SXSW 2019 Pitch

theman Blog

The annual SXSW Accelerator Pitch Competition is now simply called “SXSW Pitch” and it is time to apply!

Deadline to apply: Thursday, November 15th at 11:59pm CST.

The eleventh annual SXSW Pitch (formerly Accelerator) returns to showcase some of the most exciting tech innovations – could your project or startup be one? Enter before the Thursday, November 15 entry deadline for a chance to put your startup before a live audience and panel of expert judges, and on the front line of product demonstrations and funding opportunities.

The SXSW Pitch is proud to be the catalyst of many dreams and successes. From 2009 to 2018, 70% of all 453 finalists received over $5.43 billion in funding, and 17% were acquired by Fortune 500 companies. Join the ranks of our prestigious alumni SiriKloutHipmunkTango, and more.

Read on to discover top reasons to apply from SXSW Pitch as well as what items staff and advisors look for in a successful application.

Top 5 Reasons to Enter

  1. Product validation – Opportunity to showcase your project and startup on a global stage with the goal of matching each startup with top investors both nationally and internationally.
  2. Work on your Startup Elevator Pitch via pre-event coaching. SXSW Pitch Coaches work closely with the finalists to assist them in their onstage presentations.
  3. Over $4k in prize money awarded to the winners of each SXSW Pitch Event category (see below).
  4. Marketing of startup finalists on SXSW media channels and global media channels that attend the event.
  5. Access to the highest level of influencers from investors, media, and thought leaders.

Top 5 Tips for Entry Success

  1. Meet the minimum – review the SXSW Pitch Eligibility Criteria
  2. Showcasing a startup that is innovative and disruptive
  3. Share a video – there’s no better way to convey a thorough sense of your project than through a demo video
  4. Showcase what makes you different in the market (i.e. What is your market differentiator? What is unique about your project? Why should people be excited about it?)
  5. Highlight key members from your team and/or those supporting your startup (Staff, Advisory Board, Board Members, Mentors, Funders, Accelerator and/or Incubator involvement, etc.)

Enter the 201 SXSW Pitch

Please write in that you learned of the competition from me, Todd Tate – SXSW Pitch Advisory Board Member.

Applicants must be within one of the ten categories:

Artificial Intelligence

Technologies related to simulation of intelligent behavior by machines, a machine’s capability to improve and perform tasks on its own. These startups seek to address medical diagnosis, remote sensing, electronic trading, transportation, tutoring, speech and visual recognition, and many more on the subject.

Augmented & Virtual Reality

Technologies using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), robotic automation and other novel visualization technologies, including applications for Cardboard, Oculus Rift, and other emerging offerings from industry giants. These applications may address such uses as gaming, entertainment, data visualization, education, medical care, warfare, transportation, and many more subjects.


Technologies using digital ledgers, decentralized internet, and other distributed applications as ways to structure and share data. These applications may address such uses as a cryptocurrency, supply chain, energy, media, global trade, security, and numerous other industries.

Enterprise & Smart Data

Technologies that facilitate the comprehension and application of informational data through workflows and analytics. These startups seek to improve productivity for businesses and/or individuals by using big data through a number of ways that include (but are not limited to) data collection, management, analysis, presentation, interpretation, security, and augmentation.

Entertainment & Content

Technologies and applications that are reinventing the ways in which we learn, relax and enjoy our time. Examples of included sectors include (but are not limited to) gaming, music, film, television, video, news, and publishing, streaming and digital storytelling, as well as new and hybrid forms of entertainment.

Health & Wearable

Technologies focused on human-centric health applications that connect the “health optimizer” and those with illnesses, their care teams, primary and specialist clinicians, inpatient and outpatient facilities, benefit providers, and corporate wellness programs to share timely, relevant health data and drive better outcomes at affordable and sustainable cost levels.

Hyper-Connected Communities

This category showcases new products, services, and apps that help hyper-connected communities (such as what occurs on-site at SXSW) better navigate and maximize their engagements. In addition to the kind of technologies that thrive in March in Austin, this category is for any creative and innovative app, product or service that does not fit elsewhere in the Accelerator lineup. Examples of technologies that might fit into this category include (but are not limited to) Internet of Things, energy, space, natural resources, agriculture, and robotics.

Social & Culture

Technologies that push the boundaries on how we navigate and interact in life with ourselves, our community, and our world. Examples of such sectors include (but are not limited to) social media, networking, dating, travel & hospitality, food or dining, fashion, the environment and social good.

Sports & Performance Data

Technologies impacting the before, during, and after in the sports and athletics sector. Whether geared towards novices or elite professionals, innovations in this field include (but are not limited to) the way we experience, prepare for, and participate in sports and outdoor recreation by using hardware or software applications focused on data-centric intelligence, measurement, and other analytical forms.

Transportation & Delivery

Technologies transforming and optimizing the transportation industry on a consumer and enterprise level. These innovations create efficiency in the way we move from point A to point B through (but are not limited to) the connected car, data routing applications, on-demand or ridesharing services, autonomous vehicles, logistics, delivery, and other new disruptive means.

We SXSW announce the Judges before the event?

Past Judges Include: Tim Draper of DFJ, John Sculley of Apple/Pepsi, Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners, Constantijn van Oranje of Startup Delta, Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, Paul Graham of Y Combinator, Kay Koplovitz of Springboard Growth Capital/USA Network Co-Founder, Naval Ravikant of AngelList, Guy Kawasaki of Alltop, Cyan Banister of Founders Fund, Werner Vogels of Amazon, Shervin Pishevar of Sherpa Capital, Christine Herron of Intel Capital, Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures, Albert Wenger of Union Square Venture, Bob Metcalfe of 3Com/Ethernet Co-Founder, and Laurie Segall of CNN to name a few…

Where can I get more Information?

Visit the SXSW Pitch website at:

Or reach out to me today and I can help you: