SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event

March 11-12, 2017

The ninth annual SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event will take place at SXSW Startup Village on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. A live audience, as well as a panel of expert judges, will discover advancements in various sectors of emerging technology.

SXSW Accelerator presentations at SXSW 2016. Photo by Amanda Brooks Piela.

SXSW Accelerator presentations at SXSW 2016. Photo by Amanda Brooks Piela.

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The ninth annual SXSW Accelerator® Pitch Event will take place at SXSW Startup Village at the Hilton Austin Downtown on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. A live audience, as well as a panel of expert judges, will discover advancements in various sectors of emerging technology. The best part – product demonstrations by the most ambitious talents in the world with the creative new ideas to change it. Catch a glimpse of the industry’s future, with a guided tour by our emcees and judges.

2017 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event will feature 50 Interactive technology companies from 10 different categories. These companies will dazzle a live audience with their company pitch and Q&A with our panel of judges. We will feature 25 companies on Saturday, March 11 and 25 companies on Sunday, March 12. On Sunday, March 12 at 7pm we will host the SXSW Accelerator Award Ceremony and announce a winner from each category.

These 50 companies are selected by the SXSW Screening Committee from the hundreds of startups from across the United States and around the world who apply for SXSW Accelerator.

2017 applications are now closed.


For any press inquiries to SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event, SXSW Startup Village and the SXSW Interactive Festival, please contact


For a listing of the Frequently Asked Questions about the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event read the SXSW Accelerator FAQ.

For any SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event inquiries, please contact

SXSW Accelerator Alums: Over $3.1 Billion in Funding

The SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event proudly applauds our alums and the millions of funding along the way. Over the years, we launched our startup platform for finalists with great ideas with the goal of matching them with top investors both nationally and internationally.

From our inaugural year of 23 participants to a total of 353 through 2016, we are proud to be the catalyst of many dreams and successes. Some of our prestigious alums you may know include Klout, Hipmunk, Wildfire, Siri, Foodspotting and Tango.

Some winners you may not know, but will have garnered funding in the millions like WeVideo and Trustev that promise to disrupt and get attention very soon.

Past SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event finalists from 2009 to 2016 achieved the following:

  • 353 companies = 71% funding
  • 14% were acquired
  • Total through 2016= $3.10 billion
    Does not include certain undisclosed funding. This data is as of June 1, 2016.

View 2016 Accelerator Recap here »

2017 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event Judges


SXSW Accelerator relies on hand-picked judges, qualified to determine the viability of a startup based on their demonstrated business and investment experience. The judging process will determine which of the finalists has the most innovative product or service. The following individuals have agreed to contribute their expertise toward the success of the SXSW Accelerator event.

Milena Adamian, MD
Azimuth Ventures
New York, NY

Jeremy Bloom
Los Angeles, CA

Elizabeth Burstein
Wildcat Venture Partners
New York, NY

Sylvain Carle
Real Ventures
Montreal, Canada

Karen Cheah
Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific
Singapore, Singapore

Kevin Colleran
Slow Ventures
Boston, MA

Paige Craig
Arena Ventures
Los Angeles, CA

Don Dodge
Boston, MA

Stacy Feld
Johnson and Johnson
San Francisco, CA

Stephen Forte
Fresco Capital
Menlo Park, CA

Jacqueline Garavente
Union Square Ventures
New York, NY

Richard Garriott
Austin, TX

Renata George
San Francisco, CA

Bruce Haymes
Wilton, CT

Eric Hellweg
Harvard Business Review
Boston, MA

Christine Herron
Intel Capital
San Francisco, CA

Jody Holtzman
Washington, DC

Leah Hunter
Fast Company
San Francisco, CA

Mohammad Islam
San Francisco, CA

Mohanjit Jolly
Iron Pillar
Palo Alto, CA

Tucker Kain
Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles, CA

Matt Kaufman
San Francisco, CA

Nina Kjellson
Canaan Partners
San Francisco, CA

Kay Koplovitz
Springboard Enterprise
New York, NY

Scott Lenet
Touchdown Ventures
Los Angeles, CA

Phil Libin
General Catalyst
San Francisco, CA

Alice Lloyd George
RRE Ventures
New York, NY

Jesse Middleton
Flybridge Capital Partner
New York, NY

Hany Nada
GGV Capital
Menlo Park, CA

Shervin Pishevar
Sherpa Capital
San Francisco, CA

Mia Saini
Oars + Alps
Chicago, IL

Bryan Stolle
Wildcat Ventures
San Francisco

Kathleen Utecht
Core Innovation Capital
San Francisco, CA

Anis Uzzaman
Fenox Venture Capital
San Jose, CA

Helga Valfells
NSA Ventures
Reykjavik, Iceland

Yossi Vardi
International Technologies
Tel Aviv, Israel

Robin Wauters
Brussels, Belgium

Michael Yang
Comcast Ventures
Palo Alto, CA

Elizabeth Yin
500 Startups
Mountain View, CA


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Spotlight on the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event

The ninth annual SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event will take place at SXSW Startup Village on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. A live audience, as well as a panel of expert judges, will discover advancements in various sectors of emerging technology.

2017 Categories


For the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event, companies must fall within one of the category descriptions listed below:

Augmented & Virtual Reality
Technologies using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and other novel visualization technologies, including applications for Cardboard, Oculus Rift, and other emerging offerings from industry giants. These applications may address such uses as gaming, entertainment, data visualization, education, medical care, warfare, transportation, and many more subject.

Enterprise & Smart Data
Technologies that facilitate the comprehension and application of informational data through workflows and analytics. These startups seek to improve productivity for businesses and/or individuals by using big data through a number of ways that include (but are not limited to) data collection, management, analysis, presentation, interpretation, and augmentation.

Entertainment & Content
Technologies and applications that are reinventing the ways in which we learn, relax and enjoy our time. Examples of included sectors include (but are not limited to) gaming, music, film, television, video, news and publishing, streaming and digital storytelling, as well as new and hybrid forms of entertainment.

Health & Wearables
Technologies focused on human-centric health applications that connect the “health optimizer” and those with illnesses, their care teams, primary and specialist clinicians, inpatient and outpatient facilities, benefit providers, and corporate wellness programs to share timely, relevant health data and drive better outcomes at affordable and sustainable cost levels.

Innovative World
Any creative and innovative technology that does not fit in another category is encouraged to apply here. Examples of technologies that are currently seeing innovation include (but are not limited) to the Internet of Things, energy, space, natural resources, agriculture, and robotics.

Payment & FinTech
Technologies relating to the consumer and business financial space that include delivering new payment methods, new forms of currency, extending credit and other lending processes, equities trading, transaction processing, asset management, insurance, and/or any other functions traditionally provided by banks and investment banks.

Security & Privacy
Technologies revolutionizing sectors related to data security and privacy on the consumer and enterprise level. With interests rising in this field, examples of innovations include (but are not limited to) cybersecurity, encryption, data storage, infrastructure protection, incident analytics, ad targeting, identity management, and many other forms.

Social & Culture
Technologies that push the boundaries on how we navigate and interact in life with ourselves, our community, and our world. Examples of such sectors include (but are not limited to) social media, networking, dating, travel & hospitality, food or dining, fashion, the environment and social good.

Technologies impacting the before, during, and after in the sports and athletics sector. Whether geared towards novices or elite professionals, innovations in this field include (but are not limited to) the way we experience, prepare for, and participate in sports and outdoor recreation by using hardware or software applications focused on data-centric intelligence, measurement, and other analytical forms.

Technologies transforming and optimizing the transportation industry on a consumer and enterprise level. These innovations create efficiency in the way we move from point A to point B through (but are not limited to) the connected car, data routing applications, on-demand or ridesharing services, autonomous vehicles, and other new disruptive means.

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2017 SXSW Accelerator Advisory Board


The individuals listed below were instrumental to the success of the 2017 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event. Their hard work, diligence, and support in bringing together the future of the technology industry to the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event is greatly appreciated.

Adi Abili
San Francisco, CA

Kaan Akin
Hackquarters-Startup Accelerator
Istanbul, Turkey

Karen Allen
Karen Allen Consulting
Los Angeles, CA

Kathleen Baireuther
Austin Technology Incubator
Austin, TX

Julia Belaya
Plug and Play Tech Center
Sunnyvale, CA

Ilias Benjelloun
MLT New Tech
Montreal, Canada

Seth Berger
Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia, PA

Taylor Bloom

Shawna Butler
Singularity University
Austin, TX

Jason Cahill
New York, NY

Cameo Carlson
Borman Entertainment
Nashville, TN

Willy Chu
San Francisco, CA

Ben Clayton
Pop Up Accelerator
Montreal, Quebec

David Cohn
Advance Digital
Berkeley, CA

Bart Collet
Advance Healthcare
Antwerp, Belgium

Steven Cook
Marietta, GA

Mike Cotton
Zone Startups Sports & Media
Toronto, Ontario

Cris De Luca
Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Cambridge, MA

Kristof De Mey
Victoris – Ghent University
Ghent, Belgium

Frank Denbow
Startup Threads
Englewood, NJ

Stephen Deng
Caribou Digital- DFS Lab
Seattle, WA

Chris Denson
Innovation Crush
Los Angeles, CA

Michael Dillhyon
Zug, Switzerland

Joshua Duboff
Reuters News Agency
New York, NY

Ryan Falvey
San Francisco, CA

Jenny Fielding
New York, NY

Andrew Forsdick
Sage Bus Advisors/Vivicast Media
Memphis, TN

Alex Foster
Palo Alto, CA

Chris Furmanski
Stanford Health Care
Palo Alto, CA

Sonia Gaillard
Office of the Governor – State of Texas
Austin, TX

Parm Gill
Gill Group
Ottawa, Canada

Jonathan Gottfried
Major League Hacking
New York, NY

Cedric Grignard
Invest in Lyon Agency
Lyon, France

Nate Gross
Doximity and Rock Health
San Francisco, CA

Salome Gudmundsdottir
Icelandic Startups
Reykjavik, Iceland

Kimberly Guiry
Las Vegas, NV

Michael Gursha
Newhouse School, Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

Lorin Hamlin
Under Armour
Baltimore, MD

Sissel Hansen
Startup Everywhere
Berlin, Germany

Cortney Harding
Cortney Harding Consulting
Brooklyn, NY

Irena Harris
Canadian Technology Accelerator
New York, NY

Tim Hayden
Stadia Ventures/Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO

Arno Hermans
Sport eXperience
Eindhoven, Netherlands

Krisztina Holly
The Art of Manufacturing podcast
Los Angeles, CA

Bruce Houghton
Skyline Music |
Roanoke, VA

Clyde Hutchinson
Journey Partners
Dublin, Ireland

Ayse Inal
Smart Network
Istanbul, Turkey

Eric Kavanagh
The Bloor Group
Austin, TX

Greg Kirkorsky
Northbrook, IL

Joseph Kosper
moovel Global
Austin, TX

Thomas Knoll
Minneapolis, MN

Milan Koch
Venice, CA

Joshua Krammes
San Francisco, CA

Om Kundu
InspirAVE – The Internet of Savings
New York, NY

Jan C. Kuster
Founders Fight Club
Munich, Germany

Daniel Laursen
Copenhagen, Denmark

Jennifer Lee
San Francisco, CA

Ofir Leitner
Israel Mobile Summit
Tel Aviv, Israel

Brian Mac Mahon
Expert DOJO
San Monica, CA

Akif Malik
Sports Colab
Hood River, OR

Lisa Mallner
Nordic Startup Bits
Copenhagen, Denmark

Eric Mathews
Start Co.
Memphis, TN

Jonathan Milne
Invest Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada

Antonio Montoya
Rocket Hatch
Huntsville, AL

Kim Moore
Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce
Austin, TX

Dough Newcomb
C3 Group
Hood River, OR

Cagdas Onen
Istanbul, Turkey

Dan Pacheco
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

Carleen Pan
New York, NY

Joey Pomerenke
Scotch & Pretzels
Dallas, TX

Sean Power
Toronto, Canada

Paul Reynolds
Vertex Lab
Portland, OR

John Richards
Startup Ignition, LLC
Provo, UT

Ingrid Riley
Kingston, Jamaica

Dan Roselli
Packard Place & QueenCity Fintech
Charlotte, NC

Matthew Santorelli
Walden Cohen Ventures
New York, NY

Jan Schaffer
J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism
Washington, DC

Joy Schoffler
Leverage PR
Austin, TX

Helen Situ
Newport Beach, CA

Jennifer Skjellum
Birmingham, AL

Mike Smith
New York, NY

Jewell Sparks
Berlin, Germany

Unity Stoakes
Startup Health
Brooklyn, NY

Danielle Szetho
FinTech Australia
Sydney , Australia

Stefano Tambornini
Chiavari, Italy

Sebastien Tanguay
Quebec, Canada

Todd Tate
San Francisco, CA

Huy Nguyen Trieu
The Disruptive Group
London, United Kingdom

Rick Turoczy
Portland, OR

Amy Webb
Future Today Institute
Washington, DC

Ken Westin
Portland, OR

Kevin Winston
Los Angeles, CA

Raven Zachary
Object Theory
Portland, OR

Gloria Zaionz
Innovative Learning Network
San Francisco, CA

Hubert Zajicek
Health Wildcatters
Dallas, TX

Jay Zalowitz
San Francisco, CA

Peter Zana
Black Lab Sports
Boulder, CO

Brian Zisk
SF MusicTech Summit
San Francisco, CA

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2017 SXSW Accelerator Qualifying Committee & Coaches


SXSW Accelerator Qualifying Committee, Coaches, and On-site Coaches contribute significantly to the success of SXSW Accelerator. The Qualifying Committee focuses on the intake of all plans submitted and is responsible for the validating the applications for accuracy, completeness, veracity, and proper categorization. With their vast experience, SXSW Accelerator Coaches work closely with the finalists in the months leading up to the event to assist them in their onstage presentations. On-site Coaches work with the finalists as they rehearse their presentation on Friday, March 10.


Lindsey Schell
Qualifier (Facilitator)

Dean Cruse
Union Metrics
Qualifier (Facilitator)

Greg Wright
University of Houston
Pre-Event Coach (Facilitator)

Brian Lang
Energizing Health
On-site Coach (Facilitator)

Qualifiers, Coaches, and On-Site Coaches

Sivaram Arabandi
On-Site Coach

Tony Averbeck

Katie Baker
Kauffman Foundation
Pre-Event Coach & On-Site Coach

Steve Barsh
On-Site Coach

Bart Bohn
Austin Technology Incubator and BuildSec Foundry
Qualifier & Pre-Event Coach

Kim Bond-Evans
On-Site Coach

Kara Bortone
Johnson & Johnson
Pre-Event Coach

Zach Brandon
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
On-Site Coach

William Clark
On-Site Coach

Kyle Cox
ATP Fund
Pre-Event Coach

Michael Crider
The Crider Company

Randall Crowder
TEXO Ventures
On-Site Coach

Cassandra Cuellar
Andrews Kurth, LLP

Dorit Donoviel
Baylor College of Medicine, Center for Space Medicine
On-Site Coach

David Fossas
Independent Marketing Consultant and Techstars Mentor

Jeff Frey
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
On-Site Coach

Juliana Garaizar
Houston Angel Network
On-Site Coach

Benjamin Glenn
Shay Glenn LLP
On-Site Coach

Balaji Gopinath
On-Site Coach

Jonathan Ha
Pre-Event Coach

Joanna Heinrich
Spoke Marketing

Yael Hochberg
Rice/MIT/Accelerator Rankings
On-Site Coach

Monica Landers

Blanca Lesmes
BB Imaging and Healthcare Consulting

Deborah Mansfield
Houston Technology Center
Pre-Event Coach

Lesa Mitchell
Merian Ventures
On-Site Coach

Roberto Moctezuma
Fractal River
Pre-Event Coach

Mitchell Mom
Rock Health
Pre-Event Coach

Nadia Morris
On-Site Coach

Marc Nathan
Miller Egan
Pre-Event Coach

Hesam Panahi
Rice University
On-Site Coach

Emily Roccheggiani
On-Site Coach

Mark Schmulen
Pre-Event Coach

Amos Schwartzfarb
Techstars Austin
Pre-Event Coach

Laura Shapland
CareSet System
On-Site Coach

Chris Shonk
ATX Seed Ventures
On Site Coach

Mike Steely
Pre-Event Coach

Chris Treadaway
Polygraph Media

Cindy Walker-Peach
Austin Technology Incubator

Stephen White
Pre-Event Coach

Ron Yerkes
Pre-Event Coach

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Entry Process Overview


2017 applications are now closed.

Startups must apply to be considered for the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event. Please read below for application details.


  • A company’s product / service must have launched no earlier than September 11, 2015.
  • A company’s product / service must not be launched after June 11, 2017.
  • Companies will be allowed to submit only one product / service to the SXSW Accelerator event.
  • Companies who submit more than one product / service will not be eligible to participate in the SXSW Accelerator Pitch 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.
  • Product or service must fall within one of the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event categories.
  • Hotel Information for Finalists

    If you are selected as SXSW Accelerator finalist, you have access to a limited number of rooms being protected for participants through SXSW Housing & Travel. Rooms are limited to one per registrant and will sell out fast so be sure to make your hotel reservation as soon as you are registered. Requests can be completed in your Shopping Cart or SXsocial account. In the meantime, check out SXSW Housing & Travel for more information about our hotels, pricing, reservation policies, and travel information.

    2016 Recap


    2016 Emcees | Judges | Winners

    2016 SXSW Accelerator Emcees and Judges

    SXSW Accelerator relies on hand-picked judges and emcees, qualified to determine the viability of a startup based on their demonstrated business and investment experience. The judging process will determine which of the finalists has the most innovative product or service. The following individuals have agreed to contribute their expertise toward the success of the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event.

    2016 SXSW Accelerator Emcees

    Martin Bryant
    The Next Web

    Tim Chang
    Managing Director

    Roger Hamilton
    Entrepreneurs Institute

    Leah Hunter
    Fast Company

    Andrew Hyde
    Startup Weekend Founder

    Chris Kay
    Senior Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer

    Charlene Li
    Founder and CEO

    Niki Manby
    Chief Operating Officer
    Citi Ventures

    Tucker Max
    Book In A Box

    Bob Metcalfe
    Professor of Innovation
    The University of Texas at Austin

    Monty Munford
    The Economist

    Mia Saini
    Oars + Alps

    Chris Shipley
    Startup Mentor

    Joseph “Yossi” Vardi
    Tech Innovator

    Robin Wauters

    Founding Editor

    2016 SXSW Accelerator Judges

    Renata Akhunova
    Formula VC Venture Fund

    David Aronoff
    General Partner
    Flybridge Capital Partners

    Cyan Banister

    Vivek Bhatia

    David Bohrman
    The Bohrman Group

    Leslie Bottorff
    Managing Director
    GE Ventures

    Sylvain Carle
    Real Ventures

    Kevin Colleran
    Managing Director
    Slow Ventures

    Paige Craig
    Managing Partner

    Laura Deming
    The Longevity Fund

    Don Dodge
    Developer Relations

    Stacy Feld
    Senior Director, Consumer Scientific Innovation
    Johnson and Johnson Innovation

    Greg Fettes
    24-7 Intouch

    Dylan Flinn
    Director of Investments
    Rothenberg Ventures

    Raj Ganguly
    Co-Founder, Partner
    B Capital Group

    Tim Hayden
    Managing Director
    Stadia Ventures

    Christine Herron
    Intel Capital

    Jody Holtzman
    SVP – Thought Leadership

    Charles Hudson
    SoftTech VC

    Nina Kjellson
    General Partner
    Canaan Ventures

    Kay Koplovitz
    USA Networks | Springboard Enterprises

    Ethan Kurzweil
    Bessemer Venture Partners

    Scott Lenet
    Touchdown Ventures

    Ben Ling
    Managing Partner
    Khosla Ventures

    Kat Manalac
    Y Combinator

    Andrew McLaughlin

    Hany Nada
    Managing Director
    GGV Capital

    CJ Reim
    Highland Capital Partners

    Robert F Smith
    Founder & CEO
    Vista Equity Partners

    Bryan Stolle
    Founding Partner
    Wildcat Ventures

    Phil Toronto

    Anis Uzzaman
    General Partner & CEO

    Weston Wamp
    Founding Director
    Lamp Post Group

    Hamet Watt
    Venture Partner
    Upfront Ventures

    Bedy Yang
    Managing Partner

    500 Startups; +Innovators

    2016 Winners


    San Francisco, CA
    Parknav provides real-time on-street parking availability data to automotive, fleet, real-estate and internet companies. Its service covers over 70 cities 24/7 in the US and EU, and its customers embed this data into navigation systems, maps and real estate listings.


    PopUp Play
    Austin, TX
    PopUp Play creates experiences for kids that blend screen time with play time.


    San Francisco, CA
    MUrgency is using the power of mobile technology and networks to make emergency medical response available to anyone, anytime, anywhere with just one tap on a mobile phone or through auto alerts from sensors / wearables for high risk population.


    Pittsburgh, PA
    Rorus makes the Filter Pack, the first comprehensive solution for carrying and instantly purifying drinking water, removing both biological and chemical contaminants. We use new nanotechnology and user-centered design to make the simplest filters in the world for humanitarian relief.

    Portland, OR is a blockchain-based exchange for trading stocks and bonds issued by early stage companies. Our software is used by financial firms who wish to build and trade software-defined ETFs. We’re a Techstars company based in Portland, OR.


    Berlin, Germany
    Your reality. Shared. Capture a 360 degree videos on your mobile in seconds, share it to any social network & view it in VR.

    The winner of the Best Bootstrap Company (the company who has done the most with least): Hearken
    The winner of the Most Innovative Company:
    And the winner of the One-Minute Pitch among alternates: Knocki

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