AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals has announced the finalists for the 10th annual SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event®, to take place March 10-11 during the Startup & Tech Sectors Track at the Downtown Hilton Austin. Based on the technological innovation brought to their fields, 50 startup finalists will compete in each of the Accelerator's 10 different tech categories with one winner selected from each. For the first time this year, the event will also announce a "Best in Show" winner to honor the event's 10th anniversary.
During the Accelerator Pitch Event, 50 startups will present their products in front of a live audience and panel of expert judges, which includes successful entrepreneurs, investors and industry influencers. Participating finalists include companies from around the globe, including China, Germany, the UK, Netherlands and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Some of the most pronounced trends across SXSW Accelerator include emerging technologies in AI, blockchain, and social good, with an anticipated rise of innovation spurred on by the newly introduced category, Hyper-Connected Communities.
The finalists of the 2018 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event are:
This year's finalists represent the most leading-edge technologies from around the world, chosen through a rigorous selection process which attracted a record setting 600+ applications.
"The dramatic rise in applicants we've seen for the 10th anniversary of our Pitch Event is a solid indicator that SXSW Accelerator has truly become a stage for the tech industry's best and brightest," said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer Chris Valentine. "The entries showcase innovations at the cutting edge of trends in tech — from augmented and virtual reality simulators to blockchain and fintech disruptors. We are excited to reveal the recipient of the very first 'Best in Show' award at the event, and to celebrate the entire cast of thought leaders who entered the competition while offering well-deserved recognition to one truly standout company."
Of the 403 companies that participated in SXSW Accelerator between 2009 and 2017, more than 70 percent received funding, with combined funding in excess of almost $4.63 billion (does not include undisclosed grants, angel and seed funding). Of these 403 companies, 16 percent have been acquired by the likes of Google, British Telecom, Huffington Post, Apple, Live Nation, OpenTable, Constant Contact, and Harmon.
"Our firm's participation in SXSW Accelerator allowed us to present our 'Pinterest-style' collaborative home search technology to an audience of important players in the tech industry, helping spur further company growth and subsequent funding," said Rick Orr, CEO of RealSavvy and 2015 Pitch Event alumnus.
The 2018 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event will feature 25 companies on Saturday, March 10 and 25 companies on Sunday, March 11. On March 11 at 7pm, SXSW will host the SXSW Accelerator Award Ceremony and announce a winner from each category, including the overall "Best in Show" winner. SXSW attendees will have the opportunity to meet all 50 companies at the SXSW Accelerator Demo Day on Monday, March 12.
For a complete list of the 2018 Finalists, including alternates, visit: https://www.sxsw.com/accelerator
To learn more about SXSW Startup & Tech Sectors, visit: https://www.sxsw.com/conference/startups-and-tech-sectors
SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2018 will take place March 9-18, 2018.
SXSW 2018 is sponsored by Capital One, Mercedes-Benz, Bud Light, and The Austin Chronicle.