Interactive Innovation Awards

March 9-11, 2019

Honoring the most forward-thinking advancements in the digital space. Explore 2018’s most innovative digital projects at the Finalist Showcase on Saturday, March 9, followed by the Interactive Innovation Awards Presented by KPMG on Monday, March 11.

21st Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards - Photo by Bob Johnson

21st Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards - Photo by Bob Johnson

About Interactive Innovation Awards


The 22nd annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Presented by KPMG recognize the most exciting tech developments in the connected world.

Starting in June, 2018, innovators and creators from around the world entered their new projects to vie for top honors in this unique, long-running SXSW competition. Five finalists in each of the 13 categories were selected to come to SXSW this March to demonstrate their projects for SXSW attendees and the Innovation Awards Finalist Judges.

Experience these exciting new technologies for yourself at the 4th annual SXSW Interactive Awards Finalist Showcase on Saturday, March 9. Then come and see who will take home the trophies, at the Interactive Innovation Awards Ceremony on the evening of Monday, March 11.

See the 4th annual SXSW Interactive Awards Finalist Showcase floor plan.

Interactive Innovation Awards Presented by KPMG

KPMG is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International with 189,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 152 countries. Using a cross-functional and collaborative approach, we help propel the world’s leading organizations toward a successful future while optimizing current performance. KPMG has embarked on its own transformational journey by investing in artificial intelligence and we are helping our clients understand how these emerging technologies will revolutionize the way every industry does business to lead to what some call the fourth industrial revolution.

Interactive Innovation Awards Presented by KPMG

Finalist Showcase


Explore 2018’s most innovative digital projects hands-on at the 4th annual SXSW Interactive Awards Finalist Showcase.

65 Finalists across all 13 competition categories will be on hand to demo their innovative projects for SXSW attendees, who will have the chance to vote for their choice to win the People’s Choice Award. Also during the Showcase, the Innovation Awards judges will experience each project hands-on and vote to determine the winner in each category, as well as the winner of the Best of Show Award.

All award winners will be announced at the 22nd annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Ceremony presented by KPMG on Monday, March 11, 2019.



The 22nd annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Ceremony presented by KPMG is where is all comes together.

This long-standing Interactive Festival tradition celebrates some of the most exciting innovations at SXSW. The ceremony and receptions provide for a full evening of fun, food, drinks and entertainment.

The lively presenters and entertainment guests make the show bounce along, as we not only acknowledge the finalists in each category and announce the winners, but we also take a moment to honor the winners of other SXSW competitions and announce the SXSW Interactive Festival Hall of Fame honoree

Interactive Innovation Awards Emcee

Beth Stelling

Beth Stelling is a Chicago-bred comedian best known for her Netflix special The Standups and appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Conan. She’s written for I Love You America with Sarah Silverman, HBO’s Crashing, Comedy Central’s Another Period and most recently the film Good Boys premiering here at SXSW. Beth has also guest starred on Comedy Central’s hit show Corporate and Amazon’s Red Oaks opposite Jennifer Grey.

Interactive Innovation Awards Special Guest

Moritz Simon Geist

Moritz Simon Geist is a performer, musicologist, and robotics engineer. He started because he wants to invent the future of electronic music – with robots! Geist’s projects range from robotic music performances to robotic sound installations. His robotic instruments and performances have been shown in numerous European festivals and exhibitions throughout the last years. He collaborates with performers such as Mouse on Mars and Robert Lippok and teaches on the progression of technology and society at the NYU Berlin. He was awarded the Artist-In-Residence-Stipend for the Free State of Saxony, the Visual Music Award 2017 and a working grant of the Initiative Music 2017/18. His background is both as a classical musician and a robotics engineer, with expertise in prototyping technologies and 3D-Printing.

“Tripods One” is a futuristic robotic sound performance. It sketches a possible future of human-machine interaction – with robots and electronic music.

The kinetic sculpture is played live as a music instrument in an AV-performance. Small mechanics and physical tone-generators insides the sculpture produce the noises used in the musical context. The sculpture envisions a futuristic sound device which plays contemporary electronic music through music robots. In the performance, Geist is still present on stage controlling and interacting with the machine.

2019 Finalists


The SXSW Innovation Awards celebrate the most forward-thinking developments in the connected world. Below are the 13 award categories finalists and special honors that we will recognize at the 2019 Innovation Awards Ceremony on Monday, March 11, 2019.

AI & Machine Learning

Honoring digital systems which have the ability to adapt to changing data, stimuli, and circumstances; replicating learning, problem solving, and cognition.

AE110 Artificial Perception System by AEye
Pleasanton, California, USA
AEye’s Artificial Perception System enables autonomous vehicles to “Think like a robot, perceive like a human”

Animaker: Animal Creation A.I. by The Tech Museum of Innovation, OMAi, Resonai
San Jose, California, USA
LEGO bricks meet artificial intelligence meet your soaring imagination. Meet #Animaker. Make animals. Watch A.I. bring them to life.

iN: Cognitive Patient Care Assistant by Inspiren
New York, New York, USA
Inspiren’s team of nurses and technologists creates the first cognitive patient care assistant to analyze the real-time physical and digital environment of patients to eradicate harm caused by human error.

Starkey Livio AI Healthable Hearing Aids by Starkey Hearing Technologies
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA
Livio AI, world’s first healthable hearing aid with artificial intelligence & integrated sensors, brain & body health tracking, fall detection & connectivity to Amazon Alexa!

Textio Hire by Textio
Seattle, Washington, USA
For the first time ever, know who will respond to your writing, before you hit publish.

Health, Med, & BioTech

Honoring the best new technology to improve the quality, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care in health and medicine.

Butterfly iQ by Butterfly Network
Guilford, Connecticut, USA
Butterfly iQ is the world’s first handheld whole-body ultrasound system, democratizing healthcare and providing global access to medical imaging. The device connects directly to a smartphone and will soon offer AI interpretation and AR tele-guidance to enhance patient care.

Fjord & Auris: Revolutionizing Endoscopy by Fjord | Accenture Interactive
San Francisco, California, USA
Fjord joined forces with Auris Health to pioneer robotic bronchoscopy for diagnostic and therapeutic lung procedures. Inspired by gaming, we designed a solution to provide superior reach, vision and precision, compared to traditional tools, for faster, earlier lung cancer detection.

HealthVoyager by Boston Children’s Hospital and Klick Health
Boston, Massachusetts, USA | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
HealthVoyager™ is a healthcare app that enables doctors to create customized VR medical reports and take their patients on 3D tours inside their bodies to provide them with a better understanding of their health conditions and test results.

Swarm by Unanimous AI
San Francisco, California, USA
Swarm connects groups of people into a super-intelligent Hive Mind. A recent study at Stanford Medical School showed that small groups of doctors using Swarm achieved 33% fewer error when diagnosing chest X-rays.  This could have profound implications on the future of medicine.

VisiPlate by Avisi Technologies, LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

VisiPlate is a nanotechnology-based implant for treating glaucoma. Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, affecting 80 million people globally by 2020. VisiPlate is 1000x times thinner than competitors, translating to better patient outcomes and cost savings.

Innovation in Connecting People

Honoring the most forward-thinking ways to connect and communicate with others.

Living First Languages Digital Platform by The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation
Edgecliff, New South Wales, Australia
The Living First Language Project protects, revitalizes and preserves Indigenous Languages by facilitating the development of community-driven, interactive, dynamic literacy apps. Our platform empowers communities to be their own change-makers, teachers and language experts.

LynQ, First Smart People Compass by LynQ
New York, New York, USA
Location, decentralized. Locate people or assets for miles, anywhere in the world — all without the need for phones, networks or any infrastructure. LynQ technology doesn’t just provide peace of mind, it saves lives — and can be integrated into a broad range of devices.

Secure Connectivity in the Quantum Age by Quantum Xchange
Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Phio by Quantum Xchange is the ultimate solution for secure communications, providing unbreakable quantum encryption to keep high-value assets safe today and in the not-so-distant quantum future.

The Elements of AI Online Course by Reaktor & University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland
The Elements of AI online course – teaching the basics of AI to 1% of the world’s population.

The Wayback – 1953 Queens Coronation by The Wayback / Thomas Thomas Films
London, United Kingdom
The Wayback is a Virtual Reality film series that recreates positive moments from our past – designed to take people living with dementia, carers and loved ones back in time to the sights and sounds of yesteryear to spark positive conversations and connections.

Music & Audio Innovation

Honoring the most innovative devices or services that change and improve the way we listen to, compose and enjoy music.

RX 7 by iZotope by iZotope, Inc.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
iZotope’s RX is the industry standard for audio repair and enhancement software. The latest generation delivers industry-first features designed specifically for musicians, including Music Rebalance and an intelligent Repair Assistant.

NSynth Super by Google Creative Lab
London, United Kingdom
Making music using sounds generated with Machine Learning, NSynth Super is an experimental physical interface for the NSynth machine learning algorithm.

nuraphone – A Self-Learning Headphone by nura
Melbourne, Australia
Personalised sound pioneer nura launched its hotly anticipated nuraphone – a reinvention of the headphone that looks, feels and works in a radically different way to conventional headphones.

Paradiddle: Drumming in Virtual Reality by Emre Tanirgan
Menlo Park, California, USA
Paradiddle reimagines drumming for virtual reality, and lets anyone play the drums without the limitations of the real world. It opens up endless possibilities for learning how to drum, through an intuitive interface, a realistic sound system and recording-playback capabilities.

StudioX by Perspective
Santa Monica, California, USA
StudioX by Perspective is an application that allows musicians, producers, and DJs to control the parameters of their favorite audio recording software in a virtual world. This game-changing software gives artists greater control and more artistic freedom over their music.

New Economy

Honoring those redefining the exchange of goods and services, from the sharing economy, to virtual currency, to micro-finance, to mobile-device-payment systems, and beyond.

Biometric Payments & Age Validation by CLEAR
New York, New York, USA
This year, CLEAR launched one-tap biometric payments & age validation — the first time in the United States that biometrics replace an ID for age validation and credit card for purchase in a single touch.

Everyday is Payday for Hourly Workers by Branch
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Forever changing the two-week pay period, Branch launched Pay to help hourly employees forecast and access their pay. Pay unlocks much-needed financial liquidity and insight for hourly workers and gives large enterprises a long-awaited solution to increase employee retention.

Hash Finance by Josephmark and Hash Finance
Laguna Beach, California, USA
A stock research platform, helping investors get ahead of likely changes in price and volume by deep analysis of social media patterns and other non-traditional data.

The Open-Source Ecosystem by Civic
San Francisco, California, USA
Civic is transforming the way we prove who we are and creating a new identity economy. Imagine a world where you can control your identity. You verify your identity once on your phone and use it, again and again, to buy a drink, check into a hotel, or open an account.

Toast Go™:The Future of POS In Your Hand by Toast, Inc.
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
With Toast Go (™), the Future of the POS Is In Your Hand. A fully integrated handheld POS system designed & built for restaurants, establishments can boost revenue, increase efficiency, and delight their guests.

Robotics & Hardware

Honoring the hottest new advances in the field of robotics & hardware.

Delivering Long-range Wireless Power by Wi-Charge
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Wi-Charge offers consumers freedom from power cords, charging pads and battery changes . It is the only company able to provide enough wireless power at a significant distance to charge mobile phones and smart home devices, without even thinking about it.

Markforged Metal X 3D Printing System by Markforged Inc.
Watertown, Massachusetts, USA
An end-to-end manufacturing solution with everything you need to go from design to fully functional metal parts, the Markforged Metal X is the safest and most affordable metal 3D printing system for strong stainless steel parts that cut costs by 98%.

My Special Aflac Duck™ by Aflac, Sproutel, Carol Cone On Purpose & The Nation of Artists
Los Angeles, California, USA
My Special Aflac Duck is an innovative social robot, developed by Aflac with Sproutel, that uses interactive technology to help children cope with cancer. Aflac made a philanthropic commitment to donate one to every child, ages 3-13, newly diagnosed with cancer in America.

The World’s Most Advanced Social Robot by Furhat Robotics AB
Stockholm, Sweden
Furhat Robotics is a Stockholm based startup building the world’s most advanced social robotics platform. We are a collective of doers and dreamers driven by one common goal: making the promise of social robots a reality.

Unistellar eVscope: Finally You’ll See by Unistellar
Marseille, France
Unistellar’s revolutionary light-accumulation technology allows its smart telescope to give consumers unparalleled crisp and detailed views of the universe. Thanks to a partnership with the SETI Institute, its users can help scientists make important astronomical discoveries.

Smart Cities, Transportation & Delivery

Honoring innovations in eco-friendly or sustainable energy, transportation, delivery and IoT technology, making life in the connected world a smarter, cleaner, greener, and more efficient Internet of Everything.’s Public Self-Driving Rides by
Mountain View, California, USA uses artificial intelligence to create self-driving systems that improve the state of transportation today.

Dubai Paperless Strategy by Smart Dubai
Duabi, United Arab Emirates
In 2021, Dubai government will go completely paper-free, digitizing all government transactions and eliminating more than 1 billion pieces of paper used every year. This is estimated to save over 130,000 trees annually!

Empowering Cities with Real-Time Data by Alibaba Cloud
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Alibaba Cloud presents ET City Brain at SXSW!! Utilizing real-time city data, ET City Brain optimizes urban public resources by instantly correcting defects in urban operations. We make cities smarter and more efficient with big data and AI technologies.

New York, New York, USA
KLM Care-E is an autonomous luggage trolley with a motherboard of gold. It guides you to any point of interest at the airport with its unique caring character.

Phyn Plus by Phyn
Torrance, California, USA
The Phyn Plus Smart Water Assistant + Shutoff uses patented, high-definition pressure wave sensing to alert you the second a leak is detected, mitigate costly damage through automatic shutoff, and diagnose potential problems in your plumbing system before they become an issue.

Social & Cultural Impact

Honoring the best new projects and technologies that focus on social & cultural impact and encourage communities and individuals to participate in and contribute to the betterment of society.

Aira – Visual Interpreter for the Blind by Aira
San Diego, California, USA
Aira provides the blind and low vision community with instant access to visual information by connecting a user (with smart glasses or a smartphone) to a remote human agent.

Belongings by SBS Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
What if you had to flee your homeland forever? What’s the one item you couldn’t live without? The people in this immersive installation were faced with that very decision.

‘Give a Minute of Your Time’ for UNICEF by The Monkeys
Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australiay
To help put an end to violence against children and change the way Australians give, we created ‘A Minute of Your Time’ for UNICEF Australia – a revolutionary digital donation platform that calculates the commercial worth of someone’s time into a tangible dollar amount to donate.

Real-Time Needs Registry for Crisis Response by NeedsList
Durham, North Carolina, USA
NeedsList increases speed and efficiency in crisis response by capturing needs in real time for those displaced by climate change and political conflict. Our registry aggregates needs via chatbot and web app to provide tangible ways for individuals, enterprises and governments to help.

Sandy Hook Promise – Live Moment of Silence by BBDO New York and Dini von Mueffling
New York, New York, USA
The “Live Moment of Silence” turned the traditional moment of silence into a powerful tool to prevent gun violence using the Facebook Live “donate” button.

Speculative Design

Honoring the best new work that uses design to re-think products, systems and worlds and address the challenges, opportunities and possibilities of the future.

Argus: Water Monitoring through Living Plants by Parsons School of Design, New York / MIT Media Lab
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
A living plant with nanosensors inside leaves that provides visual indicators for heavy metal toxicity in water.

Posthuman Habitats by foreground design agency
Los Angeles, California, USA
A prototype of a wearable, edible and compostable landscape system that allows the urban dweller to live off-the-grid, providing immediate access to sources of food in a time when severe drought, diminished soil quality and sea level rise threaten the future of food production.

Project Eagle Eye by Rolocule
Pune, Maharashtra, India
An interactive event management AR platform that empowers event managers to amplify their intelligence and capabilities, by leveraging the true power of AR to manage any large-scale event, connected by IoT, predictive AI, and real-time data insights.

veriScan by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Washington, DC, USA
veriScan: A Biometric Traveler Verification System Designed for Airports, By an Airport.

what3words Voice by what3words
Bayswater, London, United Kingdom
The only global addressing system built for voice. The world divided into 10ft x 10ft squares each with a unique 3 word address. Now the simplest way to input precise locations into a machine or vehicle using voice.

Student Innovation

Honoring exceptional student projects and startups that focus on interactive technology for the future.

AFTERMATH: Puerto Ricans Rebuild by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
In 2017, Hurricanes Maria and Isabel devastated nearly all aspects of Puerto Rican life. The recovery has been painful and slow. Aftermath shares the voices of Puerto Ricans in the wake of the killer storms, looking at the challenges they face with an indomitable spirit.

Bolo by Miami Ad School, San Francisco
San Francisco, California, USA
Bolo is a banking app created for millions of illiterates in India. India accounts for 37% of the global illiteracy population but their phones can be the key to financial inclusion, with Bolo, the voice-activated banking app.

Graphene Brain-Computer Interface by Brane Interface
Austin, Texas, USA
Using a single atomic layer of carbon (graphene) we are developing a non-invasive way to link a human brain with an external device such as a smartphone. Applications include allowing paralyzed people to easily move artificial limbs and fully immersive video games.

Samsung’s Homebuddy by Miami Ad School, San Francisco
San Francisco, California, USA
Samsung’s “Homebuddy” can prevent dementia in the comfort of the elderly’s home. By integrating IoT with Samsung’s household appliances and phones, “Homebuddy” exercises the brain to deter onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Thea by Moment/Verizon
New York, New York, USA
Enabling the visually impaired to better navigate their world.

Style & Wearable Tech

Honoring the new hardware that revolutionizes the convenience, comfort, functionality, efficiency, and fashion of having a device literally “on you.”

My Skin Track UV by L’Oréal’s La Roche-Posay
New York, New York, USA
Developed by L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, La Roche-Posay My Skin Track UV is the first battery-free wearable to measure UV exposure, with an app to help users make better sun-safe choices. The sensor comes in a sleek clip design and attaches to your clothes &/or accessories.

Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket by Ministry of Supply
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
A functional, beautiful, everything-proof jacket that uses artificial intelligence to learn your preferences, and automatically heats to your optimal temperature.

Tap – The Keyboard of the Future by Tap Systems, Inc.
Pasadena, California, USA
Compose text, play games, activate apps, point, click and scroll using just about any available surface with the Tap wearable device.

The Eargo Max Hearing Aid by Eargo
Mountain View, California, USA
The virtually invisible, rechargeable Eargo Max hearing aids fit discreetly inside your ear to provide an open fit and natural sound experience with all-day comfort and breathability.

The Lotus by SEAM by SEAM Technic
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Smarter personal safety for everyone.

Visual Media Experience

Honoring content creation and delivery that moves beyond passive viewership by providing a more immersive and engaging entertainment experience.

HBO’s SXSWestworld by Giant Spoon
New York, New York USA
We recreated Westworld at a secret location 30-minutes outside of Austin during SXSW. Promoted as a real-life trip to Westworld, our guests were free to explore our three acres and interact with 60 artificially intelligent hosts, as a 444-page script brought the park to life.

Ocean Mind Experience by Mackevision | Accenture Interactive
Hamburg, Germany
OCEAN MIND EXPERIENCE: The world’s first audiovisual 1:1 ReCreation of existing reality that’s denied to public access: The Humpback Whales of Hawaii. A 3D-360° fulldome experience aiming for a dialog on the oceans challenges: globalwarming/rising sealevels/overfishing/pollution.

Red Bull Rampage AR Experience by Red Bull Media House
Santa Monica, California, USA
Available exclusively on the Red Bull TV mobile app – the Red Bull Rampage AR Experience bridges the gap between attending the event on-site and watching it live via the world’s first integrated 360° live streams. Download the app and tap the hexagon icon in the upper left to drop in!

Tónandi by Sigur Rós & Magic Leap
Plantation, Florida, USA
Tónandi, which translates to sound spirit in Icelandic, is an interactive audio-visual exploration of the sounds and spirit of Sigur Rós.

Treatment Box by m ss ng p eces, 72andSunny, truth, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Ad Council
New York, New York, USA
In 2016 alone, 1 out of 5 young adult deaths were due to opioids. Treatment Box brings us along the journey of 26 year-old Rebekkah as she goes through detox for opioid addiction – showing young adults across America that this disease can happen to them.


Honoring breakthroughs in augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology including the application of new hardware or software which truly make the virtual a reality.

Fundamental Surgery by FundamentalVR
New York, New York, USA
Experience the flight simulator for surgeons. Combining VR with cutting edge haptics, Fundamental Surgery brings the same visuals, sounds and feelings of a real surgical procedure to surgeons and educators around the world.

HaptX Gloves by HaptX
San Luis Obispo, California, USA
HaptX Gloves let users experience realistic touch sensation and natural interaction in VR. Leading automotive, aerospace, and health care companies are using HaptX Gloves to improve the way they design products and learn tasks. Virtual reality has never felt this real.

Immersive Training Helps Keep Kids Safe by Accenture
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Things aren’t always as they seem. Accenture’s virtual reality solution uses immersive storytelling and interactive voice-based scenarios to completely transform how child welfare caseworkers learn to make decisions about when a home is safe for a child, and when it is not. by Subvrsive
Austin, Texas, USA
AR for everyone. No app required.

True AR SDK by WayRay
Zurich, Switzerland
We believe that the future of mobility is a world where car windshields double as a new content consumption device. WayRay created the True AR SDK, an augmented reality development framework that allows to build, test, and debug AR apps for in-vehicle holographic AR displays.

Special Honors

Best of Show

The finalist from the competition who overall best exemplifies the values of innovation, inspiration, and creativity.

People’s Choice Award

The public’s favorite finalist from the 2019 Interactive Innovation Awards.

Breakout Trend of the Event

Awarded to the trend that gains the most traction during SXSW Interactive 2019.

Interactive Hall of Fame

Honoring those exceptional trailblazers whose work has helped shape the connected world and who continue to guide the direction of the digital industry. Learn more about the Interactive Hall of Fame.

Entry Process Overview



A project or product submitted for the SXSW Innovation Awards must have launched or have been completely redesigned in calendar year 2018 (between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018).

For the purposes of the SXSW Innovation Awards eligibility, “launched” may mean any of the following things:

  • When a discovery is made / when a scientific paper is published / when a patent is approved
  • When a physical device is made tangible, (IE a prototype)
  • When the applicable regulatory body (FDA, FCC, etc.) approves a product / procedure for use
  • When the product is made commercially available
  • When a project or product is publicly released

Application Process

Applicants may enter multiple projects or products. There will be an additional application fee for each additional project or product entered.

A project or product may be entered in multiple categories. There will be an additional application fee for each additional category in which the project or product is entered.

Please be sure your application is complete before submitting it. Entries may not be changed or updated once the entry has begun the evaluation process by our panel of judges. If you believe you have made an error on your application or have submitted the entry prematurely, please contact immediately.

Entry Fee

A non-refundable entry fee is required from all applicants who would like to be considered for the above awards categories. All SXSW Innovation Awards entrants will be given the chance to register to attend SXSW Interactive at the lowest early bird rate. SXSW Innovation Awards finalists receive 2 complimentary Platinum registrations.

The entry period for the 2019 Interactive Innovation Awards is currently closed.

Judging and Evaluation

Each category is narrowed down to five finalists, based on the content of the entry’s application form, by a panel judges comprised of industry peers and experts. Entries will be graded by the following four criteria:

  • Creativity / Innovation
  • Form
  • Function
  • Overall Experience

Finalist Showcase

Five finalists in each of the 13 categories will be announced in December 2018. Each finalist entry receives 2 complimentary SXSW Platinum registrations (badges) to attend the 2019 SXSW Interactive Conference & Festival.

Finalists in each of the 13 categories will be given demo space at the SXSW Interactive Festival during the 4th annual SXSW Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase on Saturday, March 9, 2019. The showcase is an opportunity for awards finalists to exhibit their work to the community of SXSW registrants and is open to all badgeholders, who determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award. A finalist’s participation in this Showcase is required to be eligible to win the award in their respective category, as the final round of official judging to determine winners will take place at this March 9, 2019 event.

Winners in each of the 13 categories and all special honor awards will be announced at the 22nd annual SXSW Innovation Awards Ceremony on Monday, March 11, 2019.

Please Note: SXSW reserves the right to place applicants’ entries in the most relevant category at SXSW’s sole discretion. This includes changing an applicant entry’s category based on response to the event and/or the applicant choosing a non-relevant category.


No refund will be given to any application that has been submitted. If you have any concerns regarding our fees and/or the application process please email prior to entering an application. If you wish to register before being notified by SXSW on your status as an entrant to the SXSW Innovation Awards you will not be eligible for a refund.


All preliminary application information that is submitted is confidential and will be only viewed by SXSW staff and the selected judging panelists.


Questions? Check out the Innovation Awards FAQ.

More Questions

Have more questions? Email with any questions regarding the SXSW Innovation Awards.

2018 Interactive Innovation Awards Winners


2018 Winners

AI & Machine Learning

Swarm AI by Unanimous AI, San Francisco, CA

Health, Med, & BioTech

MasSpec Pen by the Eberlin Lab at The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Innovation in Connecting People

Read To Me by The Electric Factory, Montevideo, Uruguay

Music & Audio Innovation

Hands-Free Music Project by Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA

New Economy

Autonomous Operations Platform for Selfdriving Fleets by Ridecell, San Francisco, CA

Privacy & Security

Ghostery Privacy Ad Blocker by Ghostery, New York, NY

Responsive Design

The Coca-Cola Times Square Billboard
by space150, Atlanta, GA

Scifi No Longer

The Dermal Abyss: When Tattoos meet Biotechnology by MIT Media Lab, Harvard Medical School and UC Davis, Davis, CA

Smart Cities

Jacques-Cartier Bridge Interactive Illumination Concept by Moment Factory, with: Réalisations Montréal Inc., Ambiances Design Productions, ATOMIC3, Éclairage Public / Ombrages, Lucion Média and UDO Design.Project directed by Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc., Montreal, QC

Student Innovation

Facebook Messenger Blood Type Bots by Ryan Leckie and Jakub Straka, Miami Ad School Europe, Hamburg, Germany

Visual Media Experience

LEGO House Fish Designer by LEGO House / Trigger Global, Los Angeles, CA


Maestro: Empowering VR Storytelling Through Social Collaboration by Penrose Studios, San Francisco, CA

Wearable Tech

Jacquard™ by Google, Mountain View, CA

Special Honors

Interactive Hall of Fame

Eli Pariser

David Carr Prize

Amanda Gail

Meme of the Year

Savage Prince George

Breakout Trend of the Event

Globally Connected: we’re in this together

Speaker of the Event

Esther Perel

People’s Choice Award

The World’s First AI Financial Advisor by Pefin, New York, NY

Best of Show

Swarm AI by Unanimous AI, San Francisco, CA

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