SXSW Pitch

These are the German candidates for awards at the SXSW Festival

For the global creative and digital scene, the SXSW Festival in Austin, from March 13th to 22nd, is an exciting highlight. The German delegation is certainly one of the largest of all and Hamburg Startups has been playing an important role for many years at it. This year we will be reporting in detail again. Today we would like to introduce the candidates from Germany who will be participating in one of the famous SXSW competitions. We are pleased to say that Hamburg is particularly well represented there!

Two Munich startups are competing at the SXSW Pitch

The most important competition for startups at South by Southwest is without any doubt the SXSW Pitch. The success of Tinnitracks in 2015 is unforgettable. Actively supported by Hamburg Startups, it was the first ever victory for a German participant. 2020, the 12th edition of the competition will once again have 50 applicants competing in ten categories. Our special attention is focused on two young companies from Munich, which we would like to shortly introduce here.

Artisense has a direct connection to Hamburg, as this startup was part of the third batch of the Airbus BizLab and participated in the support programme of the accelerator in the Hanseatic city at the end of 2017/beginning of 2018. In the category “Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Voice”, Artsense applies with a solution for real-time localization and navigation of autonomous vehicles and robots. It had its first successes with the creation of complex 3D graphics. The processing of image data also plays an important role with the new product, just like artificial intelligence.

The Holoride team
The Holoride team (photo:

Holoride has qualified for the category “Augmented and Virtual Reality”. The Munich team transforms boring car rides into journeys to fantastic worlds. It combines navigation and vehicle data with the creative potential of Virtual Reality (VR). Thereby it avoids an annoying problem of this technology. Often the real movements and speed are not in harmony with the VR experience. This results in nausea. With Holoride this does not happen, the travel speed corresponds exactly to the virtual reality experience. A great way for passengers to pass the time, but not for riders, of course.

Hamburg has four chances at the Innovation Awards

A traditional part of SXSW’s program are the Innovation Awards, which are presented for the 23rd time. In 13 categories five candidates present their innovative and creative projects. The competition from the USA and all over the world is fierce. Therefore it is particularly remarkable, that four Hamburg participants have made it to the final.

The Hamburg-based advertising agency Jung von Matt is represented twice. In the category “AI & Machine Learning”, the agency is present with the project Rebuilt From Memories. It was created together with Instagram. Large parts of the Syrian city of Aleppo were destroyed in the war, many historical buildings only exist in photographs. Rebuild From Memories now uses such photos to create 3D models of the Umayyad Mosque, for example. In this way, these buildings are preserved for future generations, at least in virtual form.

With a completely different topic, Jung von Matt takes part in the category “Speculative Design”. Protegé is the first underwear with a built-in alarm system. What sounds a bit strange at first, has a serious background. The briefs developed by the underwear brand AIKYOU contain a special yarn, that corresponds to an app. If this yarn is torn during a rape, the app alerts the police and also sends the exact crime location.

In the “Student Innovation” category, the Hamburg branch of the Miami Ad School has even two jokers. For example Safe ID allows victims of domestic violence to contact the police via smartphone in a safe way. The video above shows how this works. The project “The True Type Freedom (TTF) by Monotype” addresses a serious issue, too. It aims to give people free access to the internet in China, which is largely censored and controlled. It uses the Chinese script and thus places hidden messages, that censors cannot decipher automatically.

Hamburg Startups supports the German delegation at SXSW

Since 2014, Hamburg Startups has been making sure that startups can show that they have it at the SXSW in Austin, Texas. From 13rh to 22nd March 2020, Austin will once again become the hub of the creative and digital world. Traditionally, the German delegation is one of the strongest. Thanks to the support of our partners from Hamburg Invest, Baden-Württemberg International, the Sutor Bank, Vast Forward, german.innovation and Klitschko Ventures a total of four startups will have a place in our shared flats, the festival ticket and access to exclusive events. We will report about the festival exclusively and focus on the successes and experiences of the German participants.

New to Austin is german.innovation, an open collaborative network founded with the aim of strengthening and connecting innovative creatives, founders, companies and scientists. The presence is made possible by the commitment and financial support of the cities of Hamburg and Munich, the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate and numerous partners in business and science.

Picture on top: SXSW Pitch 2019 (Photo: Beverly Schulze)