The Eight Hottest New Startups of SXSW 2014

(Republished from Another South By Southwest has come and gone, and tech entrepreneurs are flocking from of Austin, Texas like Al Pacino from a good script. But before the coders and capitalists left town, they registered their interest in a variety of creative apps and services that promise to bring about a new age of digital possibility. Aching to get into the venture capital game, Thought Catalog sent me to this year’s SXSW with $100,000 USD, which I chose to split between 9 different start-ups that proved their worth to me. I believe these services, which are totally real and not services I made up so I could keep the money, will bring us closer to a cooler, efficient digital age. I’m very excited to present them to you. is a web service that aims to save you hassle and money by stopping you from exploring the world. I’ve always dreamed of visiting Germany, but thanks to I learned that there was apparently a very bad dude from there who killed like, tons of people. I saved thousands of dollars on plane trips from interesting places thanks to I don’t even go to work anymore. According to I have to do work if I go there.



Showtime is dedicated to bringing the concert experience to you. You can choose any artist from your music library and Showtime will increase the bass ten-fold, generate random technical difficulties, and add banter between songs. Showtime Pro will even splice in “How we doin’ tonight, [CITY]” based on your geo-location and play 5 songs from a random band before playing your music. In September the company will release Showtime Walls, two $300 add-on panels that simulate pushing crowds and the faint smell of weed.



Have you ever been kicked out of a bar at closing time but decided that you weren’t done drinking? fivepm is a hot new social network that will hook you up with other people who have alcohol and are willing to open their homes to your drunk, disjointed self. Never again will you have to go without alcohol for any period of time.


Fahrenheit 1488

Fahrenheit 1488 (1488˚ for short ) tells you how many degrees something is away from Hitler. Remember when told me about the bad guy from Germany? 1488˚ tells me he’s only 0 degrees from Hitler. Turns out he is Hiter. I haven’t lost an argument since Fahrenheit 1488 has put the power of the straw man in my hand. “You enjoy The Lion King? The movie with the Hans Zimmer score? As in Germany’s Hans Zimmer? As in the country ruled by.., Hitler?”



Facebook and Instagram is old hat. The only thing anyone wants to see are photos of their friends with celebrities, or at least in close proximity to celebrities. OHNBD is a social network for you to upload your photos of celebrity encounters with the caption “Oh, no big deal, just me hanging out with ___.” You can rate your friends’ photos on a scale from “big deal” to “not a big deal.” The more you post the cooler you appear.



We all love Vine, but… what if it were longer? With Vineyard you can take vines as long as you want! Vineyard allows you to shoot vines of any length, then export them to your computer. You can also edit multiple Vineyards together to any length or upload them to YouTube to share them! Vineyard is probably the app I’m most excited for, I’ve never seen anything like it.



Uber? Boring. Lyft? Yeah, right! For my money, the future of ridesharing is Paddlecab, the stand-up paddleboard ridesharing app. Travel to work in style on one of Paddlecab’s patented roller-paddleboards, which are like really long skateboards you stand on. Your paddle cabbie will stand in front and paddle along the asphalt while you stand in the back and just take it all in. I took Paddlecabs all around the city this year and managed to arrive everywhere with only minor cuts and scrapes!


APOLLO®: brought to you by WILL.I.AM & SAMSUNG® is involved with this app, so it’s really cool. We all know and love The Black Eyed Peas, and now the cool frontman of BEP has created this new app with the guys that make those phones. Super cool. I stood in line for about 3 hours to meet and got to take a photo with him, no big deal, it’s whatever. They had a big corner of the trade show floor this year and the Apollo logo was everywhere around the city, so I think this app is gonna be huge. I don’t know what it does.