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ABQ startups win slots at SXSW

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Five local startups won free passage to next year’s South by Southwest conference in Texas at the Scrappy Startup Challenge Thursday night at Sister Bar Downtown.

The pitch competition featured nine new Albuquerque businesses seeking free SXSW tickets, valued at about $1,500 each, and other prizes.

The pitch event, sponsored by the New Mexico Technology Council and other local entrepreneurial groups, is one of about two dozen activities taking place in Albuquerque during this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, which began Nov. 11 and continues through Sunday.

The SXSW ticket winners include:

n DermaTec, which has a wearable patch for alcohol detection to prevent DWI

n Dovetail Community Workshop, which offers a makers space and classes for woodcrafters

n InnoBright, which is marketing technology to speed up the rendering process for video animation

n Teeniors, which pairs tech-savvy teens with seniors to help them navigate new technology

n MetaPipe, which offers cloud-based software for computer-generated imagery

The competition’s three-judge panel named MetaPipe as the top-place winner, awarding it free vendor space at SXSW, automatic acceptance into ABQid’s Ski-lift pitch competition next February in Taos and a $500 cash prize.

DermaTec and Teeniors also won three months free rent at the FatPipe ABQ business incubator Downtown. And IndieBeats, which developed an app to promote local musicians, won a $50 “people’s choice award.”

SXSW co-sponsors the Scrappy Startup Challenge. Conference programming associate Dhinuka Perera served as a pitch-event judge.

“There’s a groundswell of really creative, passionate people here working to create opportunities and develop resources to help startups make their dreams a reality,” Perera told the Journal. “SXSW is about helping people to be successful. Our goals align very well.”

The Austin conference has become one of the nation’s premier annual gatherings for new businesses to network with investors and entrepreneurs, attend workshops and promote their ventures.

“Austin has a huge makers movement,” said Dovetail founder Erin O’Donnell. “The conference is a great place to meet people and share new technologies.”

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