SXSW can be overwhelming. In addition to the panels and events that are officially part of the conference, there is a slew of parties, meetups and unofficial events. The options can be dizzying. 

Of course, the best part of the festival is the people. The following events are just the tip of the iceberg regarding what's available to connect fellow entrepreneurs to each other and to potential opportunties. Some might require a badge, invite or RSVP, but they can be a great way to get grounded and meet new faces. 

Miller Lite Tap the Future
March 6th-11th
To sign up, visit booth 5 at the Austin Convention Center.
Miller Lite is looking for the most original businesses in the U.S., and is giving entrepreneurs at SXSW the opportunity to sign up to compete to win a business grant for up to $200,000.

SXSW Startup Crawl by Capital Factory
March 6, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Capital Factory
701 Brazos
This crawl takes attendees by shuttle to more than 50 participating Austin startups. It's a great way to kick off SXSW and learn about the Austin business scene.

Austin TechBreakfast Kickoff Spectacular 2014
March 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fogo de Chao
309 E 3rd St
Come for breakfast and 20 high-speed demos of some of the coolest, new products and technologies.

FoundersCard Party
March 8, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The W Hotel
200 Lavaca St.
The ultimate networking event, the party will include more than 300 CEOs, founders and VCs. To attend, show your FoundersCard or be invited by a member. 

Citrix hosted "Hack to the Future: Reinventing the Way We Work”
March 9, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
AT&T Conference Center, Room 301
Learn how the workplace is changing as cloud solutions company Citrix is joined by Bitcoin, Twitter, Jawbone and Draper & Associates to discuss best practices in collaboration, starting out and making innovation front and center in a company's culture.

Why Squeaky Wheels Are Good for Business
March 9, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Sheraton Austin
Capitol View South
701 E. 11th St.
Complaining online gets results, and companies are so terrified of going viral for the wrong reasons, they'll do nearly anything to avoid becoming the next social media punch line. In this session, you'll learn how kvetching customers can actually teach you win loyalty and improve your business.

A Global Conversation on Entrepreneurship Education
March 9, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
St. Edward's University Munday Library
3001 South Congress
Austin American Statesman finance and economy reporter Dan Zehr will moderate a panel featuring leaders discussing entrepreneurship research and education.

HATCH Pitch Competition for Tech Startups Part 1
March 10, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon A  
500 E 4th St.
HATCH Pitch is a competition for tech startups. The first group of panelists will present their ideas to entrepreneur, corporate, angel, and venture investor judges. The audience will be able to comment and weigh in using mobile and web. Entrepreneurs should come to network and learn more about how to hone their business concept and pitches.