Six Savvy Startups from the 2012 SXSW Accelerator

Most of you probably know what South by Southwest is: a blowout music, film and trade fair that happens early every Spring in Austin, Texas. Since 1987, SXSW has taken Austin by storm to showcase some of the best and brightest talent across a host of different industries and arts in one festival.

The SXSW Interactive (branch of the festival focusing on emerging technologies and innovations) has for the past four years featured the Accelerator. In the competition, the hottest new tech-based startups present before “a live audience, as well as a panel of expert judges [who] will be discovering advancements in social media, mobile applications, web entertainment, and more.” Eighteen finalists are chosen from these presentations, and invited back to compete for 1st place overall. Here are six of these innovations that we found particularly fascinating.

SceneTap
Austin, TX

One of the hottest new innovations in customer analytics, SceneTap gives you a unique and detailed view of the vibe and demographics of a crowd – without being creepy. Using anonymous facial detection technology and video-based software, this new technology tracks the size of a crowd in a particular venue, as well as male/female ratio and average age. This can be utilized by both venue operators to track their consumer base, and by consumers as a social network.

Hoot.Me
Austin, TX

While there are many social networking spaces designed to improve the student experience, Hoot.me takes it to a whole new level. This Facebook application brings together in a single platform a slew of easy to use student tools, from video conferencing to smart chat that allows students to work with mathematical equations. Tutoring is also in the works for this app, adding to its potential as the next big student resource.

Toopher
Austin, TX
Toopher is adds an additional layer of protection to your password security through your smartphone. Whithout ever leaving your pocket, your smartphone is geographically tracked by Toopher to ensure that it’s really you who is signing on to your accounts, rather than a hacker thousands of miles away.

Sizeseeker
Philadelphia, PA

Sizeseeker is revolutionizing the shopping experience by using 3D cameras to scan your measurements and match you to perfectly fitting clothing. An great aid to both retailers and customers, Sizeseeker saves time and money by matching you with what fits you perfectly.

GooseChase
Ontario, Canada

Bringing the chaos and fun of scavenger into the smartphone world, GooseChase lets you plan a series of challenge for your friends and compete with them using the power of the cloud. Take photos of your team building a human pyramid or cramming into a bathroom stall and submit them to others playing the game. Rack up points in real time by having everyone else vote on your achievements. Also use the built-in stopwatch feature to pace your team and  keep track of your progress!

Simplee
Palo Alto, CA

Simplee connects with medical insurance companies and reduces and sorts information about your expenses in an easy-to-read format, saving you time, money, and stress. The app also features benefit alerts, payment reminders, deductible updates, and electronic bill payments.

Interested to see who ended up taking home blue ribbon? Check them out here. Have a favorite innovation at SXSW that wasn’t listed in this post? Tell us about it in the comments!

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