Sir Mix-a-Lot to Emcee 2015 SXSW Accelerator. Wait, What?

Oh my God Becky. Look who buried the lead. South by Southwest (SXSW) officials announced today the startup finalists, judges and emcees for its 7th annual Accelerator Competition, taking place March 14-15. Oh and by the way, Sir Mix-a-Lot is emcee.

Nestled halfway through the fourth paragraph of the press release:

“In addition to the 2015 Accelerator finalists, the judges and emcees were also announced today. This year’s event boasts a diverse selection of individuals who were chosen based on their demonstrated business and investment expertise and overall industry experience. The list of 2015 Accelerator emcees includes legendary recording artist Sir Mix-a-Lot [emphasis added], CNN Tech Correspondent Laurie Segall and Fast Company Senior Editor Chris Dannen. Notable judges include Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Scott Weiss, Fitbit CEO & Co-Founder James Park and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner Mood Rowghani.”

SXSW has some excellent writers in the publicity office, so this couldn’t have been a rookie mistake.

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”29745″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”336″,”style”:”width: 180px; height: 275px; float: left; margin-left: 8px; margin-right: 8px;”,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”220″}}]]Accelerator event producer Chris Valentine explains, “The paragraph’s placement in the press release was in no way to minimize Sir Mix-a-Lot’s involvement.

“When the opportunity came about to work with Sir Mix-a-Lot, we were very excited,” Valentine told SUCCESS. “As a tech and convergence conference, it makes a lot of sense. Musicians have to be very tech savvy, and Sir Mix-a-Lot has been very involved in the startup ecosystem.

“Although I will say when I started telling people that Sir Mix-a-Lot would emcee, they really said wow.” 

Sir Mix-a-Lot, whose real name is Anthony Ray, has contributed to Startup Weekend, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs in his hometown Seattle. It was with the Seattle Symphony that Sir Mix-a-Lot performed his Grammy Award-winning single “Baby Got Back” earlier this year.

Sir Mix-a-Lot isn’t the first seemingly surprising guest at SXSW’s annual accelerator contest, Valentine points out. 

MC Hammer emceed the 2012 SXSW Accelerator Entertainment Technology category. “We have been fortunate to have incredible emcees through the years,” Valentine says. “Tech influencers at the highest level.”

Previous Accelerator emcees include former Apple CEO John Sculley, author and AllTop founder Guy Kawasaki, Google alum Chris Sacca, Techstars’ Mark Suster and the man who co-invented the Ethernet, Bob Metcalfe.

The 7th annual SXSW Accelerator Competition takes place March 14-15 in Austin. SUCCESS’s Jennifer Chang and Shelby Skrhak will be live tweeting from SXSW.

Read the complete list of Accelerator Finalists [press release]


Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.

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