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  • Meet the 25 Startups who competed


    Saturday, March 10 | Maggie Mae's (323 East 6th Street)

    Sesame by CANDY HOUSE


    Palo Alto, CA

    Don’t worry about losing your keys – Sesame is a smart lock that allows you to unlock your door with your phone. There is no replacement of the current lock or handyman needed for installation, the design simply covers the deadbolt knob on the inside of the door, and can be reused with different locks.


    Their patented design also has the optional Wi-Fi access point so it’s always attached to your network and helps manage battery life of the lock. Through the app, it only takes one touch or a knock on the phone to open/close the lock, and users can choose who has access and receive notifications when the lock is opened/closed.


    Atlanta, GA

    Paying off debt takes discipline. Qoins is making it easier than ever to pay off those credit cards and student loans through your everyday purchases. Qoins will analyze a user’s spending habits, round up the spare change from transactions, apply it to a Qoins account then automatically send that money to pay down debt once a month.


    The company said on average, users can pay off an extra $600 per year on debt through their service. Price: $1.99 per month.

    Washington, D.C.

    With 37 percent of minority professionals leaving positions because of a lack of inclusion, The Mentor Method is looking to improve that number and help companies reduce turnover, and retain and engage talent. Their enterprise web-app curates mentor matches with diverse talent within the company to breed an inclusive workplace culture and engage their top performers. Their tool helps structure and track the impact of the mentorship program.

    Milo Life - TOP 5

    Miami, FL

    Early detection of health problems can be key to overcoming ailments and life-threatening diseases, and reduce healthcare costs. Milo Life is making it more convenient for people to complete lab tests at home. They have developed doctor-grade blood, saliva and urine tests approved by the FDA for over-the-counter purchase.


    The company has over 80 types of tests within wellness, diagnostics or drug testing, and their system generates results within minutes to the mobile app.

    Seek - TOP 5

    Lehi, UT

    Getting your company found on app stores is hard enough – especially if you are a new AR startup. Seek developed a centralized augmented reality community where AR creators can publish and share their latest innovation, and users can find the hottest new AR platform.

    Albuqerque, NM

    What if you could earn money to watch ads instead of avoiding them? That’s the concept behind AdWallet. Advertisers upload their 30 second ads and each time a user watches the ad, they receive $.50. If the user shares the add on social media, they earn an extra $.25. After earning $10, the user can cash out, turn it in for a gift card or donate it to a charity. Users receive a text message when the next one is ready for viewing and will have to answer a short question about the ad to prove they “paid attention” to the ad to earn cash.

    Ashburn, VA

    Providing the ability to quickly unveil what microorganism could be impacting the health of a person, animal or environment is part of Aperiomics mission. This biotech company developed Xplore-PATHO as a service to test samples for the presence of pathogens – everything from bacteria and DNA virus to parasites and fungus – in a single test.


    Their approach to pathogen detection is a combination of “deep metagenomics sequencing and proprietary bioinformatics analysis that can identify 35,000+ microorganisms in one test.” This startup aims to impact multiple industries with its technology including: clinical, agriculture, environment, industry, and veterinary.

    Kirkland, WA

    Beast Mode is taking on a new meaning in the startup world. In collaboration with Marshawn Lynch, the cofounders are planning on making cell phone service free. How will Beast Mobile cut down the cost of your ever-increasing cell phone bill? Targeted mobile advertising.


    After choosing one of their affordable monthly service fee plans, users simply interact with their advertisers. Users can earn credits by watching videos, taking advantage of promotional offers, and more, and apply the credits towards the bill.

    Copenhaugen, Hovedenstad, Denmark

    These days it seems like a professional is needed to interpret a business’ web analytics. That’s why Canecto developed a cutting-edge, AI framework designed to be a web analytics assistant and help provide owners relevant insights around their customer base and learn how visitors interact with their content.

    Atlanta, GA

    Bringing transparency to the forefront and holding people accountable for their actions is the main focus behind Culpability. They are bridging the communication gap between citizens, law enforcement, corporations and all branches of government with their mobile app.

    This socially responsible app will help empower the community to capture real-time text, voice, video and images of incidents that involve law enforcement and individuals in non-emergency situations. Once uploaded, the company safeguards the data in their secure cloud. The company also educates people about their rights on capture data when interacting with law enforcement.

    Austin, TX

    Think of looking at a dot graph of your business sales in virtual reality. DatavizVR is the world’s first big data analytics and visualization virtual and augmented reality platform. They are taking data scientists’ and analysts’ understanding of their information to the next dimension. Users can upload spreadsheets or csv data, then create, collaborate and analyze insights all in mixed reality.

    Pittsburgh, PA & New York City, NY

    Saving money is hard enough, especially for important purchases or events. InSpirAVE is helping people “save for what matters,” and reduce impulsive spending. According to the company, “30 percent of purchases are regretted and half of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.”

    The unique part of this company is InSpirAVE's Internet-of-Savings® platform that helps users multiply savings for big ticket items and create a shared experience. After placing items from merchants or retailers on your wish list, you can ask your friends and family for advice and offer a gift giving opportunity. The program will continue to work through the goal until the item is delivered to your door.

    San Francisco, CA

    Saving professionals time on paperwork is what LexiconAI aims to do. Their first product LexiconMD helped healthcare professionals dictate their notes into e-medical records hands- and eyes- free. Lexicon AI is their new product, an intelligent, voice-based platform for lawyers, healthcare providers, and other professionals. Their speech recognition software has a high level of accuracy, as though a human was transcribing the information.

    Austin, TX

    Dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble can help people find love, but Love Intently is helping couples build their relationship and stay in love. Their platform helps couples improve their communication and interactions through their “LoveTips,” and will help support planning and executing activities such as ordering flowers and writing love notes.

    Grenoble, France

    Wearables aren’t just for fitness and gaming. Enhancia, known for their innovative music equipment, developed the Enhancia Ring, a connected ring that helps musicians add in musical effects on a keyboard through their natural hand movements. The company’s goal is to enhance the way artists compose their music and interact with instruments.


    The wearable has nine integrated sensors, a real-time gesture recognition algorithm and a motion library that syncs with the keyboard.

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Fighting global cyber threats and getting rewarded is the concept behind Polyswarm. This startup is the first decentralized cyber threat intelligence community and marketplace where security experts can compete and solve global security threats and win rewards for solving these real “cyber bounties.”


    These threats are detected in real-time by micro anti-malware engines fine-tuned by security experts.

    Hartford, CT

    While smartphones do have accessibility options for those with visual impairment, Project Ray is hyper-focused on digital inclusion with their solution. Their product, RAY, is the first adhesive tag that turns one’s smartphone into a tactile device and can be used eye-free.


    Through the RAY VISION app, the user can manage communication, digital services and social networking, through simple gestures, haptic feedback, adhesive tags, voice recognition, and more. The app also offers remote assistance, a physical help button and tag identifier.

    Durham, NC

    Tapping into a niche community is part of Quirktastic Media’s competitive advantage. They are a tech and media company that create products, content and connections for “geeks, nerds, alternatives, free spirits and intellectuals of color.” Their four products include an e-commerce shop, social app, content and a multi-genre convention (QuickCon coming in Summer 2019).

    Boston, MA

    Not every millennial who travels wants a full-size hotel room. Sleepbox is a micro-hotel solution that is a blend between traditional hotel and Airbnb/hostel accommodations. This modular, stand-alone hotel room is a private, soundproof, box with a bed that can be booked right through one’s smartphone.


    The room is 45 sq.ft. with an extra size bed, mood lighting, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, music, and more. The company is strategically placing Sleepboxes in premium locations such as city centers, even airports.

    San Francisco, CA

    Cyber security is a hot topic for small businesses. And for those that run on Google, having an extra layer of protection against ransomware or hacks could save businesses. Spinbackup is a Google Cloud Partner and provide Cloud-to-Cloud backup and cyber security solutions for SaaS data.


    The company offers backup and disaster recovery of Google files. In case of human error or hacking, your personal/business information will be safe.

    Montreal, Quebec

    Online clothes shopping is on the rise, but with it comes the risk that the outfit will not fit. Stefanka is taking the frustration and size uncertainty out of the shopping experience and helping shoppers find the products and sizes most suited for their body shape through their leading technology.


    For retailers, this will mean selling more product, fewer returns and happier customers. When users input their body measurements either manually or via 3D scanning at retail shops, their algorithm will match the items to the person’s body type.

    Austin, TX

    Think CareerBuilder for teachers and schools. TeacherTalent is a platform that streamlines the job search for teachers and schools by gathering data on schools, teachers and students from over 10,000 sources and match everyone’s needs and skills.


    For active job seekers, the platform will introduce school districts that will be a strong fit. The company also provides support for their school clients during the teacher recruitment, hiring, development and retention phases.

    Rome, Italy

    The thought of a child going through cancer treatment is more than a parent should bare. For the child, their emotional wellness needs to be considered during this challenging time.


    Softcare Studios is focused on reducing anxiety and pain in children going through cancer treatments by using gaming and VR to boost their emotional stability while providing valuable data to healthcare professionals. In collaboration with doctors, psychologists, caregivers and patients, their TOMMI Game helps provide real-time data about the child’s psycho-emotional state while providing a fun and distracting activity for the patient during treatment.

    Miami, FL

    Traveling internationally can be a pain for many reasons. One of the main headaches includes making sure you have all the government travel visas required to enter the country. TravelVisa.com is helping bring the travel visa process into the 21st century and what used to take weeks to process can now be done in minutes.


    Once a user selects a travel visa, the platform govWorks will complete their Traveler Profile and walk them through the application to completion. The company’s founder is very familiar with this space as he sold his startup, RushMyPassport.com, five years ago.

    Arlington, VA

    When you are looking for a new place to go to dinner, plan a team outing or set up a catered event, scrolling through a bunch of places and figuring out costs can be a time suck. WythMe is changing the way people find businesses with discounts and within their budget for entertainment.


    Their reverse auction platform lets the user set the budget and needs for an event and the food and beverage market will bid for your business. Users simply enter their plans and let the offers come to them.

  • Meet our 2018 SXSW Judges

    Andy Stoll

    Senior Program Officer, The Kauffman Foundation

    Siggi Hindrichs

    Investor, Samsung NEXT

    Drew Solomon

    Senior Vice President, Launch KC

    Kimberly Strong

    Angel Investor, Strong Connexion, LLC

    Kira Blackwell

    iTech Program Executive & OCT Innovation Lisason, NASA

    Don Dodge

    Google Capital & Angel Investor

    Lisha Bell

    Angel Investor, Pipeline Angels

    Eric Mathews

    Founder, Start Co.

    Sarah Koch

    VP Social Innovation, Case Foundation

    Andrew Hong

    Investor, Daimler US's M&A Technology & Venture Group

    Alice Turinas

    Angel Investor, Pipeline Angels

    Tarik Sultan

    Founding Partner, Sultan Ventures

    Ashley Bowling

    Founding Member, NextGen Venture Partners

    Andre Fowlkes

    President, Start Co

    Concetta Rand

    Chief Revenue Officer, iFundWomen

    Mateusz Kaliski

    Investor, Rubicon Venture Capital

    Kelly Keenan Trumpbour

    Investor, See Jane Invest, LLC

    Thomas Flake

    Serial Entrepreneur & Investor

    Felecia Hatcher

    Co-Founder of Code Fever & Blacktech Week

    Elizabeth Jennings

    VP of Marketing, Venture Atlas Labs

    Joanne Chen

    Partner, Foundation Capital

    Marissa Lowman

    Education Leader, Village Capital

    Darlene Gillard Jones

    Founder, digitalundivided & Gillard Jones Agency

    Amy Lesnick

    Chief Executive & President, Pledge1%

    Adam Palmer

    Federal Business Development Manager, Startup Arlington

  • Thank you to our 2018 SXSW sponsors & partners

    Each year, we partner with exciting brands and organizations to host a handful of awesome events, showcase top performing startups, offer special deals, and make new connections.


    Interested in getting your brand involved? Click here.

    The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful. The Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and uses its $2 billion in assets to collaboratively help people be self-sufficient, productive citizens.

    LaunchKC is an economic game-changer in Kansas City, Missouri by supporting start-up businesses, creating jobs, attracting talent, unlocking value and engaging follow-on investors.

    Pledge 1% is a global movement, encouraging companies of all sizes to give back. Just donate 1% of your time, product, equity, and/or profit to any cause of your choice. Join the thousands of companies around the world who have already taken the pledge, and gain access to exclusive resources and a community of like-minded leaders.


    Oh, did we tell you that by taking the pledge, you'll be able to use the Pledge 1% VIP Line at Startup Night SXSW 2018?!

    Startup Arlington is an initiative created to promote Arlington as a technology and startup friendly community on a national level. For a few months each year, Arlington, VA hosts one startup technology company that wants to build its vision in our backyard.

    The Case Foundation, created by digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case, is a diverse and dynamic institution by design. It creates programs and invests in people and organizations that harness the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact.

    Start Co is focused exclusively on B2B software and hardware solutions. It was Memphis’ first accelerator and has helped fund, mentor, and launch over 100 emerging technology companies since 2011.

    American Airlines® has a special offer for TechCo friends & family – companies who enroll in their Business Extra program can earn up to 600 bonus Business Extra points. The program allows your travelers to earn their AAdvantage® miles while collectively earning Business Extra points for the business. Enrollment is free, so take advantage of this special offer.

    digitalundivided - Black & Latinx women founders + their big ideas and high growth companies + training, network, and access to funding = something the startup world has never seen before.

    BlackTech Week is a minority centric ecosystem building festival based in Miami, partnering with founders, corporations, and the community to create a valuable six-day national experience for investors, entrepreneurs, and techies of every kind. Since inception in 2014, they have convened over 2700 participants, 150+ speakers, and 3 pitch competitions. Code Fever, BlackTech Week's parent organization, is an economic development 501c(3) focused on Inclusive Innovation and Competitiveness for highly motivated members and communities of the emerging majority.

    The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of projects and programs in 170 countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. Its flagship program, Global Entrepreneurship Week, connects 10 million people each November through events, activities and competitions designed to strengthen local and national ecosystems while shaping the next generation of entrepreneurs.

    Pipeline Angels is changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs.

    iFundWomen is on a mission to increase access to capital for female entrepreneurs, empowering women to start and grow better businesses. iFundWomen drives funding to startups and small businesses through a flexible crowdfunding platform with a pay-it-forward model, expert startup coaching, professional video production, and a private community for our entrepreneurs. iFundWomen is changing the business of how businesses launch.

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