Five minutes. 20 slides. What would you say?

Ignite Austin brings together an inspiring and unexpected blend of thinkers from business, art, technology, government and academia. All with ideas. And all willing to share them.

Get an A++ in C++ at Ignite Austin TONIGHT

Hello, know-it-alls.

Tonight’s Ignite Austin “icebreaker” game will be a most excellent nerd trivia contest — so get ready (and yes, cheater, cell phones are disallowed).

What does Perl stand for?

Who wrote the music for Quake 3?

What was the first computer that Linus Torvalds’s owned?

You get the idea…

Be there or be square, people. You can compete individually or in teams, and we have some badass prizes (SXSW and Wootstock passes) to give out, so start your plotting and planning.

See you tonight!

(Leave ideas for question in the comments to this post — if they’re good, we’ll use ’em.)



We’re going to end the night with a round of BattleDecks – here’s how it works.

We have 2 or 3 contestants. Each person uses the same deck of 20 slides that is provided by us and has to stick to a topic we provide – but they don’t get to see any of it ahead of time. As the slides come up, the contestant has to speak to the slides and try to weave it into a coherent (and humorous) talk. The other contestants are outside the room so they can’t see the slides ahead of time. Then the audience picks a winner.

We need volunteers to give the talks. This is not for the feint of heart. You should be able to think quickly on your feet and improvise, and of course make everyone laugh. If you’ve got what it takes, email battledecks[at] or reach out on Twitter @igniteaustin

Take a look at these examples from SXSW…


Ignite Austin 2 is next week!

It’s only a week away! Ignite Austin 2 will be held next Wednesday, October 20 at The Phoenix downtown at 4th and Colorado. This time we’ll have 10-12 presentations – we received feedback that 18 was too many. Last time we kicked it off with a paper airplane contest – this time we’ll do something different but just as fun (announcement coming soon).

The list of speakers is posted here.

We’re sold out of VIP tickets but still have a few general admission tickets available. Get yours here before they sell out!


Agenda for Ignite Austin 1

Here is the agenda and the order of the speakers:




Style, Not Rules

Jason Cohen

Seeing the Light – Photography Evolves
Trey Ratcliff

How to Write a Book
Thom Singer

Is the Smart Grid the next Internet?
Steven Collier

I’m Never Buying Another Gas-Powered Car

Joshua Baer

Non-profits are Dead, Long Live the Social Business!

Matthew McCabe

Ten Percent

Jason Pratt

How to Open a Beer with Anything
Lorin Rivers


The Austin Equation

Bijoy Goswami

How Technology and Pirates Make a Better High School

Chris Fancher

Future Social

Jon Lebkowsky

Why All Companies Should Improvise 

Dan Rumney

The Reality of Being ‘Open’; 20 Things You Need to Know 


The Story of Paal Payasam 

Jonas Lamis

Etymology of Curse Words

Lani Rosales

The Age of Creativity: revival or survival?

Matt Manroe

See you tomorrow!


How to set up "auto-advance" on Apple Keynote

Screen shot 2010-01-11 at 10.58.55 PM In order to enforce the slide rules at Ignite we had to figure out how to make the slides auto-advance. If you’re practicing for an Ignite talk you should definitely practice with the slides on autopilot.

First, select all of the slides at once. Go to the “Inspector” floating window and select the icon at the top left, second from the left (its a rounded rectangle icon).

Change “Start Transition” from “on click” to “automatically” and then set the delay to 15 seconds. We’ll be using a Dissolve transition. Then hit play!


Don’t be a flaming jackass

Ignite is meant to be fun, informative, mind expanding – but not salesy or commercial. This is not the place to pitch your product or personal services. If you get up on stage and start promoting yourself, your slides will be replaced by the flaming jackass on the screen and you'll be boo-ed off the stage. Don't be a flaming jackass!

Flaming jackass


Why and how to give an Ignite talk


Will Ignite Austin be as Hot 'n Steamy as Ignite Corvallis 2?

Ignite Corvallis 2 presentations.  If nothing else, watch the one on Train Porn and Sexy Social Media:


the first Ignite Austin will be held at… The Phoenix!

Located at 4th and Colorado in downtown Austin, the Phoenix (formerly Pangaea) has a great open space and a stage. We’ll be setting up chairs in the middle for VIP seating.

Should be plenty of space for everyone to attend! Get your tickets now.


Get your tickets before they sell out!

IStock_000001991460XSmall  Tickets are on sale now from

There are 3 kinds of tickets:

  • VIP Tickets get you a guaranteed seat and include one drink ticket
  • GA Tickets are standing room only and include one drink ticket
  • Free GA Tickets are standing room only and do NOT include a drink ticket

We've sold out of VIP tickets already but hope to be releasing more once we verify with the venue the maximum number of chairs we can set up.

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