Although plenty are still enjoying this year’s Austin, Texas festivities, SXSW Interactive is less electric than in seasons past.  The annual event is usually a big to-do for Silicon Valley investors and start-ups, but this year’s cool off is evident to many.

According to CNBC, C.J. MacDonald, co-founder of digital gift card company Gyft, voiced a common view “It’s just a different vibe.  When I got here I just immediately felt the difference”.

While some say start-ups might shy away from SXSW as it becomes harder each year to make waves at the already frenzied events.  Others say this year’s mediocre activity level is tied in to Silicon Valley’s current down-cycle.  MacDonald commented that it’s likely a reflection that many start-ups are tightening their belts. “I think it’s the reality of where we are at.”

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