Innovators from across the globe spent the first weekend of South By Southwest showcasing their newest ideas, latest trends and the most recent hi-tech designs. Our Stef Manisero shows us what we can expect in the future of technology.
It's no secret Austin is a mecca for startups. What better week than SXSW to come by and pitch an idea of your own.
"It's like Shark Tank, but on steroids," laughed Chris Valentine, SXSW Accelerator event producer.
"The range of innovation is striking," said Charlie Flanagan, founder of Crnsy.
The startup world's best and brightest in the spotlight, arguing why their ideas are the latest and greatest.
"The companies who have participated in it have gone on and secured $2.6 billion of funding, 63 percent of those companies have secured some sort of funding, 13 percent have been acquired by the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter," explained Valentine.
Forty-eight companies from around the globe pitched ideas to a panel of expert judges. Including Prynt, the first-ever smartphone case that prints photos instantly, changing moments into everlasting memories.
"All you have to do is hold your phone over the photo and it comes back to life," demonstrated Clemente Perrot, founder of Prynt.
Another pitch was a platform where people can exchange currencies called Crnsy.
Creators say the app will help reduce transaction fees.
"For traditional currency exchanges it can be about 20 to 40 percent of the transaction. For traditional ATMs or credit cards it can be 12 to 15 percent of the transaction. We bring the cost down to just 50 cents in every $100 changed," explained Flanagan.
Valentine says it's the exposure that's priceless.
"They're getting that on-site feedback from basically the top 10, top 20 [venture capital] firms from around the world, offering that kind of feedback in such a short period of time is so invaluable," he added.
Six years ago, a little something named Siri was first pitched at the competition.
"You knew it was going to be special," remembered Valentine.
As for what's next, only time will tell.
SXSW has a long tradition of startups finding success at the festival. Perhaps we'll see some of these companies come back next year fully funded.
The winners in each category took home about $5,000 in prize money.
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