Good News from Austin: Our Future Business Leaders are Bold, Beautiful and Intersectional

Red Bull at SXSW

Red Bull Launch Institute Couch Discussion with (L to R) Audrey Buchanan, Amanda Brinkman of Shrill Society and Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer of Witchsy. (Photo: Drew Anthony Smith / Red Bull Content Pool)

Life at the Red Bull Launch Institute at South by Southwest Interactive Festival was like a working prototype of a world we know is possible. It was in motion. It was inclusive. And I had the pleasure of intimately hearing every story, hope, dream and fear.

When Red Bull shared that it was assembling a training program laser-focused on amplifying collegiate entrepreneurs of intersectional backgrounds, I didn’t walk, I ran to Austin. It was there, while acting as host for three days, that I met the eight incredible college students and six business mentors attending Red Bull Launch Institute.

I loved seeing investment in the intergenerational mentorship of people like Elaine Wang of Cthrough by revolutionaries like Jane Hervey of #bossbabesATX.

I relished in meeting students creating life-saving platforms that aim to improve emergency response to sexual assault in developing countries and to combat the lethal implications of texting while driving.

In a sociopolitical climate that is uncertain and, at times unforgiving, these participants lit a FIRE in me that burns with possibility.

AUTHOR: Audrey Buchanan Interviewer & Filmmaker Host, Red Bull Launch Institute

ABOUT RED BULL LAUNCH INSTITUTE: Red Bull Launch Institute gives wings to collegiate entrepreneurs and their ideas. During three days at South by Southwest Interactive Festival, six teams of college students cultivated their innovative business concepts into reality under the mentorship of industry leaders and fellow entrepreneurs. At Red Bull Launch Institute, students learn during dynamic panel discussions, network and engage in individual team work with dedicated mentors to advance their business plans with the goal of achieving entrepreneurial success.

By John Krause