Peter Xing
Mar 11 · 4 min read

SXSW Announces 2019 Winners Of 11th Annual Pitch Event

AUSTIN, March 10, 2019 – This evening, South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals announced the winners of the 11th annual SXSW Pitch® event (formerly Accelerator), which took place March 9–10 during the Entrepreneurship & Startup Track at the Downtown Hilton Austin. In addition to a winner chosen from each of the 10 categories, one finalist also took home the overall “Best In Show” distinction.

The category winners of the 2019 SXSW Pitch event are:

SXSW Pitch 2019 also crowned its “Best In Show” winner, Nebula Genomics. Special awards were also presented for “Best Bootstrap” (TwentyTables) and “Best Speed Pitch” (Xplosion Tech).

Each of the 10 winners received $4,000, two badges for next year’s SXSW conference, a trophy, and most importantly, exceptional exposure to SXSW attendees and potential investors who are looking for the latest in cutting-edge technology and innovation.

“In its 11th year, our Pitch event continues to showcase the best technology from around the world, proving our dedication to highlighting today’s most forward-thinking innovators,” said SXSW Pitch event Producer, Chris Valentine. “We’re thrilled to offer recognition to each of this year’s winners as they continue their journey toward evoking change within our ever-evolving society.”

This year’s SXSW Pitch event featured innovative startups from around the globe presenting game-changing products in front of a live audience and panels of expert judges, which included entrepreneurs, investor, and industry influencers.

Strong trends showcased at this year’s event included game-changing AV/VR, blockchain and AI technology designed to enact change in industries like healthcare, sports and entertainment. The competition also drew a number of global companies, with over 30 percent representing countries outside the U.S., including the UAE, U.K., Singapore, Mexico, Germany, Canada, South Korea, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Japan, Cyprus, Sweden and Slovenia.

What were some of the highlights from this year’s Pitch event?

  • “This year’s event featured startups in new categories like artificial intelligence and blockchain, which turned out to be two of the most popular sessions. Startups within the blockchain category tackled innovation in the fertility industry and supply chains, while AI startups focused on things like assisting in transcribing notes and predicting car crashes,” Valentine said. “It was interesting to see startups in those categories shed light on other ways this technology can benefit society rather than falling back on buzzwords like crypto and AI chatbots.”

Were there any startups that surprised you during their pitch? If so, which ones and why?

  • “There were a couple of startups that really impressed the judges after taking to the Pitch stage. Supportiv, which won the Social & Culture category, did a fantastic job telling the story of their company, expressing the importance of their technology and showing data points that backed up their claims.”
  • Supportiv is a support network that delivers NLP-driven precision peer support and hyper-targeted resource recommendations for daily life struggles like work stress, family pressures and more.
  • “Another startup that proved to be very impressive on stage was TwentyTables. They did a great job at highlighting the importance of the underserved having access to healthy food options by offering customers affordable, fixed-cost meals. Startups with social good components showcase just how impactful technology can be when it comes to making a real difference.”

What trends do you expect to see becoming more popular at next year’s Pitch competition?

  • “We’ve already had our eyes fixed on the upcoming 2020 Pitch event, and the ways smart cities are impacted by innovative tech — from biotech to quantum computing — is something we are looking into,” Valentine said. “We always want to be mindful of what is already evolving in the global startup ecosystem, so we’re thinking of ways to build off of tech innovations that are becoming increasingly relevant to include in our competition.”

How are you preparing for next year in terms of finding new startups, innovative technology and a diverse pool of forward-thinkers?

  • “One of our main goals every year is to include groups of qualified innovators that represent people from different countries, ethnicities, backgrounds and genders. We strive to make our competition inclusive on a variety of levels — from both our judges and competitors.”
  • “We’re also on the lookout for VCs and groups that support the ecosystem, as well as meet our requirements, to build on the competition’s value and reputation within the startup scene.”

For a complete list of the 2019 finalists, including alternates, and the Pitch event judges, visit: https://www.sxsw.com/awards/sxsw-pitch/#2019-finalists

About SXSW

South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals 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 2019 will take place March 8–17, 2019.

SXSW 2019 is sponsored by Capital One, Mercedes-Benz, Bud Light, Uber Eats, and The Austin Chronicle.

Peter Xing

Written by

Transhumanist | Freelance Writer @datadriveninvestor | Co-founder @transhumanismau | Senior Tech & Innovation Manager @kpmgaustralia | Exec @sciencepartyaus