AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The South by Southwest Interactive Festival today announced the 48 finalists, 36 judges and 15 emcees for the 2016 SXSW Accelerator startup competition, presented by 24-7 Intouch. In addition, two new categories, "Payment and Fintech" and "Virtual Reality" were added to this year's competition to highlight the most innovative technology trends in the startup community. SXSW Accelerator takes place March 12-13 at the Hilton Downtown Austin during SXSW Interactive's Startup Village.
Now in its eigth year, SXSW Accelerator brings together leading startups from around the world to present their innovations to a live audience and panel of experts including entrepreneurs, investors and industry influencers.
From the more than 470 applications received this year, 48 finalists were chosen across six categories: "Enterprise and Smart Data," "Entertainment and Content," "Innovative World," "Health and Wearables," "Payment and Fintech," and "Virtual Reality."
"In the past seven years, we've seen some amazing companies compete at SXSW Accelerator," with more than 65 percent receiving funding in excess of $2.6 billion and 13 percent of them acquired by Google, Apple, Huffington Post and more," said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer Chris Valentine. "Of the more than 470 companies that applied this year, 48 finalists will compete for the winning title. SXSW Accelerator is without a doubt the place to witness the most innovative startups pitch their ideas for solving some of today's most challenging problems through technology."
The 48 finalists will kick off the competition on Saturday, March 12, with the three top-scoring companies from each category invited back on Sunday, March 13, to pitch again in front of a new set of judges, emcees and live audience. The pitch competition will then culminate with the SXSW Accelerator Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening, March 13 at the Hilton Downtown Austin, where one winning startup from each category will be announced and honored.
This year's SXSW Accelerator finalists include:
Enterprise and Smart Data
Beagle (Kitchener, Ontario)
Bitfusion (Austin, TX)
BreathWise (Pittsburgh, PA)
DataNovo (San Francisco, CA)
Harvest.ai (San Diego, CA)
HYP3R (San Francisco, CA)
Parknav (San Francisco, CA)
Virta Laboratories (Ann Arbor, MI)
Entertainment and Content Technologies
Health and Wearable Technologies (Sponsored by Allscripts)
Breath Diagnositics (Louisville, KY)
Cerebral Assessment System (Pittsford, NY)
Desktop Genetics (London, England)
DreamUp Vision (Paris, France)
GlowDx (Cork, Ireland)
Kinetic (New York, NY)
MUrgency (San Francisco, CA)
Redox (Madison, WI)
Innovative World Technologies (Sponsored by Brother)
AKA (Santa Monica, CA)
Dropel Fabrics (New York, NY)
Engie (Tel Aviv, Israel)
EpiBiome (San Francisco, CA)
MakerBioks (Montreal, Canada)
MeWe (Mountain View, CA)
Morpher Folding Helmet Company (London, England)
Rorus (Pittsburgh, PA)
Payment and Fintech Technologies
Chroma (Portland, OR)
crnsy (New York, NY)
Income& (San Francisco, CA)
InSpirAVE (New York, NY)
Koho Financial (Vancouver, Canada)
Loqr (Braga, Portugal)
Mobeewave (Montreal, Canada)
SayPay Technologies (Pleasanton, CA)
Virtual Reality Technologies
inVR (Los Angeles, CA)
LumiereVR (San Mateo, CA)
NeuroDigital Technologies (Almeria, Spain)
SPHERIE (Hamburg, Germany)
Splash (Berlin, Germany)
Thrillbox (Austin, TX)
Vantage.tv (San Francisco, CA)
XEOPlay (Oakland, CA)
In addition to the 2016 Accelerator finalists, 15 emcees and 36 judges were also announced today. This year's event boasts a diverse range of prominent individuals who were chosen based on their startup business and investment expertise, as well as overall industry experience.
The 2016 SXSW Accelerator Emcees include:
Martin Bryant – Editor-in-Chief, The Next Web
Tim Chang – Managing Director, Mayfield
Nina Curley – Managing Director, Flat6labs
Roger Hamilton – Founder, Entrepreneur's Institute
Leah Hunter – Writer, Fast Company
Andrew Hyde – Startup Week Founder, Techstars
Joseph "Yossi" Vardi – Principal, International Technologies
Christopher Kay – SVP and Chief Innovation Officer, Humana
Niki Manby – COO, Citi Ventures
Tucker Max – CEO, Book In A Box
Bob Metcalfe – Professor of Innovation, Cockrell School of Engineering at University of Texas-Austin
Monty Munford – Writer, The Economist
Mia Saini – CEO, Oars + Alps
Chris Shipley – Executive Producer, MIT's Solve
Robin Wauters – Founding Editor, Tech.eu
Notable judges this year include AngelList Evangelist, Cyan Banister; Khosla Ventures Managing Partner, Ben Ling; and USA Network Founder, Kay Koplovitz. The Accelerator judges will lend their wealth of experience and knowledge in startup, technology and creative fields to select winners from each category.
For a complete list of the 2016 Accelerator judges, please visit: http://www.sxsw.com/interactive/accelerator-emcees-judges-2016
SXSW Accelerator is open to Interactive, Gold & Platinum badgeholders. SXSW Film badgeholders are allowed entry to Entertainment and Content Technologies sessions, as well as the SXSW Accelerator Awards. Prezi will serve as the official presentation platform for the competition.
To learn more about SXSW's Startup Village, please visit: http://sxsw.com/interactive/startupvillage.
To request press credentials for SXSW Interactive, please visit http://sxsw.com/press/accreditation before the February 10, 2016 deadline.
About SXSW Interactive
The 23rd annual SXSW Interactive Festival returns to Austin from Friday, March 11 through Tuesday, March 15. An incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, the 2016 event features five days of compelling presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer. From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to discover the technology of tomorrow today. Join us in March 2016 for the sessions, the networking, the special events, the 18th Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards, SXSW Accelerator®, the SXSW Gaming Expo, the SXSW Trade Show, the SX Health & MedTech Expo, SX Create,The Job Market, cross-industry conversations with attendees from SXSW Film and SXSW Music, and, most of all, the unforgettable inspirational experiences that only SXSW can deliver.
SXSW Interactive 2016 is sponsored by Esurance, Mazda, Monster Energy, Capital One, Bud Light, Deloitte Digital, McDonald's, Ten-X and The Austin Chronicle.
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SOURCE South By Southwest Interactive Festival