How Passion Projects Come Alive at South by Southwest - Slava Rubin

In Chapter 12 of 12 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, IndieGoGo co-founder and entrepreneur Slava Rubin answers "How Does the South By Southwest Conference Exemplify Power of Passion Project Crowdfunding?" Rubin gets energy from South by Southwest (SXSW) and the passion and energy at the interaction of film, interactive, and music. Rubin's company IndieGoGo provides crowdfunding project financing to SXSW attendees, including one filmmaker whose "My Sucky Teen Romance" raised its funds on IndieGoGo and was selected for the film festival. Rubin is co-founder and CEO of, a crowdfunding startup whose platform helps individuals and groups finance their passions. Before IndieGoGo, Rubin worked in management consulting for Diamond Consulting, now a PWC company. Rubin founded and manages non-profit Music Against Myeloma to raise funds and awareness to fight cancer. He earned a BBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Erik Michielsen:  How does the South by Southwest Conference exemplify the power of passion project crowd funding?

Slava Rubin:  Oh yeah, I mean South-by is such an incredible conference.  It brings together the best in film, the best in interactive, and the best in music, all these incredible ideas of people that are passionate from around the world, all coming together into one place which is in Austin, Texas, during March, which is incredible.  And IndieGoGo is very similar.  It doesn’t happen in Austin, it happens online, and it doesn’t only happen within the three disciplines of interactive, music, and film, it actually happens within anything possible, anything creative, anything entrepreneurial, or anything cause, but at its core it’s the same where people have passion that they’re following, that they wanna make some magic happen.  South-by gives them the tool to expose it to the world here for ten days, and IndieGoGo gives them the opportunity to raise more money for more people faster, get the exposure, and just raise all that cash to make their dreams happen.  So it’s really incredible.  

South-by is really one of the greatest conferences out there.  And the fact, like I said, that we have all these filmmakers using it, and musicians using it, the interactive folks using it, and even the actual fans of South-by coming on road trips and funding their road trips through IndieGoGo is really remarkable.  I mean I’ve had an incredible experience here, and it’s really absolutely amazing to have successful customers from IndieGoGo here at South-by.

Erik Michielsen:  Can you give a couple of examples of some of the amazing things that are happening here using IndieGoGo?

Slava Rubin:  Yeah, I mean the perfect example would be this 18-year-old girl who created a movie called ‘My Sucky Teen Romance’, and she created multiple campaigns on IndieGoGo. First, it was just a campaign around an idea.  She then raised thousands of dollars.  She starts making the movie.  She needs more production money.  She raises thousands more dollars or almost – she raises her entire budget for that movie through IndieGoGo and gets in to South-by, absolutely incredible.