Two Canadian tech companies named as finalists in 2019 SXSW Pitch competition


The eleventh annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Pitch competition has announced 50 finalists, and two Canadian companies, an AI digital assistant and blockchain-powered video game developer, have made the cut.

Hendrix AI, an AI assistant from Edmonton-based Testfire Labs has placed in the AI category of the SXSW Pitch, while SkyWeaver, a decentralized trading card video game, has placed in the blockchain category.

The SXSW Pitch, formerly called SXSW Accelerator, features 50 interactive technology companies from 10 different categories. The companies will pitch to a live audience and answer questions from a panel of judges. The competition aims to showcase and discover advancements in various sectors of emerging technology. To date, the SXSW Pitch alumni have received cumulative funding of $5.43 billion.

Hendrix AI is a digital assistant that transcribe, summarize, organize, and recall meeting notes, action items, and data. Hendrix works as an AI assistant than joins in on meetings through conference call platforms such as Uber Conference, Zoom GoToMeetings, and other major meeting platforms. The software, which runs on customized algorithms, also works on dial-in services, desktop and through the mobile app. During its nine-month beta testing, Hendrix was used by over 100 companies including the Government of Canada, Shell, L’Oreal and PwC Canada.

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SkyWeaver is a video game that brings competitive trading card games to blockchain. Here, players can battle opponents, win and trade scarce cards, and earn crypto. The Canadian game developer, Horizon, makes blockchain-powered video games, pioneering what the company calls a new dimension of gaming that belongs to its players. Although based out of Toronto, Horizon has hubs in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Detroit, Mexico City, and Madrid.

After two days of pitches, the judges will select a winner from each category. The Pitch competition will take place from March 9 to 10 in Austin, Texas.

Image courtesy SXSW

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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