Last month we brought you information about a promotional package available to startups at this years South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) event, a popular place each year to launch new products. This year SXSWi will be holding their second annual Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator competition where a recently released list of 32 finalist companies representing innovative web technologies, entertainment, and social media (both business and personal) will battle for the chance to be named one of four champions.
Among the notable innovative web technology finalists is metaio, a company on the cutting edge of augmented reality whose new Unifeye Mobile software development kit was announced just yesterday. From the entertainment category is Are You Watching This?!, an innovative product that will notify you or your DVR if a sporting event might become an “instant classic” using algorithms and live stats analysis.
Most of the applicants, however, represented the two social media categories, including Mobile Roadie, a mobile app development service like iSites or AppMakr which allows for the fast creation of iPhone and Android applications. Another social media startup vying for one of the top four spots at SXSWi is the popular Sequoia Capital-backed mobile contact sharing serivce Bump.
After the first day, 12 companies – three from each category – will be whittled from the original 32 pitches by a panel of judges. On day two, these twelve finalists will compete to be the winner of their respective category. Brad King, Dean McCall, Chris Sacca, and Tim Street will host the event which will be held March 15th and 16th in Austin, Texas. Though it’s obviously too late to apply, startups should pay close attention to the innovative technologies that come from the competition and look into applying for next year’s event.