South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals announced on Tuesday the 39 judges for the ninth annual SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event, which will be taking place March 11-12 during the SXSW Startup Village Track at the Hilton Downtown Austin. The 2017 judges include Phil Libin of General Catalyst, Sherwin Pishevar of Sherpa Capital, Tucker Kain of Los Angeles Dodgers, Richard Garriott of Portalarium, Christine Herron of Intel Capital, Jody Holtzman of AARP, and Nina Kjellson of Canaan Partners.
SXSW reports that the accelerator judges will oversee 10 categories this year, Enterprise and Smart Data, Entertainment and Content, Innovative World, Health and Wearables, Payment and Fintech, Virtual Reality, Transportation, Sports, Security and Privacy, and Social and Culture. Sharing more details about the event, SXSW Accelerator Event Producer, Chris Valentine, stated:
“Each year our judges play an integral role in selecting the most innovative startups in each category – and I would say they have an excellent track record, as more than 71 percent of finalists end up receiving funding in excess of $3.1 billion and 14 percent of them are acquired by companies like Google, Apple, and Huffington Post. We are thankful for the great group of judges we have this year, who bring with them business and investment experience key to our ten categories.”
SXSW revealed that the accelerator alums have raised $3.1 billion in funding. The organization also revealed:
“The SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event proudly applauds our alums and the millions of funding along the way. Over the years, we launched our startup platform for finalists with great ideas with the goal of matching them with top investors both nationally and internationally. From our inaugural year of 23 participants to a total of 353 through 2016, we are proud to be the catalyst of many dreams and successes. Some of our prestigious alums you may know include Klout, Hipmunk, Wildfire, Siri, Foodspotting and Tango.”
Past SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event finalists from 2009 to 2016 also achieved the following:
- 353 companies = 71% funding
- 14% were acquired
Fifty startups will be featured during SXSW Accelerator, with 25 companies presenting on Saturday, March 11th, and 25 companies on Sunday, March 12th. The pitch competition will then finish with the SXSW Accelerator Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening, March 12th, at the Hilton Downtown Austin. To see the full list of judges, click here.