AUSTIN (KXAN)– Each SXSW, a competition called Pitch puts companies of new, innovative technology head-to-head to present their ideas to a live audience and expert judges, and win investors.
This year, a handful of Austin-based companies are finalists for technology that has the potential to change– and even save– lives.
Run by a student at the University of Texas at Austin, Walkthru is a mobile virtual reality streaming platform. This company brings VR to long-term care facilities to end “the silent epidemic of social isolation in older adults,” according to their Pitch information.
Their CEO and co-founder began Walkthru at Vista Ridge High School back in 2019. KXAN interviewed him then. This year, they are alternates at SXSW Pitch.
This Austin-based company was created by physicians. They’re developing a device called Holly, part of which can be implanted into a body, and part of it worn, to transform dialysis care for end-stage Renal Disease patients. The device constantly filters blood in the patient’s body, allowing them to be more mobile and independent. You can learn more about how it works here.
Kiro Action creates flex housing that can be set up in four to six hours, anywhere from a backyard to an empty field, to a parking lot. The co-founder told KXAN it can be used by homeowners as a yoga studio or office space, but his ultimate goal is to use his structures to provide dignified housing for refugees and those experiencing homelessness.
Pinwheel markets a “healthy kids phone,” a smartphone with a whole system that can be managed by parents, like deciding when certain apps are available to them, and only allowing calls or texts from approved contacts.
The company’s platform makes it easier and faster to convert pictures and videos into 3D content. According to technology company Intel Corporation, the software makes 3D printing more cost-effective, opening a once-exclusive industry up to smaller businesses.
The SXSW Pitch competition will be held at the Hilton Austin Downtown Saturday and Sunday, with winners from each category announced Sunday at 6 p.m.
SXSW says from 2009-2021, 572 companies have participated in SXSW Pitch, with over 82% receiving funding and acquisitions in excess of $14.5 billion.