Rules For Entering Your Startup in SXSW Accelerator 2015

Startups must apply to be considered for the SXSW Accelerator 2015 startup competition. Application fee is $200. All applications must be submitted no later by 11:59 pm on Sunday, November 9, 2014. Please read below for application details.


  • A company’s product / service must have launched no earlier than March 16, 2014.

  • A company’s product / service must not be launched after June 16, 2015.

  • Companies will be allowed to submit only one product / services to the SXSW Accelerator event.

  • Companies who submit more than one product / services will not be eligible to participate in the SXSW Accelerator startup competition.

  • Founders of the applying startup must retain some portion of ownership in the company to be eligible to participate.

  • Must not have raised over five million in funds from combined funding sources.

  • Product or service must fall within one of the SXSW Accelerator startup competition categories.
    For the SXSW Accelerator startup competition, companies must fall within one of the category descriptions listed below:

    Enterprise and Smart Data Technologies
    The Enterprise and Smart Data Technologies category encompasses applications and technologies that facilitate comprehension and application of information. These startups seek to improve productivity and management of data, analytics, text, documents, and engagement for business and individual use.

    Entertainment and Content Technologies
    The Entertainment and Content Technologies category highlights applications and technologies for gaming, music, film, television, video, news and publishing, streaming and digital storytelling, as well as new and hybrid forms of entertainment. These are reinventing the ways in which we learn, relax and enjoy our time. This category also contains technologies that focus on other cultural sectors such as sports, travel, mapping, publishing and food as they pertain to entertainment

    Digital Health and Life Sciences Technologies
    The Digital Health and Life Science Technologies category involves patient-centric health applications and technologies that connect patients, families, physicians, pharmacists, care providers (hospitals, clinics) and benefit providers. These products and services enable people to collect and share timely, relevant health data and drive better outcomes at affordable and sustainable cost levels. These may include Internet of Things and wearable devices, but such devices may be more appropriate in the Wearable Technologies or Innovative World categories (see below).

    Social Technologies
    The Social Technologies category includes applications and technologies that enable personal connections. With this category we’re looking for new and interesting uses, cases, products and services, as well as messaging that push the boundaries of how we find, follow and share our lives with others. If your business or service has a social component but is primarily focused on Entertainment, Health or Wearable Technologies, then you should enter one of these other categories instead.

    Wearable Technologies
    The Wearable Technologies category focuses on technology worn on, in, or around the body. As this major technology cycle advances we are seeking all types of wearable products that advance human performance and wellness, as well as those involved in apparel, accessories, fashion and lifestyle. If your product is focused on patient/clinician information, please apply in the Digital Health and Life Sciences Technologies category.

    Innovative World Technologies
    Any creative and innovative technology that does not fit in another category is encouraged to apply here. We are currently seeing lots of innovation in the Internet of Things, payments and virtual currencies, data security and privacy, transportation such as autonomous vehicles, energy, space, robotics, and artificial intelligence, If your business / service / application applies to one of these fields (or something not on this list that is even more ground-breaking), then this is your category.

    PLEASE NOTE: SXSW reserves the right to place company applicants in the most relevant category at SXSW's sole discretion. This includes changing an applicant's category based on response to the event and/or the applicant organization choosing a non-relevant category.

    For a listing of the Frequently Asked Questions about the SXSW Accelerator startup competition, please click here.

    All preliminary application information that is submitted is confidential and will be only viewed by SXSW staff and the selected judging panelist.

    A non-refundable $200 entry fee is required from all applicants who would like to be considered for participation in the event. All SXSW Interactive Accelerator entrants will be given the chance to register to attend SXSW Interactive at the lowest early bird rate, if they are not chosen as an SXSW Interactive Accelerator startup competition finalist.

    No refund will be given to any application that has been submitted. If you have any concerns regarding our fees and/or the application process please contact Chris Valentine prior to submitting an application. If you wish to register before being notified by SXSW on your status as an applicant to the SXSW Interactive Accelerator startup competition you will not be eligible for a refund.

    Have more questions? Reach out to Chris Valentine about any questions you have regarding the SXSW Accelerator startup competition.

    To access the online application for SXSW Accelerator, click here