For the eight startups participating in the third annual SXSW Music Accelerator yesterday, describing how their companies help musicians find that sweet spot between connecting to their existing and potential fans and the reality to make money could have been a harrowing experience. Fortunately for the spokespeople pitching a panel of judges and co-emcees Brad King and Evan Lowenstein, their responses showed a genuine desire to ensure artists' success in the rapidly evolving music industry.
Congratulations to this year's two finalists and Grand Prize winner:
Best bootstrapped Music
BioBeats believes that your heartbeat has the power to change everything. The founders are creating technologies that leverage biometric data to react to users emotional and physiological states, dynamically creating and discovering music that is appropriate to that state.
Working from the premise that people turn to other people, not algorithms, to discover new music, TastemakerX aims to simplify that process through social games. The platform allows users to express musical tastes and preferences by building virtual collections of the artists they love, and connect with like-minded music fans.
And this year's Grand Prize winner, ROLI, evolved from the piano keyboard to become a new musical instrument. The SEA (Sensory, Elastic and Adaptive) Interfaces bridge the gap between acoustic and digital music by putting the control of pitch, volume and timbre right at your fingertips.
The winner of the Best Bootstrap Company (the company who has done the most with least) is Cambridge, Mass.-based AudioCommon.
Kudos to all finalists and the Grand Prize winner for a job well done, and thanks to all participants, finalists, judges, emcees, organizers, and audience members for making SXSW Accelerator a success once again. For more information about the SXSW Music Accelerator, go to http://sxsw.com/music/startupvillage/accelerator.