SXSW 2021 Pitch Winners Revolutionize Common Sense Solutions to Tomorrow’s Problems

Entertainment - holoride - Finalist

"What is your customer acquisition strategy?" is a typical question for startups. And many of the 40 companies pitching in eight categories during the 13th annual SXSW Pitch Event showed they had a clear roadmap for attracting ideal customers to grow their businesses.

But no matter the target audience, we all benefit from the inventive and ingenious minds solving tomorrow’s problems in both emerging and traditional industries like artificial intelligence, health, sustainability, and transportation.

The trends at this year’s event point to the positive impacts of advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data in making our lives smarter, safer, and more productive. A few highlights from this year’s incredible group of SXSW Pitch finalist include:

Using XR, holoride takes everyday car rides and transforms them into hyper-immersive experiences by capturing the real-time physical feedback of the vehicle you’re in, making every journey fun for children and adults. If you’re behind the wheel, MicroTraffic makes it safer to drive by measuring near-misses at intersections with AI technology.

Other companies aim to help often overlooked populations. Honest Jobs uses AI to make “smart matches” between people impacted by the criminal justice system and potential employers, with the goal of reducing rejection and providing a quicker path to employment. Leda Health began as the MeToo Kits Company, offering at-home sexual assault examination kits. But now the company is both revolutionizing forensic collection and testing while connecting survivors with medical professionals and supportive communities to help in the recovery process.

Congratulations to this year's eight category winners, as well as a handful of other recipients, who were announced at the SXSW Pitch Award Ceremony after the two-day virtual competition.

2021 SXSW Pitch Winners

Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Voice: Parrot

Enterprise & Smart Data: Persefoni

Entertainment, Gaming & Content: holoride

Future of Work: Honest Job

Health, Wearables & Wellbeing: Leda Health

Innovative World Technologies: MolyWorks

Smart Cities, Transportation & Logistics: MicroTraffic

Social & Culture: Applied Bioplastics

Best Alternative/One Minute Speed Pitch: Colorcast

Best Bootstrap Company (the company who has done the most with least): Refiberd

Best DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion): Sisu Global Health

Best in Show: holoride

Congratulations to all the winners, participants, and judges from this year’s SXSW Pitch!

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By Hailey Hess