This week, I’m solo and we feature an interview with Christine Auten, interactive producer of South by Southwest.

Christine has been working with SXSWi since 2008 and is currently focused on a new project: launching SXSW V2V in Las Vegas, August 11 to 14, 2013.

SXSW V2V is a re-imagining of the legendary SXSW experience with an emphasis on the creative spark that drives entrepreneurial innovation. It grew out of the success of the main Festival and focuses on two of its strongest sectors – startups and entrepreneurs. SXSW wanted to expand beyond Austin and Las Vegas seemed a natural choice given its easy access and abundance of hotel rooms and conference space.

Then there’s Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, longtime SXSW supporter and the man behind the Las Vegas Downtown Project, an ambitious multi-year plan to bring back the city’s urban core.

Hsieh, one of the three keynotes, will talk about the Las Vegas revitalization project in The City as Startup.  Other keynotes include Steve Case, CEO of Revolution on The Rise of the (Entrepreneurial) Rest and what it takes for his company to invest in a startup; and Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO, FEED Projects in conversation with Inc. contributing editor Donna Fenn on doing well by doing good.

SXSW V2V is SXSW on a micro scale. Programming is structured in a similar way with traditional panels, a daily keynote, solo room, a pitch event called V2Venture and mentor sessions. But with fewer tracks, it will be a more intimate event.

After hours, you can expect to experience SXSW’s lively networking and parties and a closing night mixer in downtown Las Vegas.

Christine is most excited about the mentor sessions, an opportunity for startups to connect and gain insights from 90 experienced professionals. Note: I’m happy to be included as one of the mentors. My focus will be on how to develop a strategic approach to PR, content and news. If you’re attending the event, I hope you’ll drop by.

Like SXSW, creative takes centre stage at V2V, a place for designers, developers, thinkers, investors and tinkerers from around the world to come together, learn and exchange ideas. And as a first-time event, it’s bound to have its share of start-up energy.

“We plan and set the stage and then the community comes and does what it does and that’s exciting to see,” says Christine.

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