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Hook ’Em Activation at SXSW Will Feature 5 Panels, Live Music and Additional Programming

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AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin is participating in the dynamic experience of South by Southwest (SXSW) with five panels spanning tech, health, science, sports and lifestyle with nightly musical guests on March 8–9 at the Hook ’Em House at Antone’s in Austin (305 E. Fifth St.).

Focused on the theme of “What Starts Here Changes the World,” the Hook ’Em House is the central hub for all things UT. The two-day event features photo-worthy installations, panels with noteworthy academic talent and entrepreneurs, watch parties for men’s and women’s basketball, live music performances, game-day food and snacks, an International Women’s Day breakfast event and a parade marching through downtown Austin.

“Here at UT, we know that what starts here changes the world, and that is especially true in health care, AI, robotics and life sciences,” said President Jay Hartzell. “The rapid emergence of life-changing applications in medicine and sports is improving the way we diagnose and treat illnesses and enhancing our own physical performance. Other advances are changing our day-to-day lives at home or creating new opportunities for digital entrepreneurs. And all of these have a dramatic impact on our economy. We are one of the few universities in the country that can assemble exceptional talent in each of these areas with industry expertise to explore how all of these advances will continue to have substantive impact on our lives.”

Notable speakers include Kollective CEO Jeremy Hills, popular content creator Remi Bader, Diligent Robotics CEO Andrea Thomaz, Wall Street Journal journalist Jackie Snow, professor and chair of Neurology at Dell Medical School David Paydarfar, and President Jay Hartzell in conversation with Dr. Thomas J. Cahill III, founder and managing partner of Newpath Partners LP; and Andre Esteva, founder/CEO of ArteraAI. Musical guests are Ghostland Observatory, Dayglow, West 22nd and Ella Castaldo — along with rotating house DJs from KUTX 98.9 FM to keep the music going throughout the event.

The thought-provoking discussions and presentations are about the future of sports performance, health wellness, artificial intelligence, the creator economy and more. Topics range from brain-computer interface transforming health care to the creator economy’s transition from digital to mainstream. As part of the official SXSW Panel Picker events, the University’s panels at the Hook ’Em House will prioritize those with an SXSW badge to access.

For a full schedule and all registration links, please visit Eventbrite. For more details including live music, expert panels, cool robots, fun swag and lots of Longhorn pride, visit utatsxsw.utexas.edu. The event hashtag is #UTatSXSW. For all media requests, please contact utsxsw@giantnoise.com.

The daily schedule for UT’s Hook ’Em House at SXSW programming is:

Friday, March 8

UT’s Marching Band Leads Parade to Hook ’Em House

Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St. at 10 a.m. || No badge required

Join UT’s acclaimed marching band for a kickoff of South by Southwest with a march from the Austin Convention Center to the Hook ’Em House at Antone’s. The parade will end with the announcement of the Impact Scholarship winner at the Hook ’Em House at 10:30 a.m.


SXSW Kick-Off Celebrating International Women’s Day With Cookies & Kendra

Antone’s Nightclub (Downstairs) at 10:30 a.m. || Badge holders prioritized

The Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute creates space and resources for creatives, leaders and founders to become a community of empowered and equipped visionaries who embrace entrepreneurial leadership from a woman’s perspective. To celebrate International Women’s Day, Tiff’s Treats (founded by Moody College of Communication alumna Tiffany Taylor Chen, B.S. ’01, and McCombs alumnus Leon Chen, BBA ’01) will provide their signature warm cookies to guests, and the Kendra Scott brand will surprise attendees with gifts. Tiff’s Treats founder Tiffany Taylor Chen will be in attendance.


Panel: Brain-Computer Interface: Bridging Technology and Health Care

Antone’s Nightclub (Upstairs) at 11:30 a.m. || Badge holders prioritized

Paralyzed individuals control prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs with their minds. People with devastating neuromuscular disorders can now communicate or make art. Innovations in brain-computer interface are making the impossible possible and transforming our understanding of the brain’s capacity to adapt and function. From patients to athletes to artists, these remarkable scientific and medical advances are changing lives and how we engage with the world but also present new ethical and legal considerations that must be explored and understood.

Panelists: David Paydarfar, professor and chair of Neurology, Dell Medical School at UT; and Amanda Pustilnik, professor of law, University of Maryland.
Moderator: Kavita Patel, physician, policy researcher and venture partner of Healthcare, NEA.


Musical Performance by West 22nd

Antone’s Nightclub (Downstairs) at 1 p.m. || Badge holders prioritized

Join us for a special performance from one of UT’s buzziest young bands, West 22nd.


Musical Performance by Ella Castaldo

Antone’s Nightclub (Downstairs) at 2 p.m. || Badge holders prioritized

Enjoy a special set from Ella Castaldo, who records for UT’s student-run record label, UTalent Records.


Panel: AI-Enabled Robots: Possibilities, Challenges and Ethics

Antone’s Nightclub (Upstairs) at 2:30 p.m. || Badge holders prioritized

Explore the future of household robotics with experts from Texas Robotics at UT discussing the evolving landscape of AI-enabled robots within our homes. Long-term autonomy in robotics and the ability of robots to function independently for extended periods are poised to revolutionize how we live. This session will explore the possibilities, challenges and ethics of integrating AI and autonomous robots into our daily lives.

Panelists: Bill Smart, professor, Oregon State University; Peter Stone, professor, UT Austin, and executive director, SonyAI; and Andrea Thomaz, CEO, Diligent Robotics
Moderator: Jackie Snow, Wall Street Journal


Panel: Boomtown: Austin’s Next Startup Surge in Life Sciences

Antone’s Nightclub (Upstairs) at 4 p.m. || Badge holders prioritized

The quiet chatter is now booming conversation. The investment and startup community is targeting the next big wave of innovation: life sciences. It is a term that encompasses a broad range of disciplines: biotechnology, biochemistry, genetics, cellular biology and more. Recent advances in AI and other technologies have supercharged these fields that will change our lives. Many of the newest and most exciting technologies come from Austin companies. Venture capital and industry have taken notice as they compete to identify the most promising opportunities, particularly through collaborations with UT and the Dell Medical School.

Panelists: Jim Breyer, founder/CEO, Breyer Capital; Thomas J. Cahill III, M.D., Ph.D., founder and managing partner, Newpath Partners LP; Andre Esteva, founder/CEO, ArteraAI
Moderator: Jay Hartzell, UT President


Texas Longhorns women’s basketball vs. TBD opponent watch party

Antone’s Nightclub (Downstairs) Time to be announced || Badge holders prioritized

The 2024 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship will take place during SXSW on March 8. The full schedule for the tournament will be posted closer to the event date. The Texas Longhorns women’s basketball game will be shown at the Hook ’Em House.


Musical Performance by Ghostland Observatory

Antone’s Nightclub (Downstairs) at 7 p.m. || Badge holders prioritized

End the night with a performance from Austin’s legendary electro-dance rock pioneers, Ghostland Observatory.


Saturday, March 9

Panel: Sports Performance and Health Wellness – Engineering Success

Antone’s Nightclub (Upstairs) at 10 a.m. || Badge holders prioritized

Breakfast served downstairs

Health technology and innovation are reshaping how athletes perform at the highest levels possible — both for professional athletes and everyday health obsessionists. Data is transforming how professional and collegiate organizations leverage new technology to keep athletes safer and help them perform at elite levels. Specialized gyms now offer similar services serving a broader cultural demand for more health-focused living. This discussion brings together thought leaders in the professional and consumer spaces to share how they see this shaping the next chapter in health innovation.

Panelists: Jeremy Hills, CEO, Kollective; Phil Cullen, senior director of Organizational Development & Basketball Operations, San Antonio Spurs.

Moderator: Ashley Jennings, managing director, Texas Innovation Center, UT Austin.


Panel: Creator Economy – Digital Fame to Mainstream Success

Antone’s Nightclub (Upstairs) at 11:30 a.m. || Badge holders prioritized

Digital superstars — creators who have amassed millions of followers across social media platforms — once occupied their own “lane” of popular culture. But as audience habits continue to evolve and young consumers heavily favor YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat over traditional media channels, these creators have leveraged their deeply engaged audiences to create lucrative and increasingly diverse careers. They aren’t just posting popular videos and photos — they are on mainstream magazine covers. They are launching coffee, beauty and energy drink companies. They are ambassadors of some of the world’s most vibrant brands. This discussion will bring together talent and executives to talk about building a career online and translating digital fame into mainstream success, all while — especially for the vast majority of creators under age 25 — navigating burgeoning adulthood and the mental health pitfalls of the internet.

Panelists: Jason Newman, founder, Untitled Entertainment; Remi Bader, content creator; Megan Bycel, director of Entertainment Partnerships, Meta.

Moderator: Brent Weinstein, chief development officer, Candle Media.


Creator and Athletics Mixer:

Antone’s Nightclub (Upstairs) at 12:30 p.m. || Private event, invitation-only

Digital creators and current and former UT athletes are invited to this mixer event.


Texas Longhorns Men’s Basketball vs. OU Watch Party:

Antone’s Nightclub (Downstairs) at 1 p.m. || Badge holders prioritized

Watch the men’s basketball team go head-to-head with Big 12 rival the Oklahoma Sooners in a highly anticipated season matchup.


Musical Performance by Dayglow

Antone’s Nightclub (Downstairs) at 7 p.m. || Badge holders prioritized

End the night with a live performance by Dayglow, one of Austin’s biggest national exports.