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Irish Innovation Makes a Virtual Splash at SXSW 2021

By Jessica Baker, VP of Digital Technologies at Enterprise Ireland

This year marked the tenth year of Enterprise Ireland’s participation in the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. Although this year’s event was hosted virtually, SXSW continues to bring together innovative thinkers and brands from around the world to celebrate the convergence of the animation, film, and music industries. SXSW features a wide variety of business and networking opportunities and has become an essential destination for Enterprise Ireland-supported companies over the years.

We had a great turnout this year, and Irish start-ups met virtually with potential partners, industry mentors, and took the opportunity to pitch a wide range of solutions that crossed multiple sectors, including digital technology, music, medicine, agriculture, and transportation. There were over 490 visitors to the Enterprise Ireland virtual booth, with 14 Enterprise Ireland portfolio companies participating. The unique Enterprise Ireland pitch session welcomed 113 attendees from around the world.

Everyone had a great week, enjoyed the sessions, and we were all able to have some very productive meetings. The Enterprise Ireland team was able to further our mission of helping Irish companies grow their brands in the US and make valuable connections all while showcasing Irish Innovation to the fullest extent virtually.

Enterprise Ireland client companies VRAIUtmostUsheruAlgorithmOptily, and Evercam participated in SXSW under the Enterprise Ireland umbrella to facilitate introductions and connections with business leaders within their industries.

Several Enterprise Ireland clients participated in SXSW by hosting virtual booths of their own, including Tixserve LimitedVoxxifyZyte, and Volograms. Along with their booth, Volograms, whose products enable the capture of volumetric holograms of real people for all kinds of immersive experiences, apps, and social media, launched their newest product, Volu, and had an attendance of 360 people at their official product launch.

Voxxify launched their Empathy in IT series and even had their question “How important is Empathy in this world” answered by Pete Buttigieg during his live session.

Quick Pitch and Panel Discussion

We expanded our presence this year by offering a unique showcase of innovative Irish technologies in our quick-pitch style session ‘How Irish Innovation is Changing the Game.’ Industry experts from Draper Associates, Blue Sky Partners, and PepsiCo Strategic Investments heard pitches from leading Irish start-ups in animation, entertainment, media, music, Medtech, and more. Throughout the event, the panelists discussed the role that Irish companies and solutions play within their industries to drive business growth and innovation.

Irish companies that participated in the quick-pitch event and the ‘How Irish Innovation is Changing the Game’ discussion included:

  • Usheru is a movie marketing and analytics company focused on building web platforms for studios and film distributors.
  • Tribetactics helps companies repurpose video episodes, webinars, and talks into tons of social media content.
  • Platinum Innovation/ provides vertically-specialized insights for music content decision-makers enabling growth in business performance.
  • Pharmapod is a leading cloud-based incident management and business intelligence tool for reducing medication incidents, driving efficiencies in community pharmacies, long-term care, and hospitals.
  • ApisProtect uses IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies to help beekeepers deploy and manage their labor and resources to maximum effect.
  • CitySwift seamlessly integrates with existing public transportation systems and technologies to augment public transport IT infrastructure investments.

I’d like to thank everyone for their involvement and support of this great virtual event. Our portfolio companies were able to make connections, network, and interact with industry mentors to help them in all stages of their business, which is exactly what SXSW is all about. As an Austin native, it was wonderful to have a little piece of SXSW back this year.

We were especially honored to be joined by the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, Daniel Mulhall, and the Consul General Claire McCarthy.

While I’m very glad that we were able to be part of this unique virtual event — I can’t wait to meet and host everyone in person in Austin, Texas at SXSW 2022!

This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Jessica Baker, VP of Digital Technologies at Enterprise Ireland

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