South by Southwest (SXSW: web, twitter) is like a rave party for tech, music and film but startups are the real stars (in particular of the “interactive” segment of SXSW). Twitter (2007) and Foursquare (2009) rose to fame there, as several other startups did over the last few years.
The SXSW Accelerator is a competition that can open the door to stardom and investment for YOUR tech or music startup!
IMPORTANT: Entry Deadline Is Friday, November 18
The SXSW Accelerator in brief:
Take advantage of the opportunity to showcase your emerging technology product or service in front of industry leaders by participating in the 2012 SXSW Accelerator. This event takes place on March 12 and 13 as a part of the SXSW Interactive Festival, during which you can improve your product launch, attract venture capitalists, polish your elevator pitch, receive media exposure, build brand awareness, network, socialize and experience all that SXSW Interactive has to offer. The deadline to register is Friday, November 18, less than a few months away, so visit http://sxsw.com/interactive/accelerator/enter.
The dynamics of the competition are quite simple. The SXSW Accelerator happens on March 12-14 , when the finalist startups will pitch their tech products to a roster of selected judges. Past judges have included Chris Hughes of Facebook and Jumo, Paul Graham of Y Combinator, Craig Newmark of Craiglist, Robert Scoble of Rackspace and Scobleizer, Jeff Pulver of 140 Conference and other tech starts.
There are a few conditions to apply being the main ones the following:
- A company’s product / service must have launched no earlier than March, 13, 2011.
- A company’s product / service must not be launched after June 13, 2012.
- Companies will be allowed to submit only one product / services to the SXSW Accelerator event. Companies who submit more than one product / services will not be eligible to participate in the SXSW Accelerator event.
- Founders of the applying startup must retain some portion of ownership in the company to be eligible to participate.
- Must not have raised over five million in funds from combined funding sources.
Now, there is a non-refundable application fee of $175, which is required from all applicants who would like to be considered for participation in the event (applying does not make you a finalist of the competition).
Applicants must be within one of the six categories:
- Entertainment Technologies – This category pertains to applications and technologies for film, music, television, and gaming, as well as new and hybrid forms of entertainment that are reinventing the ways in which we relax, unwind, and have fun
- Mobile Technologies – This category pertains to applications and those technologies related to that which allows users to connect by portable devices such as tablets, phones and other connected devices.
- Innovative Web Technologies – This category pertains to applications and technologies that have the ambition to change the Web as we know it. Right now we’re seeing lots of innovation in real-time search, augmented reality, the “Web Wide World”, artificial intelligence and the Semantic Web, recommendations technologies, personalization technologies, and “big data”. But that’s just the beginning
- Social Media and Social Networking Technologies – This category pertains to applications and technologies that help people connect. With this category we’re looking for new and interesting uses, cases, as well as technologies that push the boundaries of how we find, follow and share information with others
- Health Technologies – This category is about patient-centric health applications and technologies that connect patients, families, physicians, pharmacists, care providers (hospital, clinics) and benefit providers-aka the care team-to share timely, relevant health data and drive better outcomes at affordable and sustainable cost levels.
- News-Related Technologies – This category pertains to applications and technologies to support the dissemination of news and information for communities, both on the content side or on the underlying business model side (for example advertising). This could include technologies related to data, text, documents, mapping, engagement, among other areas.
Disclaimer: I’m an advisor of the 2012 SXSW Accelerator. I do get a complimentary ticket to participate of SXSW 2012 but I receive no other kind of economic compensation and I don’t have any role in the selection or voting of the finalists. Contact me if you need more information about the competition.