Houston companies take top spots at SXSW pitch competitions
A number of Houston companies made their presence known at Austin's SXSW Interactive festival this year.
Interactive, which officially ended March 17, is the technology-centric portion of the music, tech and film South by Southwest festival. In past years, Interactive has brought popular social media apps Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and Foursquare to market.
While it's still too early to tell if any of the Houston delegation will see similar success, those that were there had some promising moments.
Houston-based Medical Informatics Corp., a data analytics and monitoring software for health systems, took home the second-place prize in both the venture capital and hospital voting at Impact Pediatric Health, a pitch competition that focused on bringing technology to children's health systems.
The winner of the Impact Pediatric Health competition was Boston-based CareAline, which makes holsters for central lines for babies. The pitch was so successful, emcee Mark Cuban offered to buy 1,000 units of the CareAline product, emblazon them with the Dallas Mavericks logo — the NBA team he owns — and work to get them into Dallas-area children's hospitals.
Cuban also made some remarks about hospitals and their resistance to technology during the competition.
Happening at the same time on March 16 was the Hatch Pitch competition. The Houston-based competition focused on making life better and featured companies from all over the country. Its Houston representative, Procyrion, won the Prezi and audience choice awards. The audience choice award was selected through social media voting throughout the competition.
The winner of Hatch is a quasi-Houston company, Admetsys. The Boston-based maker of an artificial pancreas used to monitor and administer glucose and insulin for diabetes treatment set up shop in the Texas Medical Center's TMC|X business accelerator program, which kicked off earlier this month.
And finally, Ellen Ochoa, Johnson Space Center's director, formally kicked off a tech competition focused on keeping astronauts healthy. The winner is expected to have its technology flown to the International Space Station.