Bee Smart Technologies was selected as one of the Startup Showcase finalists in the International Innovations category at this year’s SXSW Eco conference, which took place in Austin, TX on October 5-7, 2015.SXSW Eco has been around for five years and is part of the SXSW family, together with several other conferences, trade shows, music and film festivals produced annually since 1987. Our CEO Ivan Kanev represented Bee Smart Technologies, which was selected as one of the eight international finalists among 250 applicants.

Day 1 Highlights

Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources kicked off the conference with his opening remarks on Redefining Natural Resources – Turning Sci-Fi into Science Fact. Lewicki started by saying that the most important resource in space will be people. He addressed the opportunity to mine asteroids, which are relatively close to the Earth for “near infinite quantities” of all resources we consider precious on our planet, such as fuels, construction metals, and platinum.

Ivan had the honor to speak right after the opening remarks. He had three minutes to present Bee Smart Technologies and additional three minutes to answer questions by the judges.

You can watch Ivan’s pitch here.

Day 2 Highlights

The main focus of the second day at SXSW Eco was on sustainable agriculture and food transparency. Isha Datar of New Harvest talked about Food of the Future: The Post-Animal Bioeconomy. Meat demand is increasing globally. Animal agriculture is trying to keep up with it while at the same time responsible for 18% of the greenhouse gases, a contribution higher than the transportation industry. Livestock breeding is responsible for global pandemics such as avian and swine flu, as well as for the increasing antibiotic resistance in people (79% of all antibiotics are used on animals).

Datar’s theory is that if the demand for boneless skinless chicken breast is growing, then why not growing exactly that from cells and tissues instead of taking care of an entire organism. By the same token, why not make milk instead of taking care of cows just for their milk.

Day 3 Highlights

The last day’s emphasis was on clean energy. In his keynote address James Redford of the Redford Center showed selected footage of his last project, HAPPENING., which follows Redford’s observations and experiences in his quest to understand and show the clean energy revolution in the US in easier to understand terms. The screening was followed by a discussion between Redford and L Dale Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, TX. Georgetown will be the second city in the US powered 100% by green energy.

Bee Smart Technologies is truly honored to have been selected as a participant at this amazing event. This was an incredible opportunity for us to raise awareness about saving the honeybees at such an influential international forum.