The 8 Student Startups Pitching at SXSW 2019.

Dianna Lesage
3 min readFeb 19, 2019
Photo by Steve Rogers

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flood to Austin, Texas to attend the one and only South By Southwest conference. This massive event- which is a unique convergence of music, art, film, gaming, business, and technology- has grown steadily year over year since it’s inception in 1987. Last year, in 2018, over 400,000 people participated in the 10-day-long extravaganza.

This year’s event is taking place from March 8–17.

Photo by Lauren Lindley

SXSW is an amazing place to find yourself as an entrepreneur. There are hundreds of events geared specifically toward innovation. From expert-led panels on the future of cybersecurity to keynotes delivered by diverse visionaries- this year's conference is sure to be a gold mine for discovery.

To get an idea of how many workshops, panels, and exhibitions one can expect at this year's event- I took a look back at last years conference. According to stats published by SXSW, at the 2018 event, there were:

10 Keynotes, 109 Featured Sessions, 787 Panel Sessions, 145 Dual Presentations, 251 Solo Presentations, 89 Workshops, 434 Mentor Sessions, 26 Pitch Events, 41 Book Readings, 33 Encore Sessions, 154 Meet Ups, 13 Round Table Discussions, 10 Future 15s, 6 Talk20s, and 39 Podcasts.

Clearly, there is ample opportunity for networking and learning at SXSW, but what really stands out to me is the sheer number of pitch competitions they pack into the 10-day time frame. Last year they held 26 pitch events- 26! These events often place founders in front of a live audience and expert judges granting entrepreneurs priceless experience and opportunity.

SXSW Accelerator- Photo by Marie Ketring

I took some time to scan the line up for this year’s SXSW conference and listed (below) a few of the interesting pitch competitions being held:

Dianna Lesage

Startup studio expert. Community building @Metaversal. Creator capitalist.