Are the good times really over?

Are the startup glory days over at SXSW? Well, it’s true that the field is getting pretty crowded, and angel investors aren’t flying in on gossamer wings to shower every new startup with cash. But if you look carefully, you can see some real gems among the shiny objects. A few that stood out for me at this year’s SXSWinteractive:

  • I’m not a big proponent of letting kids have mobile devices in the classroom, but you can’t really prevent it these days, so at least make them useful.  Norwegian company Kahoot has a game-based learning tool that really engages students (www.getkahoot.com)
  • AppGyver launched a Hack-in-a-box SaaS platform to help mobile app developers test, evaluate and distribute new apps faster and easier with in-house hackathons that include non-developers too (http://hack.appgyver.com)
  • Delicode launched Z Vector technology, the first professional live performance visualization software based on 3D depth sensors like the technology in Microsoft Kinect. Cool stuff (http://z-vector.com/)
  • Finally, I confess that I’m a bit fanatical about recycling and green tech. I love the solar backpack that Tespack was showing. It charges your mobile devices so you can go anywhere and still stay connected… and you don’t need the world’s longest extension cord! (http://www.tespack.com/us/)

Cool Mobile Startups Follow SXSW Trajectory to Heat Up Austin

Traveling south by southwest (literally) from Finland to Austin, a group of tech-savvy gurus delivered the latest cutting-edge mobile apps and CGI gaming from the frozen north to this year’s SXSW Conference.

Members of NEST New York, a startup accelerator for Nordic and Russian companies, are making their fourth consecutive trip to SXSW with the largest crew yet from Finland, the country that hatched Rovio’s Angry Birds and Supercell’s Clash of Clans. This Finnish invasion force includes nine startups, representatives from the CGI Finland developer community, seed investor Reaktor Polte, Mobile Sensing, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Finland, and a university researcher.

The contingent of startups cover a wide swath of technology areas — from music apps and mobile advertising, to animation, gaming and video chat. All of these startups are represented at the SXSW Trade Show in booth #1223/1225:

Would you like to read more about some of the coolest new apps from the country ranked in the top 5 on Bloomberg’s Global Innovation Index ?

FourChords Guitar Karaoke App announcement

Good vs. Bad Customer Review App announcement

Zee.do Discovery2Deal Interactive Mobile Advertising announcement

CGI Finland news announcement