Got something to say to the broader startup community? There's still (barely) time to pitch a talk for SXSW 2016

Whenever I’m talking to the amazing startup and tech folks in Portland, there is one thing I always, always, always encourage people to do: get outside of Portland. Because for as collaborative and collegial as our community is, it’s still a microcosm of what’s actually happening out there. Learning what other communities are doing and sharing—more broadly—what you’re building can be key drivers to your success. And one of the best places to do this? SXSW.

But making the annual jaunt to Austin can be a speedy proposition for startup types. I get it. That’s why I also recommend submitting a talk. Because it kills two birds with one stone. You get to share your ideas with a crowd of interesting folks and you get a free pass to SXSW.

Now for the bad news. The SXSW PanelPicker—the way you propose talks to SXSW—is rapidly approaching its deadline for submissions. So if you want to be heading down south this spring, you had better get a move on.

The PanelPicker is a two-step online process that allows the SXSW community to have a significant voice in programming SXSWedu, SXSW Interactive, SXSW Film, SXSW Music and SXSW Eco conference activities (presentations, panels, discussions, demonstrations, etc.)

STEP 1 encourages the community to enter proposals for daytime conference programming for all four SXSW events.

STEP 2 allows the community to browse all of these ideas, leave comments, and vote for what they think are the best fit for the March event.

Now before you get your knickers all in a twist about the posted closing time—tonight (Friday) at midnight—take a deep breath. I have it on good authority from SXSW central that the Panel Picker won’t close close until Sunday evening.

So you’ve got the weekend to get it done.

So get on it. You know, like you used to do with those last minute term papers in school.

To submit the awesome talk you were destined to give, visit SXSW PanelPicker.

[Full disclosure: I am an advisor to the SXSW Accelerator program.]