Building A Web Business After Hours
Aug 14 2008

Earlier this year, I had such a great time at SXSW Interactive 2008, that I submitted a panel idea for SXSW Interactive 2009 called Building A Web Business After Hours and more people than I thought are interested in seeing it happen! 

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Panel Description: Many businesses are built after-hours or during odd hours of the day and night. Join us for a panel discussion by entrepreneurs who built (or are building) their Web/E-commerce/Other business while holding a day job, multiple jobs, or who are currently balancing two+ career options. 

For those of you who don’t know, I am attempting to build a web business (Babble Soft) after hours and lets just say it has it’s ups and downs but mostly it’s really hard and challenging with a big upside bejng that in my day job I get to be around other entrepreneurs.

How many of you (or people you know) are building sites and businesses in their spare time (on the side)?  What kind of businesses are they?  Many great businesses start with tinkering on the side…

I’ve started to assemble a great group of panelists including: 

  • One of the co-founders of BlogHer, the top female blogging site in the world that has partnerships and customer relationships with some of the top recognized brands in the world!  Elisa Camahort Page, a co-founder, awesomely mentioned my panel in her Time to vote for SXSW panels post.  Check out Elisa’s post to see the other great panels she’s recommending.
     
  • Thom Singer is the director of business development for Austin based vcfo.  Additionally he is the author of four books about the power of business relationships and is a professional speaker.  With the support of his employer, he successfully manages his job and his own business, speaking to companies around the country on how to network.  He blogs at Some Assembly Required.  

 

  • Karen Bantuveris, Austin founder & CEO of VolunteerSpot, knows firsthand what ‘juggle’ means.  She’s built VolunteerSpot from the ground up while running a successful management development and executive coaching business, and being active in her daughter’s school PTO Board and Scout troop.  She even manages to sleep, occasionally.�
     
  • Jeremy Bencken, co-founder of ApartmentRatings.com, Tenant Market, and PR for Pirates.  Jeremy and his wife, Katie, founded ApartmentRatings.com in 2000 out of their one bedroom apartment in Mountain View.  They bootstrapped the site while attending business school at UT-Austin and then during full-time jobs for 4 years before selling the company to Internet Brands in 2007.  Along the way they grew traffic to over 12M unique visitors per year (without an ad budget), built a base of advertisers, fought off frivolous lawsuits, and got their site featured on NPR Marketplace, and in stories in the NY Times and AP.

 

  • Gretchen Heber is CEO and co-founder of NaturallyCurly.com, a multi-dimensional company for people with curly hair she founded with business partner Michelle Breyer. She and Michelle founded NaturallyCurly while holding full time jobs as a journalist for the Austin daily newspaper.  NaturallyCurly.com is an online magazine, social network and shopping boutique dedicated to curlyheads. The site came about, in part, because of Heber’s having been told as a child: “It looks like you combed your hair with a stick!” among other beauties. She is married, has three boys, and resides in South Austin. She is active in her neighborhood association and not much else because she’s an entrepreneur and has three young boys, and goodness, who has time!?
     

Please, please, please go vote for the panel by clicking on this link: Building A Web Business After Hours.  I believe 30% of the weight on whether a panel is chosen is from people like you voting.  The only downside is that you have to create a log in, but the upside is that you will be in the SXSW system and see all the other cool panels going on and vote for many more! 

Thanks and I look forward to seeing some of you at SXSW next year. 8)

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