SXSW Accelerator

March 11-12, 2017

The ninth annual SXSW Accelerator Startup Pitch Competition 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. Enter the 2017 SXSW Accelerator before the Friday, November 11, 2016 deadline.

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

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



The ninth annual SXSW Accelerator® Startup Pitch Competition 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 Startup Pitch Competition 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 before the Friday, November 11, 2016 deadline.

SXSW Accelerator Alums: Over $3.1 Billion in Funding

The SXSW Accelerator startup competition 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 Skully Helmet, WeVideo and Trustev that promise to disrupt and get attention very soon.

Past SXSW Accelerator competition finalist 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 »


For a listing of the Frequently Asked Questions about the SXSW Accelerator pitch event read the SXSW Accelerator FAQ.


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


Enter the SXSW Accelerator

Enter your project for the 2017 SXSW Accelerator pitch event. For this highly competitive event, only 50 entries will be selected as finalists and invited to present in March in Austin. Read more about the entry process below.

Entry deadline is Friday, November 11, 2016 at 11:59pm CT.

Enter Your Project

Attend SXSW 2017

Join us for unparalleled discovery, networking, and inspiration at the 2017 SXSW Conference & Festivals in Austin, TX from March 10-19.

Register Today

Entry Process Overview


Startups must apply to be considered for the SXSW Accelerator Startup Pitch Competition. 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 startup competition.
  • 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 startup competition categories.
  • Hotel Information

    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.

    2017 Categories

    For the SXSW Accelerator startup competition, 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 & Wearable
    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 event. Their hard work, diligence, and support in bringing together the future of the technology industry to the SXSW Accelerator event is greatly appreciated.

    Kaan Akin
    Hackquarters-Startup Accelerator
    Istanbul, Turkey

    Karen Allen
    Karen Allen Consulting
    Los Angeles, CA

    Julia Belaya
    Plug and Play Tech Center
    Sunnyvale, CA

    Shawna Butler
    Singularity University
    Austin, TX

    Cameo Carlson
    Borman Entertainment
    Nashville, TN

    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

    Stephen Deng
    Caribou Digital- DFS Lab
    Seattle, WA

    Jonathan Gottfried
    Major League Hacking
    New York, NY

    Cedric Grignard
    Invest in Lyon Agency
    Lyon, France

    Kimberly Guiry
    Las Vegas, NV

    Michael Gursha
    Newhouse School, Syracuse University
    Syracuse, NY

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

    Bruce Houghton
    Skyline Music |
    Roanoke, VA

    Eric Kavanagh
    The Bloor Group
    Austin, TX

    Milan Koch
    Venice, CA

    Jennifer Lee
    San Francisco, CA

    Ofir Leitner
    Israel Mobile Summit
    Tel Aviv, Israel

    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

    Huy Nguyen Trieu
    The Disruptive Group
    London, United Kingdom

    Cagdas Onen
    Istanbul, Turkey

    Joey Pomerenke
    Scotch & Pretzels
    Dallas, TX

    Ingrid Riley
    Kingston, Jamaica

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

    Joy Schoffler
    Leverage PR
    Austin, TX

    Mike Smith
    New York, NY

    Unity Stoakes
    Startup Health
    Brooklyn, NY

    Sebastien Tanguay
    Le CAMP
    Quebec, Canada

    Todd Tate
    San Francisco, CA

    Rick Turoczy
    Portland, OR

    Amy Webb
    Future Today Institute
    Washington, DC

    Hubert Zajicek
    Health Wildcatters
    Dallas, TX

    Brian Zisk
    SF MusicTech Summit
    San Francisco, CA

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    2016 Recap


    Emcees & Judges | Qualifying Committee & Coaches

    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 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 SXSW Accelerator Qualifying Committee, Coaches and On-site 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 applicants and is responsible for validating them 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 on-stage presentations.


    Ben Dyer
    Qualifying Committee Facilitator
    University of Texas at Austin

    Brian Lang
    On-site Coach Facilitator
    Energizing Health

    Greg Wright
    Pre-Event Coaches Facilitator
    University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business

    Qualifiers, Coaches and On-Site Coaches

    Karen Allen
    On-site Coach
    Karen Allen Consulting

    Sivaram Arabandi, MD
    On-site Coach

    Tony Averbeck

    Katie Baker
    Kauffman Foundation

    Bart Bohn
    Austin Technology Incubator

    Kim Bond Evan
    On-site Coach
    Seremedi, Inc

    Kara Bortone
    On-site Coach
    Johnson & Johnson Innovation | JLABS

    Zach Brandon
    On-site Coach
    Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

    Mollie Cain
    Tech Wilcatters

    Bill Clark
    On-site Coach

    Michael Crider
    The Crider Company

    Randall Crowder
    On-site Coach
    TEXO Ventures

    Dean Cruse
    Union Metrics

    Ken Demarest

    Dorit Donoviel
    On-site Coach

    Jeffrey Frey
    On-site Coach
    UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

    Juliana Garaizar
    On-site Coach
    Houston Angel Network

    Benjamin Glenn
    On-site Coach
    Shay Glenn LLP

    Jonathan Ha

    Yael Hochberg
    On-site Coach
    Rice University

    Monica Landers

    Deborah Mansfield
    Houston Technology Center

    Lev Mass
    On-site Coach
    XSeed Capital

    Brian McQuary
    United Technologies

    Lesa Mitchell
    On-site Coach
    Network for Scale

    Roberto Moctezuma
    Chai One

    Mitchell Mom
    Rock Health

    Marc Nathan

    Barry O’Brien
    On-site Coach
    Silicon Valley Bank

    Colin Osburn
    W2O Group

    Hesam Panahi
    On-site Coach
    University of Houston

    Emily Rocchaggiani
    On-site Coach

    Lindsay Schell

    Jason Seats
    TechStars Austin

    Laura Shapland
    On-site Coach

    Christopher Shonk
    On-site Coach
    ATX Seed Ventures

    Sameer Soleja
    Molecule Software

    Mike Steely

    Mark Streich

    Chris Treadaway
    Polygraph Media

    Cindy WalkerPeach
    Austin Technology Incubator, University of Texas

    Sharon Wallace
    Mbira Group

    Steve Welch
    On-site Coach

    Stephen White

    Ron Yerkes

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