AUSTIN, Texas, March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BrandYourself.com, the only do-it-yourself platform that makes it easy for any person to take control of their own Google results, took home the award for Best Bootstrapped Startup at the 4th Annual SXSW Accelerator event presented by Microsoft BizSpark.
The competition selected 40 finalists out of a pool of 650 companies, which were separated into 8 categories, including innovative Web, Entertainment, Health and Mobile Technologies. Entrants competed against each other in front of a panel of judges, who then chose an award winner for each category. The judges then announced an overall winner for the Best Bootstrapped Startup in the competition, choosing the company that made the most progress with the most promise given the resources of a startup.
"We were hoping to win the award for our category but certainly not expecting to win the overall award," said BrandYourself.com CEO Patrick Ambron. "It's testament to the quality of our application, and, more importantly, to the problem that we solve. BrandYourself.com helps people make sure they have positive results showing up when people Google their name, so they aren't forced to pay a reputation company thousand of dollars to do it for them."
BrandYourself started when cofounder Pete Kistler couldn't get an internship in college because he was being mistaken for a drug dealer with the same name on Google. "We wanted to give everybody the power of reputation management, regardless of how tech savvy or wealthy they might be, so we created a free product that makes it simple for anyone to do," Ambron noted.
Emcees for the 2012 Accelerator competition included Brad Burnham, Union Square Ventures; Timothy Draper, Draper Fisher Jurveston; MC Hammer, Wiredoo; Christine Herron, Intel Capital; Brad King, Ball State University; Frank Moss, Bluefin Labs; Jim Schachter, New York Times; and Scott Weiss, Andreesen Horowitz. A full list of the expert industry judges can be found here: http://sxsw.com/interactive/startupvillage/accelerator/judges.
"We're consistently proud and eager to see the companies that present at the Accelerator competition, and the high quality of companies, judges and attendees makes it a must see event for SXSW attendees as well," said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer, Chris Valentine. "The Accelerator community of industry influencers and investors congratulates the 2012 Accelerator winners."
For a complete list of SXSW Accelerator finalists and winners in the Interactive category, visit the following site: http://sxsw.com/interactive/startupvillage/accelerator. For finalists and winners in the Music category, visit: http://sxsw.com/music/startupvillage/accelerator.
BrandYourself.com is the first do-it-yourself platform that makes it easy for anyone to take control of their own Google results. It was founded in 2009 by Syracuse University classmates Pete Kistler, Patrick Ambron and Evan McGowan-Watson after Kistler couldn't get an internship for being mistaken in Google as a drug dealer. BrandYourself has raised more than $1.2 million in Series A funding and been recognized for its innovative technology, including being honored by the White House as one of the Top 100 Startups Run by Entrepreneurs Under 30, being named one of the Top 5 Collegiate Startups by Entrepreneur Magazine, and being named the winner of the New York State Emerging Business Technology competition, a $200,000 prize, the youngest team to ever win.
About SXSW Interactive Festival
The 19th annual SXSW Interactive festival took place March 9-13, 2012 in Austin, Texas. An incubator of cutting-edge technologies, the event featured five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line up 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 experience a preview of what is unfolding in the world of technology. Join us March 2012 for the panels, the parties, the 15th Annual Interactive Awards, Startup Village, ScreenBurn at SXSW, the SXSW Trade Show and, of course, the inspirational experience that only SXSW can deliver. SXSW Interactive 2012 is sponsored by Miller Lite, Chevrolet, IFC, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Monster Energy, Samsung, Freecreditscore.com, Microsoft, Isis, Esurance, AT&T and The Austin Chronicle.