South by Southwest interactive festival in Austin, Texas, has become an important tech hub over the years, with its myriad panels and networking opportunities amid the BBQ consumption. While SXSW has been international in scope in years past, this year's effort by Singapore to introduce nine of its home-grown tech startups at the festival is quite substantial — and several of the startups appear promising.
The cleverly named YouCommentate mobile app aims to gives sports fans the ability to voice their thoughts (trash talk?) live during games. The idea may duplicate Facebook news feed and groups, as well as Twitter. Still, this is sports, and fans always have something to say — and looking for new places to say it.
Other startups include CarbonStory, TellMyFriends and The Creative Finder. CarbonStory is a fundraising platform to sponsor green projects that promote solution to climate change. TellMyFriends is a media-sharing and affiliate-style platform to encourage users to share music, e-books, videos and apps with their friends via links and rewards once the friends make a purchase.
Also in the mix is The Creative Finder, which will soon launch imgembed.com, a website that will act as a clearinghouse for images online. The site will offer image embeds to websites and blogs and correctly attribute creators. It will offer CPM pricing, in which websites and bloggers pay for actual impressions generated by the images.
The startups participating at SXSW are backed by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, a government agency that promotes the country's tech sector.
"IDA's startup programs aim to create incredible opportunities for these emerging businesses to explore new global market opportunities, through participation at SXSW. These events also serve as a prime discussion platform for international tech companies looking to put down roots in Asia," according to Victor Tan, center director at IDA's U.S. headquarters in San Francisco. "Singapore's technology, talent and financial infrastructure provide an ideal springboard for expansion in the region for both home-grown and international companies based in Singapore."
Other Singapore startups getting billing in Austin include ConnectedHealth, a cloud-based wireless platform for hospitals; Digital XS, an online game publishing solution; Kindernomics, which teaches kids economic concepts; retail marketing system Sprooki and Tripvillas, a website that connects visitors to Asia with private rental properties.