SXSW kicked off on Friday, bringing folks in tech, film, media and music together for the annual festival in Austin, Texas.
Since the event draws an early-adopting crowd on the hunt for the next breakout hit, the fest has historically served as a launch pad for new apps to take off. Previous SXSW breakouts include: Twitter (2008), Foursquare (2009), Highlight (2012), Secret (2014), and Meerkat (2015).
This year, however, SXSW is shifting away from a place for startups to launch apps. Big tech companies focused more on branded *experiences* — from Snap's “Snap House” to Patreon's “House of Creativity.”
And politics came to the festival in a big way this year. Up-and-comers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Beto O’Rourke were there, and presidential contenders like Amy Klobuchar, Howard Schultz, Elizabeth Warren and John Hickenlooper all spoke at the fest.
Electric scooters also made a splash at SXSW, as they became the primary way to get around.
While the jury's still out on a hot new breakout app from SXSW this year, the winners of the festival's annual pitch competition were announced yesterday. Here are a few of the winning apps you should check out:
Tankee is the first gaming network for kids 🎮
Nebula Genomics wants to put all of you on the blockchain 😳
Supportiv is an anonymous support network 💬
Twenty Tables helps people find meals at local restaurants for $6 🍔
Healium uses VR to lower stress 😌
We're also keeping an eye on Traverse, a new immersive audio platform that will let you map your surroundings with AR. It's set to launch at SXSW today.