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Ten Startups Fast Pitch at SXSW

· pitch competition,founder,startups,SXSW,SXSW23

At Startup of the Year®, we hold a variety of pitch events throughout the year to provide our startup community with the opportunity to help spread awareness, build their brand, practice their pitch, and connect with investors.

On Sunday, March 12, we invited 10 startups to participate in a live quick-pitch event at the SXSW conference, competing for a coveted Top 100 semifinalist position at our 10th Annual Summit. This quick-pitch event was unique in that each startup founder gave a 2 minute pitch presentation without the use of a slide deck, and then had a 3 minute opportunity to answer questions from our panel of expert judges.

Don’t miss our next pitch event, happening online April 25!

Apply to pitch or Register to attend!


Pitching a business to an investor can be a crucial moment for any entrepreneur. At SXSW, there are exponential opportunities to find yourself in front of an investor, so having a quick pitch ready to go is always handy. Here's how:

View from the stage area at the SXSW startup fast pitch event: a startup founder speaks to an audience.

Be Prepared

  • Pinpoint exactly what your business does and why you’re different from the competition.
  • Understand the total addressable market - who you’re serving today, and who you’ll be able to serve in the future.
  • Explain who you are and why your team is the right team (at the right time!) to solve this problem.
  • Share your business traction, wins, and accomplishments that show you’re on the right track.
  • Create a call for action: if you’re fundraising, how much? If you’re looking for customer signups, what should they do?

Network and Build Relationships

Startup pitch events are a great place to showcase your company - not only to potential investors, but to potential partners, advisors, and customers who are all essential to your success. The people you meet will either have “been there, done that” or they might be facing the same challenges you are, and you can learn a lot from these serendipitous conversations over coffee (or tacos!) Check out highlights from the rest of our networking and education events from SXSW.

Meet the Judges from our SXSW 2023 Event!

Many thanks to the experts and investors who joined us for a taco lunch and provided their insight during the fast pitch event!

Anita Roberts - Founding Partner @ mvmt ventures & Managing Partner @ Silicon Hills Capital

Brian Brackeen - General Partner @ Lightship Capital

Bryson Hearne - Manager in the Economic Opportunity Practice @ Village Capital

Candice Matthews Brackeen - CEO @ Lightship Foundation

Conrad Hollomon - Director of Government Programs @ The Engine

Darrell Etherington - Managing Editor @ TechCrunch

Kathleen Hale - Partner @ Builders + Backers Capital

Khrys Hatch - Senior Associate @ Launch Tennessee

Martin Ringlein - General Partner @ Adventure Fund

Michele (Kopp) Konetski - Business Growth Consulting @ Konetski Group and The Nour Group

Monique Idlett-Mosley - Managing Partner @ Reign Venture Capital

Trey Bowles - Managing Director @ Techstars

Wilson Neyland - Credit Card Program Director @ Hello Alice

Meet the Startups!

Congratulations to the winner: Included co-founder Laura Close gave a pitch that focused on customer results and outcomes, which won them a spot at the Startup of the Year Annual Summit!

Frank Gruber and Laura Close speak onstage at the Quick Pitch Event

Meet all of the startups:

Accelerate3D - Powering a Printable Future

At Accelerate3D, we’re building smart factories by combining high-speed 3D printing, robotic automation, and machine learning. Our patented technology makes low-run production easy for companies big and small.

We’re based in Austin and believe in the need for more American manufacturing. For far too long we have sent our manufacturing overseas, and that needs to change. The best way this will happen is through the use of automation and advanced manufacturing. Smaller, local Microfactories (like those we plan to build!) will be a cornerstone of the future of manufacturing and will help bring America back to the forefront.

Applied Bioplastics Corp - Transforming manufacturing with sustainable biomaterials

Applied Bioplastics supplies economically sustainable plant-based plastic alternatives. Our product variety delivers countless use cases, transforming plastic as we know it.

Our products reduce petroleum dependency, pollution, and habitat destruction. Through our supply chains, we support eco-friendly agriculture in developing countries.

BachPlace - BachPlace, a Techstars portfolio company, helps planners and brides enjoy the party– together.

Our online platform is a bachelorette marketplace and planning tool for planners-to-be. Planners will be empowered to match the bride's goals through a guided planning and personalization process, covering everything from accommodations to ambiance. Users will select from our curated list of trusted hotels and rentals, decor and accessories marketplace, top-rated dining options, and favorite activities to create the perfect party– big or small. When all is said and done, BachPlace will detail the party’s bookings in an easy-to-share, personalized itinerary for the entire group.

Chptr - A mobile-first community to gather, share, and hold memories for loved ones lost.

Chptr is a collection of memories gathered together to tell your loved one’s full life story.

Relationships span generations, career changes, and country borders — with every invitation sent, a new story can be told, another video can be created, more and more memories will be shared.

heat it - Insect bite? Just heat it®

Insect bites can be treated effectively with heat, but there must also be a "smart" insect bite healer. With this incentive, our 4 founders began to develop an innovative medical product while still studying engineering. Now we are Kamedi GmbH - a dynamic start-up from Karlsruhe with our own development and production.

Included - Power your People-First Culture with AI

Included is a first-of-its-kind DEI tech solution using AI to operationalize and scale enterprise DEI. We’re creating a future where companies design their recruiting, retention and promotion strategies by centering on the experiences of diverse and historically underrepresented employees. We help employers care for the employee *just* like we care for the customer - instantly discover and close experience gaps based on demographics, predict and grow your diverse workforce through hiring, promotion, compensation and more.

Legalpreneur - Welcome to a whole new approach to the legal industry.

To have a truly successful business, you have to BOSS UP and protect your most valuable assets. Including your ideas, your products, and your brand.

The legal industry is archaic. We focus on affordable legal services for entrepreneurs, and being there when you need it most.

Spontivly - Helping organizations build strong communities.

Spontivly is a Community Management System that integrates with a company's suite of community tools to allow for greater insights and efficiencies. The software provides real-time analytics to measure community engagement, growth, and impact across any platform.

We imagine a world where technology can bring people together by creating powerful and meaningful communities for everyone around the world.

TestedWeb - AI-verified online reviews & insights.

TestedWeb is a share-2-earn online reviews marketplace that uses AI & smart contracts to verify and eliminate fake reviews. We help businesses get unbiased & authentic reviews in real-time that attract new customers, and reward consumers for their contributions.

Veba Baby Corp. - A smart baby bottle monitor that safeguards your baby's milk.

Parenting is hard, but knowing your baby has safe, nutritious milk shouldn't be. Veba's advanced technology monitors ambient temperature and tracks the freshness of your breast milk or formula, so that you don't have to.


Thank you again to everyone who joined us at SXSW! To stay connected to network opportunities, office hours, and other essential startup ecosystem resources,