< Back to Blog

Diwala at SXSW 2018

March 30, 2018

Diwala was selected as a finalists to participate in the “Hyper-Connected Communities” category at the pitching competition during SXSW, and therefore travelled to Austin, Texas 9th of March. South by Southwest is an annual collective of innovation & tech conferences, interactive media conferences, film and music festivals, which takes place in Austin,Texas on March 9–18. The event is an essential destination for global professionals, international startups, featured sessions, showcasing, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. As a global event, we see it important to bring awareness on the current challenges and the complexitiy of the area that we work in.

Our schedule was packed, so Diwala worked hard during the event, very grateful to be in multiple panel debates and pitching in the official SXSW program. We would have loved to see more talks & events. But our focus was to grab all the opportunities we got for Diwala! Thank you to Consensys, Human Rights Foundations and House of Scandinavia for the opportunity to talk and bring important questions to the surface of what we do. Running from A to Z we where also able pack in meetings from our international connections and where happy to see a strong presence from Norway at the House of Scandinavia. We are also honoured to have had the chance to be on stage with his royal highness, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, during our presentation on the sustainability goals and why this is essential to Diwala`s mission. A context that should be present at the future of new technology innovations.

SXSW Accelerator pitch competition

The SXSW accelerator pitch competition was a big event with a lot of great companies in 13 different categories! Unfortunately we did not win. But we got greeat feedback and interesting perspectives from the judges. Congratulations to the winner in our category: Grubtubs who is dedicated to reconnecting communities with local family farms by repurposing restaurants & grocery stores food waste. We still got presented as top two interesting companies to follow in Pitchbook data’s keynote talk 😊

Norway`s startup scene and its focus on the UN Sustainability Goals

The UN sustainability goals where set on the 25th of September in 2015. Its focus is to end poverty, protect the planet 🌍 and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. Diwala is meeting a total of 6 of the UN Sustainability Goals including; Quality Education, Gender Equality, Decent work and Economic growth, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Sustainable cities and communities and Partnerships for the goals. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.

We found it very valuable to discuss these topics with Crown Prince Håkon on stage, during our UN Sustainability goals talk together. He is very impressed by the growth of Norwegian start-up companies and the ecosystem around the last few years.

“The Norwegian companies are keen to solve real important issues. We now see that there is a strong interest in the Norwegian market in this field now. When they help solve those goals, they help bring the world forward”, says the Crown Prince in an interview with NRK, while he mentions Diwala and NoIsolation as good examples.

Read the whole article with Crown Prince Håkon here: (https://www.nrk.no/urix/kronprinsen-tror-norsk-teknologi-vil-fore-verden-fremover-1.13960109)

Nordic Pitch at House of Scandinavia

We had so much fun pitching at the Nordic Pitch event during SXSW ⭐️ The opening speech by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was very inspiring and we got to learn more about the other amazing nordic startups; Penstable, NoIsolation, Mightifierapp and LexploreSweden!💥 It was great to be showcased amongst these startups representing the best in the Nordics, working to provide sustainable solutions to societal issues.

Panel Debat

All in all, SXSW was awesome and we have seen some inspiring talks, had great meet-ups and been part of some very important panel discussions. The Consensys Panel discussion on Blocks For Good: Blockchain Solutions for Humanitarian & Emergency Response brought the agenda to the responsibility of bringing new technologies to extrememe humanitarian conditions. You can watch the full panel here.

The Human Rights Foundation panel was focused on decentralised technology and human rights. It brought awareness to the complexity of crypto, digital identity and security. We think it is important to not undermine the challenges of how we can build safe digital identity, and also underpin that it's still early in development. Which is why, Diwals`s focus is to fuel blockchain development from research & actions, and we would love to see further collaboration from private and public sectors to fuel further research to stop talking buzz and move forward with insight.

We also managed to squeeze in some 🙏 time in one of the Etherial Tepees 😊

Until next time SXSW!

Want to read more about our journey? Read about when we went to the Africa Blockchain Conference in June 2018 here https://www.diwala.io/post/africa-blockchain-conference-uganda-2018