There are some excellent ideas emerging from SXSW

March 16th, 2011

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a yearly event that unites people from film, music and new media. SXSW is all about creative content, and that is never lacking. SXSW is most known for its music festival – it is one of the largest in the United States, but it has much more to offer.

SXSW Interactive is one of the biggest conferences at SXSW that encompasses all of the new media, and it has already unearthed some great ideas. Although the SXSW Technology Summit, which is full of great ideas and presentations on technology and business, has just begun, some standout startups 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 excellent 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.


TripMedi is based around the quickly growing medical tourism industry. Medical tourism is essentially when a person needs to have a medical procedure performed on them and travels to a developing country in order to save money.

The industry is growing by 15% yearly, so a comprehensive system for finding services is essential. Calling itself the “Yelp for medical tourism,” TripMedi hopes to become a one-stop-shop for the industry.

People can now go to one place to find a list of locations, doctors, and procedures and pricing available, making the process much less scary. With 1,300 unique visitors and 44 sign-ups in just four days, TripMedi is sure to do well.


WalkIN looked to solve an issue that everyone can relate to – waiting for a table at a restaurant. We all know how aggravating it is to cram into a restaurant lobby waiting for your name to be called.

With WalkIN, you can come in, scan a QR code to put your name on the list, and then go for a walk, to get a drink next door, or whatever else you may like. You will be alerted on your phone once your name has been called.

People no longer have to carry around big, clunky restaurant pagers that vibrate incessantly until you make it back to the host stand.

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 standout ideas.

For more information on SXSW, check out the website.

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