Every year, the tech world descends on Austin to participate in one of the hottest tech meets on the planet: SXSW. And one of the most anticipated events of the festival is the SXSW Accelerator startup competition.
The program is a platform which sees 48 startups finalists from the over five hundred entries from all over the globe compete for prizes including cash, Accelerator Sponsor gifts, tickets to next year’s event – and a chance to capture the coveted Festival spotlight.
In addition to the six category winners, three startups were recognized with special achievement awards, including the Bootstrap Award, recognizing the finalist who has achieved the most with the fewest resources; the Most Innovative Award, recognizing the finalist who has created a product and/or service that is thought-provoking and changes the world for the better; and the Best One-Minute Speed Pitch Award, for the alternate with the most successful pitch delivery.
Winner: Entertainment and Content Technologies
Video-based startup Zype (New York) delivers premium content to consumers through various platforms, including branded web, mobile,and set-top apps. It is integrated through the cloud, so neither space nor efficiency is an issue. Using Zype, publishers can now maximize revenue, better enable content discovery, and reduce costs through audience targeting and licensing compliance. This not only provides a streamlined monetization strategy, but also provides insights about the audience to help the publisher make better-informed decisions – and better monetize their content.
Winner: Enterprise and Smart Data Technologies
PartPic (Atlanta) allows businesses and individuals to find and get replacements parts without the need for an identification number or name. All you do is take a photo of the image and receive the name of the part you are looking for in seconds.
PartPic’s sophisticated extraction algorithm drives down the chances of error and helps you identify the name of the product – and locates the distributor, creating a flawless buying experience.
BioBots (Philadelphia) uses 3D printers to build functional 3-dimensional living tissues. This has the potential to open up huge possibilities in the areas of medical research.
Researchers, for example, can now identify the possible impacts of drugs on various tissues, before testing humans.
BioBots uses blue-light technology to create high-resolution bioprints of dozens of materials. The technology uses a fabrication technique whereby the computer program breaks up a particular construct into different parts, then rebuilds these discrete layers to print them out, essentially building functional three dimensional living tissue.
Winner: Digital Health and Life Sciences Technologies
Developed by researchers from the University of Muenster and based on scientific findings, TinniTracks (Hamburg, Germany) is a web application that allows users to filter their music for the harmful tinnitus frequency.
Tinnitus is caused by abnormally hyperactive nerve cells in the brain’s auditory center. This hyperactivity can be soothed by listening to the individualized filtered music, which leads to a long-term tinnitus relief.
First, you enter your Tinnitus frequency; then choose a music track of your choice. Tinnitracks targets the cause of your tinnitus by simply letting you listen to your music after it has been filtered. You can then transfer the files back to your mp3 and enjoy the music.
Winner: Wearable Technologies
A young turk in the wearable technology industry, Tinitell (Stockholm) is a wearable wristphone and GPS tracker for kids, designed to enhance connectivity between children and adults. It can be used remotely through the web, and has voice recognition technology, so a child needs only to push a button to talk – and connect. The battery last for 60 minutes of speech and for a week on standby.
Tinitell can be used anywhere in the world by inserting any GSM SIM card and through the app, you can store as many phone numbers as you’d like – or need.
It’s also water resistant, and sandbox safe.
Winner: Innovative World Technologies
SLANTRANGE (San Diego) targets agriculture and helps to make farming more efficient by providing spot-on information about crop health measurements in different climates, early warning systems, nutrient stress areas, weed maps and other valuable information that makes all the different to a farmer’s bottom line, all at low cost. With SLANTRANGE, every plant gets measured, and sensor will see stressed vegetation conditions before they’re visible to the human eye, nipping potential problems in the proverbial bud.
SLANTRANGE yields the critical information needed to help increase a farmer’s yield.
SIX Inc is the first Japanese and only the second Asian tech solutions provider to reach the final stage of the SXSW Accelerator program so far. The company focuses on creating new relationships between brands and their users.
Best One Minute Speed Pitch
ShotTracker (Overland Park, KS) is a wearable technology that can be used by basketball players to hone their shooting skills by providing complete analysis and insights. This device automatically tracks shot attempts, makes and misses.
The tracker provides athletes with insights and enables them to find out how and where they have to improve. This information helps players to compete better and thereby increase the breadth and competition of the game.
Winner: Social Technologies
Real Savvy (Austin) is targeted to the real estate industry and prospective home owners. Real estate buyers now only need to answer a few questions about their household, budget and preferred neighborhood to find out the most appropriate fit for them. Through its customized search options, Real Savvy allows customers to find homes of their choice easily, and also allows them to share their preferred homes on custom boards, a function that also helps real estate agents, in particular, to provide better services to their consumers.