March 17, 2015
One of my absolute favorite parts of #SXSW is the trade show that happens inside the Austin Convention Center – it’s fun, colorful, and filled to the brim with technologies that blow my mind. Every year I enjoy walking around and hunting for the coolest startup companies I can find, and this year was no exception.
This year there was an awesome diversity of startups from all around the US, and I met with a cohort of founders who shared their passions and ideas with me. There’s something special about the #SXSW trade show – it has a way of bringing people together like I’ve never seen before.
My 10 favorite startups at this year’s SXSW Trade Show are:
- Graphiti (San Diego, CA): GRAPHITI makes sharing more expressive by giving you limitless ways to “bomb” photos and live websites, then privately share them with your friends. It features street inspired tools like spray paint, stencils, slaps (aka stickers), and markers. The platform delivers a unique way to move beyond normal posts and comments so you can make a visual statement with everything you share.
- Traitify (Baltimore, MD): Traitify was founded on the belief that personality should be accessible and understandable to everyone. Initially conceived as a recommendations engine, Traitify has grown to examine personality in all facets of life. From careers, relationships, media preferences, and more, Traitify offers a diverse set of assessments to aid self-discovery and decision making. In effect it’s a modernized version of the Myers-Briggs personality test and very fun to take.
- Wonderwoof (St. Louis, MO): WonderWoof is a way of staying connected to your dog through tracking their health and social activites. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a business meeting in Manhattan or out with friends in Shoreditch, you can now stay connected with your dog everywhere you go. Imagine being able to capture the love of your dog and carry him or her with you always – WonderWoof means you can.
- Wildworks (Salt Lake City, UT): Founded by game industry veterans in 2003, WildWorks has assembled a team of internationally acclaimed artists, coders, game designers, educators, and safety experts. Together they create interactive entertainment for kids and their families – their biggest product to date is Animal Jam, an online playground for kids that gets them interested in science from a young age. They’ve partnered with National Geographic to ensure the kids playing the game get the best content possible.
- Scanalytics Inc. (Milwaukee, WI): Heat maps are great when you’re measuring activity on your app interface, but what about your physical, in-person events? Every floor plan, campaign, and industry is unique, and the Scanalytics SoleSensor – a connected floor panel – is designed to accommodate them all. They offer subscription plans ranging from one-day events up to year-long deployments, and allow the plug-and-play technology to be moved, expanded, and updated as your strategy evolves.
- Apploi (New York City): Apploi’s mission is to revolutionize the quality of the job application experience for those on both sides of the hiring fence. They make hiring simple and accessible for all by utilizing mobile technology on a Zillow-like interface that displays available jobs in your area on a map. In-store kiosks in turn provide an immediate solution to employers with “walk-in” applications, and the geo-location feature on Apploi ensures that applicants searching for jobs on a personal device will be shown the jobs closest to them first.
- SkaterTrainer (Tulsa, OK): News flash – skateboarding is hard. SkaterTrainer was built to help people overcome the barriers to entry for the sport and learn tricks fast. The team developed four rubberized wheel covers, shaped as squares, that slide over the wheels of your board and effectively lock them into place. It’s a total game changer knowing that your board won’t run away on you, and people all over the world have been using it to nail their tricks.
- Xocial (Ontario, Canada): Saying thanks feels awesome, hearing thanks feels awesome, but xocial isn’t just a fun way to spread awesomeness. It actually gives users the tools to measure the diﬀerence they’re making in the lives of others. We as humans value what we can measure, and measurement allows us to see change. Xocial helps us set goals, compare results, find motivation, and inspire others and then ranks your ‘brownie point’ score on a social platform.
- Tribalry (Orem, UT): Tribalry is a social-platform designed for families and other groups interested in building meaningful connection through a private network. For example, if you’re a surfer you can build a ‘tribe’ and invite other to your private network. You can push media, news, and announcements to them on a local, city, or national level to keep everybody connected.
- Sol Cuff (Austin, TX): If you have you ever been stuck in a situation where you hopelessly watched the battery in your phone, GPS, or other device die, then you definitely know it’s not a great feeling. It’s especially frustrating when a power source is either unavailable or extremely difficult and inconvenient to access. The Sol Cuff is a 3D printed, solar powered wristband that charges numerous devices and has radial illuminating LED’s. Their initial Kickstarter campaign was funded past $10,000 to $11,890.
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