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SXSW Day 3: Stick the new to the old…

Today we are starting again very early with a guest speaker.

Scott Emmons, CTO of The Current Global and former head of Neiman Marcus’ Innovation Lab, presents retail tech innovations. Mirrors become interaction areas, while call agents in customer service provide advice on a range of products for e-Com customers on the basis of a virtual store. And robots do the inventory. Exciting applications in real use and a tip for all those who have to struggle with old systems: “Stick the new onto the old, with wire and Scotch tape if necessary. But don’t let them stop you from innovating.”

The next lecture that we attend will continue with these topics. The CTO of the Wal-Mart Innovation Lab will report on the current projects of the world's largest retailer. The inventory robots are present here as well.

Our group will take a tour of the Trade Zone, the exhibition area of SXSW. Start-ups, large corporations, cities, countries and even the CIA present themselves here. They all present their innovations, advertise themselves as locations to do business or as employers.

At noon we visit Mercedes at EQ-Home, the home of electromobility at SXSW 2019. But not for long because we have to move on to hear the lecture by Roger McNamee, a major investor, musician and, above all, a former mentor of Mark Zuckerberg. McNamee has become a critic of Facebook and the major web platforms in recent months. "Do your homework, protect our privacy," is one of the central messages. He also believes that China has already won the battle for sovereignty in the AI sector and that Europe will never establish a decent tech group because of its regulations. Controversial topics - but to hear them is precisely why we are here.

Afterwards we visit the reception for the Hamburg startups. And talk to people outdoors. Networking. Exchange ideas. That's what makes SXSW so unique, along with the program and its staging in downtown Austin.

With scooters we jet through the city to arrive in time for our dinner. That's what makes the "last mile" fun.

 

The evening ends with a visit to the Berlin startups, where New and Old Economy celebrate together and look forward to the program for the next day. Until then, have a good one!