A total of 17 local companies and artists – including two early starts supported by Belfast City Council, alongside 15 supported by Invest NI – are travelling to Austin, Texas, this weekend, to take part in South by South West (SXSW).
'Belfast City Council plays a key role in supporting the development of the creative digital industries in Belfast, with a key focus on the film, television, digital content and music sectors,' explained the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, who is leading the Council element of the delegation, which will be in Texas from Sunday (11 March) until next Friday (16 March).
'South by Southwest is a key business development initiative as part of the Council’s wider support for the growth of the sector. Our participation - a collaborative project between Belfast City Council, Generator NI, Invest NI, Digital Catapult NI and the Department for International Trade in Westminster - is designed to showcase the wealth of expertise, innovation, economic value and investment opportunities available in Belfast’s creative digital sector to a targeted audience in the USA.
'Through participation in this event, Belfast will be on a global platform showcasing the wealth of talent and creativity in the city, thus promoting Belfast as the ‘place to be’ in relation to tourism, business development, inward investment and innovation,' concluded the Lord Mayor.
The 17 companies and artists are drawn from a wide range of sectors within the creative industries, including film and music production, analytics, app development, healthcare and virtual reality projects. During their stay in Austin they will take part in a range of panels, workshops, pitching and showcase events and demonstrations.
The two companies being supported by Belfast City Council are Power Of Video, organisers of an annual conference of creating video content, and Zero Myth, a creative development company specialising in artist and project management.
The delegation will also include three local music acts – Northern Ireland Music Prize 2017 winner Joshua Burnside, Touts and The Lost Brothers – who will participate in a special ‘Output Belfast’ showcase event, at which they will be joined by a number of guest artists from Belfast’s Sister Cities Network.