The Winners of Tech Cocktail’s SXSW Power Hour Pitch Jam Are…

In keeping with the fast pace of SXSW, we put 29 startups on stage at our SXSW Startup Celebration sponsored by CEA and .CO for 60 seconds each. There were talking phones, a bit of screaming, and the promise of a tattoo (more on that below).

Afterward, these startups showcased their products at the rockin’ Tech Cocktail mixer, which attracted thousands of tech enthusiasts to the Stage on Sixth in Austin for free drinks, socializing, and the occasional ninja sighting.

Below are the day’s winners. Reader’s choice was awarded based on our hottest startup poll, and the rest were based on judges’ voting on the day of the event. All winners get a copy of Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses by CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro; an iPad case from Punchcase; and $1,000 of hosting credit per month for one year from Softlayer, in addition to marketing and other help.

Best in Show

Fleksy by Syntellia (San Francisco, CA): Fleksy makes typing as easy, natural, and fast on a mobile as it is on a laptop. A huge step up in productivity when using a touchscreen. This technology will enable mobile devices to become real content creation devices, and achieve wider user adoption and use.

Additional prizes: A CEA startup membership and an all-access pass to the 2014 CES; and 10,000 Business ExtrAA points from American Airlines (equivalent to four roundtrips).

Reader’s Choice 

Mr. Arlo: Mr. Arlo is the best way to discover, collect, and organize travel plans that fit your personality and budget. Using beautiful photos, sophisticated technology, and intelligent recommendations, Mr. Arlo simplifies discovery, planning, collection, and collaboration to create travel experiences that are unique and personalized, all with a low-price guarantee.

Additional prize: 4,000 Business ExtrAA points from American Airlines (equivalent to two roundtrips).

Best in show, late stage

ALICE Receptionist (Las Vegas, NV): ALICE Receptionist is poised to revolutionize visitor management for office buildings and commercial buildings. A.L.I.C.E., which stands for A Live Interactive Communication Experience, enables businesses to present live customer service video agents on any number of kiosks, video displays, and other digital signage devices, enabling two-way or one-way video interaction with customers and employees.

Additional prize: 8,000 Business ExtrAA points from American Airlines (equivalent to four roundtrips).

Best in show, runner up

Tista Games (Washington DC): Tista Games is the HBO of games, a platform for regularly scheduled episodic games that keeps players engaged and monetizing for years, not just weeks. We distribute our games through the cloud (with no download required) and release new episodes like television shows: for example, on Tuesdays at 6 pm. By using our episodic model and game development experience, we can validate hits at 20 percent of the cost of traditional game developers.

Additional prize: 6,000 Business ExtrAA points from American Airlines (equivalent to three roundtrips).

Most disruptive

Homesnap (Washington, DC): Fusing unrivaled big data, dead simple home search, and a built-in social graph with the magic and fun of its iconic feature – just snap a picture of any home to find out all about it – Homesnap’s mobile real estate platform is unique. From casual browsers to serious buyers to professional agents, Homesnap makes it simple and fun to discover and share homes in the real world or right from your couch.

Additional prize: 4,000 Business ExtrAA points from American Airlines (equivalent to two roundtrips).

Best pitch

Speek (Washington, DC): Speek provides super simple, free, and visual conference calls. Choose an easy-to-remember personal link (i.e., for your calls, instead of fumbling for a traditional phone number and PIN. Click the link to start or join a call from your phone, a web or mobile browser, VOIP, or SMS. Once you’re on the call, know who’s joined, know who’s talking, share files, view social profiles, and comment, mute, and add/remove participants.

(Speek promised the audience that, if they won, CEO John Bracken would get their logo tattooed on his butt. And, indeed, he did.)

Additional prize: 4,000 Business ExtrAA points from American Airlines (equivalent to two roundtrips).

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Written by:
Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact
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