50 Startup Finalists Unveiled For The Holy Grail of SXSW Startup Events
It’s hard to believe we are already in the home stretch leading up to South By Southwest 2018. If this isn’t your first shootin match than you’re already familiar with the SXSW Accelerator pitch contest and the notoriety it brings to startups across the globe. Many fine startups like LISNR know, that the SXSW Accelerator pitch contest is more valuable than throwing a $100,000 party on 6th street.
Over the years of the SXSW Accelerator there have been 403 participating startups. Those startups have gone on to raise $4.6B in funding and acquisitions, in over 780 financing events, with a median capital raised by participant of $2.5M. Kabbage, a 2011 participant, raised $491M.
While still early in their careers, startups in the 2017 cohort have raised $54 million to date.
Here’s the complete list of the 2018 finalists:
Augmented and Virtual Reality Technologies
Culver City, CA
Blocker by AfterNow is changing how creative people communicate. Blocker is an augmented reality director’s viewfinder that allows filmmakers to preview their shots using virtual cameras and set elements. On a film set, testing ideas are expensive; we aim to make planning shots agile and expressive.
Los Angeles, CA
We’ve created an AR display that requires no headset, no goggles, no smart device. Our first product, ARwall FX, is poised to disrupt film/TV production. Our second product, AR3D, creates a “virtual window” illusion for businesses and consumers.
CieAR is a developer of an augmented reality platform, tools and customized interactive and immersive augmented reality content that takes storytelling to a new level, completely changing the cinematic experience. The CieAR AR platform enables unique interactive film experiences with unprecedented interactivity and integration of life-size 3D virtual characters.
augmen.tv revolutionizes television by combining first and second screen into one seamless, interactive and highly entertaining experience. augmen.tv is renewing the way of watching TV by bridging the world of the TV with AR to provide additional information and interaction features for direct response to advertisement and broadcasting content.
Wrnch is teaching computers to read human body language. The wrnch AI engine is a real-time AI platform to digitize human motion and behavior from the standard video. wrnch AI is a computer vision deep learning company based in Montreal, Canada.
Aris MD is mixing augmented and virtual reality with surgery and training. We are as different on the inside as we are on the outside. We provide a map of each patients’ anatomy giving surgeons an individualized guide on where to cut, and more importantly where not to cut.
Future Sight AR
Future Sight provides augmented reality and immersive solutions to equip engineering and construction projects with expert skills, know-how, and support.
San Francisco, CA
Marketplace for roofing using artificial intelligence to provide instant satellite-based roofing estimates.
Enterprise and Smart Data Technologies
Agrarian Lab is a multidisciplinary team building automated business intelligence for farms.Along the way we’ve faced combines catching fire, equipment going missing, and weather devastating freshly planted fields.Our first product, Leaf, combines low-cost sensors & mobile devices with advanced algorithms to automatically generate a history of the farm.
Palo Alto, CA
Bluefield’s microsatellite sensors will provide global monitoring of emissions of methane, the world’s most dangerous and valuable greenhouse gas. Our AI-enhanced imaging and analysis will provide oil and gas customers with the data they need to repair costly pipeline leaks and provide the climate risk disclosures that investors are demanding.
DroneSeed provides precision forestry services to timber companies & non-profits. We’re paid per acre to plant tree seeds & spray to protect them — by drone swarm.
FastVisa is the new standard for Immigration workflow. We are re-inventing the current immigration process as an automated process. We are committed to transforming America’s broken immigration system into one that is more accessible, safer, and easier to navigate. We help people and professionals manage every part of their immigration journey.
M.io by Message.io
M.io is a universal messaging platform for the workplace. Users of popular chat tools like Slack, Cisco Spark, Microsoft Teams, and Atlassian Stride can natively send each other direct messages or join a universal channel.
San Francisco, CA
We are an enterprise talent development and retention software. Career development is an ill-defined path, and it’s left up to the employees to navigate their careers. We developed a mobile chatbot named Ellen that personally connects with every employee, understands their goals, perceives their blindspots and matches them to the relevant mentors and growth opportunities at their company.
Tali is your conversational productivity assistant, powered by artificial intelligence. With Tali, you can track your time and manage your productivity using nothing more than your voice. Tali even integrates with your existing invoicing and billing system, eliminating the chore of manual time entry.
San Francisco, CA
U-Life’s AI driven IoT software platform creates a fully integrated autonomous system, operated remotely over WiFi, 4G, 5G LTE that is aimed at boosting the productivity and value added of high Operating Expenditure (OPEX) industries such as the telecommunication, mobility, logistics, and transport.
Entertainment and Content Technologies
Antescofo is a Mobile Music/AI company in Paris, after an award-winning algorithm by Founders when they were researchers. Our products leverage content you listen, to content that you can perform with thanks to unique AI allowing real-time adaptation to a user, whether for singing Cover Songs or playing with an orchestra.
FanFood is a mobile ordering platform that provides consumers with technology to receive concessions at any live event via delivery or express-line pick up. FanFood enhances the consumer experience while assisting venue owners in generating higher sales.
San Francisco, CA
Instreamatic.ai is an AI-powered platform for voice-activated advertising. Instreamatic.ai provides audio publishers with tools to monetize their ad inventory with highly engaging voice-activated ads.
The future of OTT & TV viewing re-imagined for today’s society. Sceenic’s ‘Watch Together’ SaaS solution enables media companies to create interactive co-viewing experiences for dispersed viewers. “Hidden gem at IBC 2017” by BroadcastProME.
At Vochlea Music we’re developing real-time vocal recognition technology for music creation. Imagine beatboxing triggering live drum samples, vocal ‘twanging’ controlling an awesome guitar solo, or applying an effect such as ‘wah-wah’ all using the voice. Liberate your musical ideas quickly, easily and intuitively with Vochlea Music.
Crescendo helps musicians boost their confidence through interactive performance assessment software powered by Artificial Intelligence.
Hyku builds the world’s most interactive video technology. Helping television shows, online videos and mobile videos sync relevant content, interactions, social media, and shopping. This patented technology makes videos more engaging for viewers and provides better monetization for content creators and TV stations.
Robin is an AI-assisted personal concierge that is revolutionizing the way you discover, and access live experiences. Engaging via chat and SMS, Robin provides personalized and curated recommendations to the experiences and events you’ll love – and secures tickets, bookings and reservations entirely on your behalf.
Health and Wearables Technologies
AirPop is pioneering the innovation of air wearables for personal and public health. Its line of sensing, high-efficiency air pollution accessories for the 4B+ people living in pervasive ambient air pollution enables insight-based breathing through a connected breathomics platform.
Cambridge Cancer Genormics
Cambridge Cancer Genomics is developing tools to enable clinicians and scientists to understand therapeutic response in real time. Through the use of artificial intelligence, we can predict a tumor’s evolutionary trajectory and what this may mean for cancer treatment.
Santa Monica, CA
HealthTensor uses artificial intelligence to automatically review all patient data, diagnose the most common conditions, and create documentation for physicians. These evidence-backed notes save physicians time, ensure diagnoses are not missed and improve finances for physicians and hospitals.
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. This is the first and only cloth-based platform that has been approved by the FDA for remote cardiac monitoring. Nanowear’s first product, SimpleSense, focuses on Congestive Heart Failure management.
Nextbiotics is a biotechnology platform that engineer’s viruses for good. Our first product targets antibiotic-resistant infections. Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest global health challenges we face today. At Nextbiotics, we are developing a treatment that combines bacteriophage therapy with CRISPR technology to reverse antibiotic resistance.
New York, NY
We create elegant, accurate, custom-fit medical braces, orthopedics, and prosthetics in a fast, safe, accessible process. With machine learning, 3D printing, and our patent-pending AI driven CAD platform; we are bringing digital innovation to the end-to-end process.
New York, NY
Lilu builds tech-enabled products for the modern mom. They have created the first automated pumping bra, that mimics expert-recommended breast massage and compression techniques, to enable mothers to get up to 50% more milk each pumping session, hands-free and in less time.
San Diego, CA
Halo applies in seconds to the ear & wirelessly monitors 100+ vitals (pulse oximetry, heart rate, respiratory rate, and core body temperature) non-invasively in non-sterile conditions. Being deployed first with SOCOM/DoD providing triage, cuffless blood pressure, communications and more. Coming to civilians soon for telemedicine & wellness – Sempulse Saving Lives.
Hyper-Connected Communities Technologies
Apptronik is a robotics company focused on creating the next generation of robotic systems for humans to make our lives safer, more productive, and easier. We specialize in the building blocks of advanced robotics, high-performance electric actuators and real-time embedded control circuits optimized for human-robot interaction.
Diwala is a digital economy platform, powered by blockchain, which enables refugees to build their identity, skills, and resources. By developing an identity for refugees, Diwala will improve the supply chain for impact organizations with data-driven reporting. Diwalas mission is to provide a tool for resourcefulness for displaced communities, providing people with a choice.
San Francisco, CA
Crickets are efficient at converting food and water into nutritionally dense protein, but outsized labor costs make them expensive to grow. Eclosion builds automation systems that help cricket farmers do more with less.
Goma, The Democratic Republic of the Congo
GoTech is a tech company based in Congo and Rwanda, resolved to develop, design and implement solutions for its community in response to its fire problems. Pushed by the desire to make a difference, the founders stay driven by the thirst for being the change they want to see.
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. By diverting waste from landfills and improving the business economics for small farmers, we are working to reimagine America’s food, energy, and waste cycles.
Smart Apps, LLC is developing EventQueue (EQ), a smart city mobile technology platform that streamlines traffic, navigation, parking, crowd control, and evacuation procedures in real time around events and mass gatherings. EQ will change how cities handle crowds and traffic and will make cities safer and more sustainable.
Kansas City, MO
Homebase is a connected building and community management platform for multi-family and student housing. We make apartments smarter and more livable.
MailHaven is a hyper-local logistics startup solving the problem of missed deliveries and stolen packages. Our first products are, a package tracking app and Haven; a smart mailbox that receives packages on behalf of home owners.
Payment and Fintech Technologies
San Francisco, CA
Cushion helps consumers safeguard their hard-earned money. Their first product is a Facebook Messenger bot, called Fee Fighter, that disputes bank fees & interest charges on your behalf – saving you time and getting back wasted dollars. In the future, Cushion aims to anticipate and resolve financial issues before they come up.
FutureFuel.io makes student debt repayment easy – for employers, platforms, and users. FutureFuel.io offers student debt pay down as a service, and refinancing and other value-add products, shaving years off the lifespan of the loan.
New York, NY
Goalsetter is a goal-based savings and gifting platform for kids and their families, combining the best of goal-based savings platforms like Acorns with gift-registries like Zola. In so doing, Goalsetter enables families to save for kids’ goals easily and simultaneously teaches kids healthy financial habits early.
Leaf provided financial services to the stateless and excluded by creating a virtual bank through blockchain technology. Leaf offers a safe way for refugees to protect and transport savings while escaping conflict. By facilitating the movement and storage of assets, Leaf reduces the risk of theft and creates economic identities.
Pawame is lighting up rural communities with our clean, affordable and reliable solar solution. Our use of mobile money platforms for payment gives our customers a means of finance that is not limited by distance, enabling us to access frontier markets. Using the data collected from digital payments, Pawame can create credit profiles for our customers, enabling us to distribute our further financial services.
ID-Pal is a SaaS solution for KYC that enables businesses to onboard their customers simply, securely and conveniently. Using advanced mobile technologies, ID-Pal reduces the cost and risk associated with verifying a customer’s identity, while removing any friction from the user experience, resulting in top-line revenue growth for the business.
New York, NY
StackSource is a tech-enabled commercial real estate loan platform. We connect investors who are developing or acquiring commercial properties with financing options like banks, insurance companies, and private lenders through an easy, transparent process. We’re taking the best of commercial mortgage brokerage and updating it for the 21st century.
Tomorrow helps families make future financial decisions today to protect the ones you love. Create a legal will – which includes guardianship for your kids – and living trust for free and then make sure you have enough life insurance to cover financial needs.
Security and Privacy Technologies
Lake St Louis, MO
Bandura’s Easy, Open, Secure technologies enable organizations to control their cyber risk exposure at a time when threats are increasing exponentially, and existing security infrastructure is overcome. Bandura takes action at scale to stop attacks on-premises and in the cloud-as first mover in the emerging threat intelligence gateway category.
PolyPort is 3D asset protection, management, and delivery company, which employs proprietary encryption technology to facilitate an end-to-end solution for 3D designers. Moreover, PolyPort allows designers to use their tools, shortcuts, and capabilities in their environment across all platforms.
14bis Supply Tracking
14bis Supply Tracking provides trustworthy asset tracking, streamlining supply chain processes and combatting unapproved parts. We improve supply chains with exceptional tracking capabilities leveraging blockchain technology and our patent-pending system.
Secure Code Warrior
In a world that depends on software, Secure Code Warrior makes software development better and more secure. Our proven suite of secure coding tools sits within one powerful platform that moves the focus from reaction to prevention, training and equipping developers to think and act with a security mindset.
Storro is a high-tech software company that contributes to a safer world through enabling secure communication via peer-to-peer and blockchain technology, which allows you to collaborate directly with each other, without the need to trust a third party.
San Francisco, CA
Cleo provides a real-time data gathering platform that enables true information privacy and security for sources and panelists to sell data directly to organizations. Cleo uses advanced encryption and data validation techniques to ensure pseudo-anonymity of sources and quality of information.
Gyomo’s PeerPreview(tm) protects against email and web-based phishing attacks utilizing just-in-time training(tm) that combines machine learning, gamification, and crowd-sourcing to deliver training right when people need it most – the exact moment they click on a suspicious link.
SAAVHA leverages blockchain technology to enable EU General Data Protection Regulatory compliance through a semi-automated SaaS IT solution that provides EU data subjects with ultimate control over their data and offers businesses with better data security, improved efficiency, and reduced compliance costs.
Social and Culture Technologies
San Francisco, CA
70 million Americans have criminal records. They all experience pain in finding a job. We’re the first for-profit marketplace for folks deserving a second chance and companies eager to access a vast, untapped pool of labor. Y Combinator S17
ICON is a construction-technology company currently working towards building the first up-to-code 3D printed home in the United States (using concrete as substrate). The company is working in Austin, Texas on a contract from New Story (YC S15) in bringing to market the promise of robotic home-building.
Moms Can: Code
Moms Can: Code is a membership-based online community for moms learning how to code. We provide opportunities to connect online and offline, learning resources via our website and community platform, and real-life inspiration by featuring female leaders from around the world.
Samaritan equips cities and citygoers to elevate their homeless from the street. Small Bluetooth beacons are given to the homeless, enabling citygoers to learn the stories of the people they pass by daily and invest directly into their lives.
The Switchboard App enables new styles of voice chat and shared experiences with music and video. The Switchboard Platform makes these experiences available to third-party developers looking to engage users and differentiate their offerings. Switchboard uses patented technologies leveraging deep audio and voice processing capabilities.
BBy – Milk Sharing
New York, NY
BBy is a physician created a peer to peer marketplace for android and ios that connects nursing mothers with new parents to buy and sell breast milk in a safe and reliable manner. Leading the way with revolutionary milk sharing technology to nurture the next generation of humans.
New York, NY
Envested’s workplace engagement product is a next-generation solution that takes a social approach to building community and culture at work. Their enterprise SaaS solution allows employees to seamlessly self-organize around leisure activities, workplace events and local volunteer opportunities. Envested was named an Inc 30 under 30 company in 2017.
San Fransico, CA
Roots Studio digitizes the creative content of traditional artists from remote areas with the global $32 billion dollar art, interior decor, and design licensing markets. We have digitized hundreds of unseen art from 1200+ artists (India, Indonesia, and Syria), and licensed them onto stationery, and clothing, amidst other products.
Sports and Performance Data Technologies
DashTag introduces the Dash Soccer League. Leveraging technology and the online nature of new generation soccer players, we offer a sports experience that doesn’t feel outdated. The Dash, a wearable sensor, turns field performance into FIFA like stats to participate in competitions, challenges and pave the way to global recognition.
KidzToPros is leading platform for Child enrichment sports and activities. Our technology makes us a leading provider for parents to enroll their kids in an after-school program at school facilities.
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.
Tellyo is a web-based video platform for near-live video production, editing, streaming and distribution. It allows rights holders (sports federation, leagues, event organizers or broadcasters) to easily create unique stories from live content and share them to engage fans on social media in real-time.
Walnut Creek, CA
UPGRADED converts event tickets into secure interactive digital assets protected by the Blockchain. These tickets work with existing entry systems (no hardware upgrades necessary) while delivering encryption, sales restrictions, stored value, loyalty data, and other dynamic elements that turn a ticket into a “smart ticket”.
Hustle is the most comprehensive collection of sports drills and practice resources for youth coaches and players, packaged in a convenient and user-friendly smartphone application. We’ve created a marketplace for professional coaches to distribute and sell premium content, letting anyone learn from the pros.
Perth, Western Australia
myKicks is a mobile application built on world first sports vision technology to enable any soccer player with a smartphone to film their kicks, analyze their kicking performance (speed, placement, and trajectory) and simulate real-world scoring situations against virtual goalies, enabling users to become better soccer players.
Torq Labs created smart leggings for injury prevention, called K-Tech Smart Leggings. Using lightweight, low-power sensors, Torq Labs helps professional athletes & triathletes prevent knee and hip injuries. Torq Labs’ proprietary movement mapping software identifies asymmetries & gait imbalances that are known precursors to developing lower body injuries.
Commutifi is a wellness platform that optimizes mobility for commuters, enterprises, business districts, campuses, and cities. It captures holistic commuting data, measures time, cost and carbon efficiencies, generates recommendations, and administers benefits and subsidies that inspire optimum commuting.
Goin’s integration platform introduces ridesharing companies to the markets of flexible transit, ADA paratransit, and medical transportation so smart cities can fund greater access and equity. Goin is an FTA Mobility on Demand grant partner. Customers include first transit agency to partner with Uber, government organizations and medical facilities.
New York, NY
GoKid is the complete carpool solution for schools, teams, and families. Easy-to-use apps enable families to set up and manage carpools with people they know and trust. GoKid is an alumnus of Techstars Mobility backed by Fontinalis Partners and InMotion Ventures. GoKid is headquartered in New York.
Gridwise is a mobile platform that increases rideshare drivers’ earnings 39% by helping them know when and where to drive. Through the unique data models it has developed, Gridwise can help improve the efficiency of existing and new multimodal transit solutions for fleet operators and cities.
Ushr is a software and technology company offering HD mapping data and software to autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle manufacturers. Ushr has the most accurate, comprehensive and advanced high-definition mapping technology in production today. Ushr’s technology is critical for safe vehicle operation and is transforming the transportation industry.
Ion Motor Company
ION is a team of experienced electric motorcycle enthusiasts who came together in the Fall of 2017 in Austin, Texas to make the fastest production electric motorcycle in the world … under $10,000. ION transforms your daily commute into a thrill you look forward to every day. No loud noise, no vibrations, no shifting, just twist the throttle and feel the G-forces pull a smile across your face.
Mogol has invented Connected Traffic Management(TM), a virtual traffic management platform that uses the vehicle as sensor and communicates to the driver via dashboard, navigation or smartphone instead of expensive roadside sensors and digital message signs for traffic management.
Tripgrid was built to help teams of all shapes and sizes better organize their travel. Powerful technology coupled with an intelligent interface provides our customers with a workspace that is a part spreadsheet and completely customizable. Teams can organize all of their travel information any way they want.