SXSW showcases budding startups
The SXSW Accelerator showcases emerging new technology startups from around the world. This year’s SXSW Accelerator, presented by Oracle, takes place in Austin, at the Hilton Downtown, March 14th and 15th. SXSW started with 500 applicants ready to showcase their technology talents and was quickly narrowed down to 48 finalists who will showcased over the weekend at the Accelerator pitch event.
A live audience, as well as a panel of expert judges will discover advancements in various sectors of emerging technology. The best part is product demonstrations by the most ambitious talents in the world with the most creative new ideas to change it. Many of the companies that have been part of SXSW have gone on to be acquired by some big name companies like Google.
How does the competition work? 48 companies are selected by the SXSW Screening Committee from the hundreds of startups from across the United States and all over the world, who apply for SXSW Accelerator. They will then present their innovations, products, and service during Round One of the event on Saturday, March 14 for the live audience and panel of judges. After each company has their turn, the field of 48 will be narrowed down to the top 18 on March 15.
The 18 finalists will then present a new set of co-emcees and judges. At the end of the day on Sunday, these judges will select the grand prize winners for each category. The winners will go on to be honored at the SXSW Accelerator Awards on Sunday evening.
Austin’s beloved Pike Powers just one of the high profile judges
Judges for the SXSW event will include Thomas Ball, Richard Garriott de Cayeux, and Pike Powers. Thomas Ball joined Austin Ventures in 2005 and serves as General Partner. Tom’s investment focus is on early-stage information technology companies, with a primary focus on Internet, software, and technology-enabled business and consumer services. Richard Garriott is considered a founder of the computer gaming and commercial spaceflight industries. He is in the Computer Gaming Hall of Fame, and is a flown Private Astronaut. He has co-founded about a dozen highly successful companies to date. Pike Powers is a super-lawyer-turned-
Emcees will include Bob Metcalfe and Jeff Dachis. Bob Metcalfe is UTAustin Professor of Innovation. He was an Internet pioneer at MIT and Harvard starting in 1970, inventing Ethernet at Xerox in 1973. In 1979, he founded 3Com, the billion-dollar networking company merged with HP in 2010. Jeff Dachis is a serial entrepreneur. Jeff is a digital visionary who co-founded and served as CEO and chairman of Razorfish, the transformational digital marketing brand. Additionally, Jeff was CEO and founder of Dachis Group, a big-data social analytics and consulting firm, acquired last year by Sprinklr.
Early favorites eyeing a win
Some of the early-favorite companies include: Hypori, RealSavvy, and Peepsqueeze.
- Hypori is an enterprise software company providing Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) which can be accessed from both Android and iOS devices. An enterprise can provide employees with virtual mobile devices running in the cloud, ensuring secure separation between personal and enterprise data for mobile users.
- RealSavvy is akin to a Pinterest for real estate. Consumers pin homes to boards they share, in order to help organize their home search. Agents will get a CRM built to simplify client collaboration.
- Peepsqueeze aims to unite people on one video through their app. Simply record your video, select a recipient and delivery date, then invite friends to join you with their own videos. Peepsqueeze will then unit them into one cohesive, downloadable video.
To find out more about the competition, or to register if you’re in the Austin area and interested in attending, the SXSW site has more information and video of last year’s winners.