we’re thrilled to announce that the winner of our 12 Days of Giving holiday campaign was The Taproot Foundation, a non-profit that drives social change by bringing professional services to nonprofit organizations, pro bono. They’ve just launched Taproot+, a new online marketplace for pro bono, bringing together resources and interactive tools to give nonprofit professionals direct access to the marketing, HR, IT, and strategy services they need.
Meet Katie Frank, the lucky winner of our SXSW Interactive trip giveaway. Here’s her recap of the exciting long weekend:
My friends and I had an excellent time in Austin. We stayed on a charming ranch complete with bear skin rug and a fridge full of meat and beer. We rode a pedi-cab to the outskirts of town to stuff ourselves with amazing barbeque and walked through a suburban neighborhood observing chickens and cactii. We mingled with interesting people at the events General Assembly graciously invited us to, and attended exciting talks about the future of technology. All in all it was an extremely welcome break from the New York winter, a relaxing vacation, and an invaluable learning experience. Thank you so much General Assembly!
Last week, we had the pleasure of sending two lucky people to Park City, Utah for a week full of activities during the 2014 Sundance Festival. Daniil and Stanislav were our two contest winners, old friends from Russia making the journey from their current homes in San Francisco and Moscow respectively, to meet up in Park City. Throughout the week, they were treated to exclusive parties, celebrity meet and greets, snowboarding time on the slopes, and both warm and adult beverages.
Meet Ankur Patel and Param Vora, winners of our recent Supercharged sweepstakes. As part of the prize package, Ankur and Param were given the opportunity to grab coffee with three venture capitalists (VCs) and discuss their startup OpenSilo, an enterprise SaaS platform that gives employees fast access to internal subject matter experts. They recently sat down with us to share the top highlights from their experience:
1. Receiving game-changing advice for their startup
Ankur: To be honest, winning this giveaway was the most relevant surprise of all time. These meetings with VCs were extremely relevant for us as co-founders, and they couldn’t have come at a better time. Our startup OpenSilo has only been around for a few months, so getting feedback and validation on our company strategy at that stage was critical. The advice and direction we received will absolutely influence how we’ll grow long-term.