Unofficial SXSW events and recent pitch winners 🔥

Estimated read time: 3 minutes and 45 seconds.


  • Today’s newsletter shares Den Lavrik’s founder story, spotlights the winners of the recent Black Founder's Fast Pitch event, and shares several upcoming events.
  • We have a last-minute change of venue for our upcoming SXSW Kick-Off for Fearless Female Founders gathering on March 6th! The event will now be meeting at 300 Colorado St. 16th Floor Lounge & Terrace with FREE parking in the 300 Colorado Garage. If you are female-identifying, join us as we kick off SXSW!
  • We'd love to share YOUR founder's story. Fill in this form to be featured.
  • ➡️ The next FIESTA is on March 21, 2023!  

First up, we have a few special events 💡:

1. Experiment Your Way To Market Success by attending THE VALIDATION-DRIVEN STARTUP Workshop on March 9th w/ Elizabeth Jennings at WeWork Office Space & Coworking 801 Barton Springs Rd · Austin, TX.  Secure your spot today by registering here. For additional information, reach out to

Agenda of the event:

  1. Elizabeth Jennings Venture Partner at SWAN Impact Fund / Market validation for investing in early-stage startups  1 pm - 2 pm
  2. Catalin Briciu CEO at Linnify/ [WORKSHOP] Creating unique value in the market  2 pm - 4 pm
  3. David Valentino Managing Director at Austin Venture Association / The path to your first “anchor” or “lighthouse” customers 4 pm - 5 pm
  4. Networking plus pizza and beer.

2. If you are female-identifying, join us as we kick off SXSW! Our next Fearless Female Founders gathering is on March 6th.

There’s a lot happening next week and during SXSW. Explore upcoming events on the FIESTA calendar!  We’ve added numerous unofficial SXSW events not requiring a badge to the calendar.

If you know of any events that would benefit founders, please send the information to Cherie to be added to the calendar.

Did You Know 🧠:
Our past two events brought together over 470+ people! If you attended either of these events, you can sign in to see the other attendees.

Member News 🎉:

  • This past week, 3 Day Startup, DIVINC, Huston–Tillotson University, Google for Startups, and F.I.E.S.T.A. came together for a special evening of networking and fast pitches by talented Black startup founders! 1st Place went to Jacinta Ducreay w/ Rawtenders, 2nd Place went to Kwame Boler w/ Spritz, and3rd Place went to Dara Chike-Obi w/ Griö!
  • Congratulations to the KOYA and Free Water teams, as they were both selected to participate in Perkins Coie’s newly launched Startup Springboard.
  • Congratulations to Riley Knox, his company Accelerate3D was recently featured in this Dell commerical How Tech Is Reshaping 3D Printing | Dell | Businesses We Love.

Founder Story 📚:
Meet Den Lavrik, co-founder of Drawer AI, AI Software for your construction drawings.

“We‘ve completed 100s of construction projects - most often, having 1,000s of drawings in each. For years we saw owners, PMs, designers, architects & engineers struggle with their drawings. Drawings that had flaws & errors, but were hard to uncover. Scanning huge drawing sets takes time. Errors are easy to miss. With high-cost employees doing manual work that technology should be doing - automatically. And then… so many design errors still showing up - during construction. Drawer.Ai was born out of necessity -- the necessity to create more accurate bids upfront. To put an end to manual, error-prone work. to build more credibility with less change orders. With a one-button, AI solution doing really well - what humans do quite poorly.”

Learn more about Drawer AI and connect with Den here.

Job Opportunities 💸:

  • Cate Diaz: “Hi all - I have a friend of my company who is hiring for an Area Sales Manager in Austin. Message me directly, and I'll send you the extended job description and connect you to Marc, the CEO. It's for the awesome CBD water brand Cloud Water.” Message Cate here.
  • Grigory Emelianov: “Secfix is growing - and looking to hire a Senior Front-End Engineer to join the team! We’re automating information security compliance for startups & SMBs across Germany and the UK - and recently raised our seed funding to step up growth! We’re a fully remote business - offering a competitive salary and equity and lots of fantastic remote benefits, including relocation to Europe…” Grigory Cate here.
  • Rawad Abou Zaki: “Want to help us build the world’s first flying house? HOVER CITY is looking for talent to join the team asap..MECHANICAL ENGINEER/Structural Engineer, ARCHITECT/Consultant/Part-time, FINANCIAL ADVISOR/ Part-time, and a SALES INTERN.” If you are interested or know someone that might be interested, message Rawad here.

Request for Help 👋🏼:

Helpful Opportunities / Resources 💫:

  • Kurt Walker: “Hello, founders in Startupland! I dont know all of you but I want to.  Longtime funder, VC, startup lender and obsessed founder community builder. So if you have capital questions, GTM questions or want to learn more about how you should be thinking about a micro-community for your venture -- don't be shy. @kurtwalker on Twitter.”
  • Joe Cardini: “Hey Everyone! My name is Joe, and I lead our founder scouting efforts here at Antler ATX. Our next residency is starting on April 3rd in Austin, Boulder, and New York City! Come find your co-founder, test your idea, and launch your startup!” Here’s the application link.
  • Cherie Werner:$3,250 Grant Opportunity for any and all women small business owners in the United States! Apply here in under one minute for your chance to win $3,250. Refer a friend and double your chances of winning - if they win, you both win! Deadline to apply: March 8, 2023.”

Recommended Book of the week 📖:

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries is a must-read for anyone starting or running a business. It introduces the concept of the lean startup methodology and is packed with real-world examples. The book emphasizes continuous learning and experimentation, leaving readers feeling empowered and motivated to start their own lean startup.

Stay updated throughout the week 🔥:
Want to continue the party after the meetup events? Join us on Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, or Instagram! Stay updated about events, learn about other founders in the community, and get access to more resources.

That's all we have for this week. If you'd like to tell your founder story, be featured as a community member, share a celebration, or ask a question, please respond to this email! We'd love to hear from you.

💌 If you were forwarded this email and would like to subscribe, you can do so here.

Special thanks to KOYA and Capital Factory for making FIESTA possible!

Sponsoring is an amazing way to support and give back to the FIESTA community. Learn about sponsorship opportunities here.

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