5 Startups Giving It Their Best at SXSW

New twist on the elevator pitch

The road to SXSW glory is paved with good ideas, and this year is no different even if some of past festival standouts are not along for the ride. For instance, Foursquare and GroupMe decided to sit this one out, but that just means that maybe, just maybe, a new startup contender could stand out. The interactive portion of SXSW started officially Friday, but on Thursday local Austin tech companies showed off their companies at the Startup Crawl. On Friday, the Startup Village at the Hilton hotel hosted the Releaseit event for select tech founders to share their new companies. We asked a few to give us their best Instagram pitches, and here are five that are looking to breakout:

Banter’s Tony Chen explained why the world is ready for a new messaging app, even if the space is crowded with the likes of WhatsApp. Banter is a throwback to chat rooms for a mobile age.

Foodsitter’s Katharina Kolos is all about the sharing economy, and she’s sharing home-cooked meals. Her company vets personal chefs who will come to your home and stockpile meals.

Tom Klein of iM5 thinks he has a unique take on social networks, and launched his app at SXSW Realeasit. He says his social network is not about liking something, it’s about doing something.

A company called Sht Lst attended the local Austin Startup Crawl to talk about its version of Yelp, only the only reviews its members share are negative. The app is all about complaining and turning to social media to exact revenge on companies and brands that slighted you.


GoToMeeting took over some prime real estate right across from the Austin Convention Center, and gave out free grilled cheeses for anyone who downloaded their app, which facilitates mobile video conferencing for the corporate world.