Five Silicon Prairie startups that could get rowdy at SXSW 2012
Founders and teams of Silicon Prairie startups will be roaming the venues of SXSW and the streets of Austin, aiming to make their mark on the massive event.
As South by Southwest Interactive kicks off today, predictions for the influential event are coming to a close. What app will break out? What startup will be the one to meet? What panel will prove to be most interesting? Though these predictions are on the minds of major tech blogs, we're taking a different look into the crystal ball, focusing on the Silicon Prairie startups in Austin.
One will be a part of the accelerator, another has a chance to grab an award and a third has speaking spots on two notable panels. So instead of predicting the five Silicon Prairie startups that will break out, we present you with five Silicon Prairie startups that could get rowdy. The five that we expect to be busy networking at parties, adding miles to their soles and putting pit stains in their T-shirts (startup T-shirts, of course).
Hailing from: Cedar Rapids, Iowa*
What it is: RecBob is an online manager for recreational sports teams that uses Facebook's Open Graph and Twillio to automate and centralize communication among players, build confirmed rosters for each game, find subs and keep everyone engaged.
How it could get rowdy: The team road-tripped to Austin in a RecBob-branded RV with fresh RecBob uniforms in their bags. Though its app won't launch into beta until spring, it's giving SXSW attendees a sneak peek of one of its features in a marketing campaign it's calling The RecBob SXSW Challenge, a tournament of off-the-wall pick-up games and obstacle courses, Amanda Styron of RecBob said in an email an Thursday. Attendees interested in participating in the challenge can register online at play.recbob.com, which will sign them up to receive text messages alerts for each game.
Follow on Twitter: @RecBob
More on RecBob: "Q&A: RecBob CEO discusses going full-time with Startup Weekend idea"
Hailing from: Overland Park, Kan. (currently enrolled in NewME Accelerator in San Francisco )
What it is: AgLocal aims to make it easy and convenient for anyone to buy or sell locally raised meats. It's described as Etsy for farms and an Ebay for carnivores.
How it could get rowdy: Not yet launched, AgLocal arrives in Austin on the fast track as it recently entered an accelerator in San Francisco and comes to SXSW to partake in another, the SXSW Accelerator. What better place to pitch an app focused on meat than an event with thousands of tech enthusiasts in a city with lots of meat eating (Google: Austin BBQ)? The startup will kick off its SXSW exposure tonight when it takes the stage at Startup America's A Celebration of American Startups at SXSW.
Follow on Twitter: @AgLocal
More on AgLocal: "Meet AgLocal, the online market for local meat picked to pitch at SXSW"
Hailing from: Kansas City, Mo.
What it is: LiveOn enables users to capture memories and share with loved ones
How it could get rowdy: Last time LiveOn entered a competition it was with its logo on the hood of a racecar. And it won. This time, however, it's not eying the finish line in a fast car. Instead, it's taking its work to the SXSW Interactive Awards on Monday as it competes against Eye-Fi, IBM, Google and Tourism New Zealand in the "technical achievement" category. A win could mean more than a victory lap for the team; it could result in a piece of notable recognition that could trigger attention from the national media.
Follow on Twitter: @LiveOnNow
More on LiveOn: "LiveOn named SXSW Awards finalist for 'technical achievement' "
What it is: Tikly is ticketing service for artists, venues and organizations.
How it could get rowdy: Two from the Tikly team will make their arrival in Austin on Saturday and stay for more than the interactive portion of the 10-day SXSW festival. During SXSW Music, Tikly is sponsoring two unofficial parties, which puts Tikly in front of more than 50 new artists (aka potential customers), the startup's CEO Emma Peterson said in an email.
Follow on Twitter: @TiklyCo
What it is: Dwolla is an online cash transfer startup that is free to use for transactions less than $10 and costs 25 cents per transaction over $10.
How it could get rowdy: In a blog post on Thursday, Dwolla director of communications Jordan Lampe, who is attending with CEO Ben Milne, laid out their plans. "No T-shirt launching cannons or food dispensing trucks," Lampe says, "just Ben and I running around Austin, hearing our friends talk, and working on new partnerships." And that – I can say from personal experience – is as impactful as the aforementioned marketing plans. You want rowdy? Try keeping up with these two. In addition to their non-stop networking, Milne will also be participating on two panels.
Follow on Twitter: @Dwolla
More on Dwolla: "Dwolla raises $5m Series B round led by Union Square Ventures"
Silicon Prairie at SXSW
For more coverage of Silicon Prairie startups and entrepreneurs at South by Southwest Interactive (March 9-13), see our Silicon Prairie at SXSW page.
Credits: (From top left.) Photo of Ben Milne by Anna Jones | Art of Photography, Naithan Jones from AgLocal on YouTube, Jonathan Whistman from twitter.com/jwhistman, RecBob from twitter.com/recbob and Emma Peterson from Tikly on Facebook, by Jason Walsmith.
Update 12:10 p.m. – Corrected location of RecBob to Cedar Rapids, Iowa (previously listed as Iowa City, Iowa).