Every year the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) takes over Austin with its plethora of festivals and presentations. It connects some of the greatest thinkers from music, movies, and new media. Creativity and innovation are the themes of the conference, and their presence this year has been apparent.
So far, the SXSW Interactive conference, which encompasses all of the new media, has showcased some stellar ideas. The somewhat smaller SXSW Technology Summit, however, includes presentations on technology and business and has just begun. Nevertheless, some great tech-related ideas have already emerged.
Every year, SXSW includes a “Startup Bus” competition. The Startup Bus takes off from 5 cities: Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Cleveland. These buses are bound for Austin, and take two days to get there. Within those 48 hours, teams are formed and they are tasked with coming up with a startup idea and then creating a website and prototype. They then present their idea to a panel of judges when they reach Austin.
48 hours may not seem like much time, but it’s plenty for these teams. There were many great ideas that people came up with – so many that the panel of judges couldn’t pick just one winner. These are the two startups that came up with standout ideas and won the competition.
The medical tourism industry is difficult to navigate, and TripMedi is hoping to solve that problem. Medical tourism is when somebody travels to a developing country for a medical procedure in order to save money.
Currently, there is no comprehensive way to find out where these services are offered and by whom. Because the industry is growing by 15% every year, it is important that people can navigate the offerings. TripMedi is slating itself as the “Yelp for medical tourism.”
People can now go to one place to find a list of locations, doctors, and procedures and pricing available, making the process far less scary. With 1,300 unique visitors and 44 sign-ups in only four days, TripMedi is sure to do well.
WalkIN deals with the all-too-common problem of cramming into a restaurant lobby while waiting for a table. Dozens of hungry, grumpy people are stepping on each others toes, hoping that their name will be called next.
WalkIN eliminates one of the biggest pains of waiting for a table by allowing you to roam while you wait. You can simply go into the restaurant, check in using a QR code, and then wander around until you are alerted via phone that your table is ready.
This is a big improvement from many restaurant pagers that are large and clunky and only work within a certain radius.
The ideas coming out of the SXSW conferences never fail to impress, as these two startup ideas demonstrate. The conference is only halfway over, so stay tuned for more excellent ideas.
For more information on SXSW, check out the website.