Pitches at SXSW 2021 you can’t miss!

16. March 2021

Despite  being “only” an online event this year, SXSW is once again presenting such an extremely lavish program that it can be challenging to keep track of everything. Of course, the pitch competitions for startups are particularly exciting, especially with German participation. To make sure you don’t miss anything, here’s who’s competing and when.


For the first time, the retail company QVC is holding a startup competition and has chosen the SXSW Festival as the biggest possible stage for it. The event is headlined NEXT>IN SUSTAINABILITY and logically draws attention to startups that are committed to the concept of sustainability. These are the finalists:

  • Potburri produces plant pots from natural fiber materials, specifically sunflower husks, and delivers them together with flowering plants, vegetables and herbs. Rather than ending up as plastic waste, the pots can simply be buried in the garden where they decompose naturally. The pitch will feature founder Antonia Cox.
  • Ourz uses a blockchain to make the food supply chain transparent. Using an app and QR codes on packaging, information on the origin and transport routes of the goods can be easily accessed. Founder Antoni Hauptmann will present his company.
  • Lignopure utilizes lignin, an important component of wood, in a variety of ways. It can be used, for example, in the production of cosmetics, as well as for food production or as a substitute for leather and plastic. CEO Joana Gil will talk about this in her pitch.
  • air up uses the sense of smell to conjure up refreshing drinks in a wide variety of flavors from pure water. The nose suggests, for example, the delight of orange lemonade, although it is only calorie-free mineral water. Founder Lena Jüngst explains how this works.
  • Vytal solves a problem that is particularly acute in times when food delivery services are booming. Large amounts of packaging waste still accumulate, but a reusable system could change that. Vytal is currently setting up just such a system. Tim Breker, one of the founders, provides information about the current state of affairs.

A jury consisting of Mali Baum (founder of WLOUNGE), Kerry Rupp (General Partner at True Wealth Ventures) and Carsten Jürgens (Vice President of Merchandise at QVC) will decide on the winning startup. Anyone who wants to be there on March 17 from 5 p.m. can secure a free ticket here. Registration with SXSW is not required!

SXSW Pitch on March 17 and 18

The SXSW Pitch has been a highlight of the festival program for many years. The majority of the participating startups come from the USA; German candidates are rarely shortlisted. So it’s all the more exciting that two have made it to the finals this year:

  • On March 17, ConstellR from Freiburg will enter the race in the “Innovative World” category. ConstellR provides precise global temperature data using satellite technology. This helps to optimally irrigate farmland, thus enabling sustainable agriculture on a planetary scale.
  • On March 18, the “Entertainment, Gaming & Content” category is up. Germany is represented here by holoride from Munich. holoride combines navigation and vehicle data with extended reality elements. The back seat of the car thus becomes a virtual playground.

The awards ceremony in a total of eight categories will take place on March 20.

!TS Future on March 18

ITS stands simultaneously for Intelligent Transportation Systems and for a worldwide series of congresses. The next event is scheduled to take place in Hamburg from October 11 to 15. To get in the mood, you can participate in the online event !TS Future – Game Changer in Transport & Mobility on March 18 (click here for free registration). The program will then also include a pitch with these international startups:

  • ONOMOTION from Berlin is developing a new kind of vehicle: ONO, the e-cargo bike for sustainable urban goods transport. It is a hybrid of electric bike and car. CEO Beres Seelbach will present it.
  • AutoWiz is a startup from Bangalore, India, that uses simple tools to turn a car into a “smart car.” GPS tracking is supposed to, among other things, save fuel and make journeys safer. Founder Kamal Aggarwal will explain how it works.
  • Shippo is a San Francisco-based shipping service provider that promises the cheapest rates. The startup has over 50 delivery companies and dozens of shopping platforms as partners. Marketing chief Mario Paganini will handle the pitch.

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