SXSW Review: Accelerator Pitch Winners

The Forrest Four-Cast: April 4, 2018

Find some of the best content from March Magic 2018 via the many full-length videos on the SXSW YouTube page. Or hear audio from hundreds of compelling panels and presentations via the SXSW online schedule. Also find these podcasts highlighted via numerous blog posts centered on specific themes that have appeared on Medium since the event concluded.

But while this video and audio content from the 2018 event is fantastic, don’t forget about the startups, entrepreneurs and founders that are such a central part of the SXSW experience. Many of the these startups, entrepreneurs and founders participated in the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event.

From the more than 600 startups who entered this competition in the fall 2017, 50 were picked as finalists (with a couple of alternates) in each of the 10 categories. In Austin, these finalists did their best to wow the various industry judges over the course of the two-day competition. Then, on the evening of Sunday, March 11, the winners in each of the 10 categories were announced at the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event Awards Ceremony. Emcees at this special ceremony were Andrew Hyde, Bob Metcalfe and Robyn Metcalfe.

While there were no bonus points for living close to the competition, two Austin startups won their categories. Overall, only only one non-US startup won, bucking the recent trend of international dominance at Accelerator and the overall theme at SXSW 2018 of global connections.

Browse all the winners and finalists below from the 10 categories, plus read interviews with many of the startups that were part of this year’s event!

Augmented and Virtual Reality Technologies
The winner was ARWall (Los Angeles, CA). They’ve created an AR display that requires no headset, no goggles, no smart device. Read interview here.

AfterNow (Culver City, CA) — Read interview here
CieAR (Montreal, Canada) — Read interview here
eyecandylab (Munich, Germany) — Read interview here
wrnch AI (Montreal, Canada) — Read interview here

Aris MD (Wilmington, DE)
Future Sight AR (Houston, TX)
Roofr (San Francisco, CA)

Enterprise and Smart Data Technologies
The winner was DroneSeed (Seattle, WA), which provides precision forestry services to timber companies and non-profits. Read interview here.

Agrarian Labs (Phoenix, AZ)
Bluefield (Palo Alto, CA) — Read interview here
FastVisa US (Dallas, TX) by (Austin, TX) — Read interview here

Next Play (San Francisco, CA)
Tali (Portland, OR)
Unmanned Life (San Francisco, CA)

Entertainment and Content Technologies
The winner was Vochlea Music (London, England), which is developing real-time vocal recognition technology for music creation. Read interview here.

Antescofo (Paris, France) — Read interview here
FanFood App (Chicago, IL) — Read interview here (San Francisco, CA) — Read interview here
Sceenic (London, England) — Read interview here

Crescendo (Atlanta, GA)
Hyku (Waterloo, Canada)
Robin (Toronto, Canada)

Health and Wearables Technologies
The winner was Nanowear (New York, NY). Nanowear is a connected-self technology platform for diagnostics and disease management based on proprietary cloth-based nanosensors and analytics.

Airpop (Shanghai, China) — Read interview here
Cambridge Cancer Genomics (Cambridge, England) — Read interview here
HealthTensor (Santa Monica, CA) — Read interview here
Sempulse (San Diego, CA) — Read interview here

Fited (New York, NY)
Lilu (New York, NY)

Hyper-Connected Communities Technologies
The winner was GrubTubs (Austin, TX). GrubTubs solves for the overabundance of food waste coming from restaurants by creating a nutrient-rich animal feed that is affordable for local family farms. Read interview here.

Apptronik (Austin, TX) — Read interview here
Diwala (Oslo, Norway)
Eclosion (San Francisco, CA)
GoTech (Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo) — Read interview here

EventQueue (Chicago, IL)
Homebase (Kansas City, MO)
MailHaven (Louisville, KY)

Payment and Fintech Technologies
The winner was (Boston, MA). They make student debt repayment easy — for employers, platforms, and users. Read interview here.

Cushion (San Francisco, CA)
Goalsetter (New York, NY) — Read interview here
Leaf (Nashville, TN) — Read interview here
Pawame (Nairobi, Kenya) — Read interview here

ID-Pal (Dublin, Ireland)
StackSource (New York, NY)
Tomorrow (Seattle, WA)

Security and Privacy Technologies
The winner was PolyPort (Atlanta, GA), a 3D asset protection, management, and delivery company, which employs proprietary encryption technology to facilitate an end-to-end solution for 3D designers. Read interview here.

Bandura (Lake St Louis, MO)
14bis Supply Tracking (Houston, TX) — Read interview here
Secure Code Warrior (London, England) — Read interview here
Storro B.V. (Hengelo, Netherlands) — Read interview here

Cleo (San Francisco, CA)
Gyomo (Atlanta, GA)
SAAVHA (Suffern, NY)

Social and Culture Technologies
The winner was ICON 3D (Austin, TX). ICON is a construction-technology company currently working toward building the first up-to-code 3D printed home in the United States (using concrete as substrate).

70MillionJobs (San Francisco, CA) — Read interview here
Moms Can: Code (Pittsburgh, PA) — Read interview here
Samaritan (Seattle, WA) — Read interview here
Synervoz Communications (Toronto, Canada) — Read interview here

BBy — Milk Sharing (New York, NY)
Envested (New York, NY)
Roots Studio (San Fransico, CA)

Sports and Performance Data Technologies
The winner was Nix (Boston, MA). Nix is taking the guessing out of hydration with a single-use sweat analytics patch that tells athletes, soldiers, and laborers their hydration status and electrolyte losses in real-time. Read interview here

DashTag (Rotterdam, Netherlands) — Read interview here
KidzToPros (Fremont, CA)
Tellyo (Helsinki, Finland)
UPGRADED (Walnut Creek, CA) — Read interview here

Hustle (Pittsburgh, PA)
myKicks (Perth, Western Australia)
Torq Labs (Madison, WI)

Transportation Technologies
The winner was GoKid (New York, NY). GoKid is the complete carpool solution for schools, teams, and families. Read interview here.

Commutifi (Boulder, CO) — Read interview here
Goin (Seattle, WA)
Gridwise (Pittsburgh, PA)
Ushr (Livonia, MI) — Read interview here

Ion Motor Company (Austin, TX)
Mogol (Portland, OR)
Tripgrid (Portland, OR)

Special awards were also given out in Best in Show, Best Bootstrap, and Best Speed Pitch.

Best in Show
Nanowear (New York, NY). Nanowear is a New York-based connected-self technology platform for diagnostics and disease management based on proprietary cloth-based nanosensors and analytics.

Best Bootstrap Company (the company who has done the most with least)
Leaf (Nashville, TN). Leaf provides financial services to the stateless and excluded by creating a virtual bank through blockchain technology.

Best Speed Pitch
Roots Studio (Boston, MA). Roots Studio digitizes the creative content of traditional artists from remote areas with the global $32 billion art, interior décor, and design licensing markets.

Information on how to enter your startup in the 2019 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event will be available beginning Wednesday, August 1.

Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.




Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest

Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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