12 Amazing Startups From SXSW 2012
Billed as “the new home of world records,” RecordSetter (previously URDB) is the hipster version of the Guiness Book of World Records. (Read: A lot more fun.) They killed it in Austin by scoring an appearance from the legend himself, Takeru Kobayashi, who set a record for the most grilled cheese sandwiches in one minute (13, if you’re scoring at home). Watch the video.
Built by Dinevore founder Jeremy Fisher, Wander is still in stealth mode, but from the hints we’ve gleaned from the team (think a Pinterest-tumblr lovechild for places), we can’t wait for the big reveal.
Warby Parker has been one of our favorites for quite a while now, due to their awesome mission (sexy glasses + social responsibility) as well as their stellar design sensibilities. They took their patented popup shop to a whole new level with their Citizen’s Circus 3-day event featuring 18-bands, vaudeville performers, a sunglass + eyeglass filled tent, topped off with giant eyeballs-shaped balloons marking the event venue, and all, of course, stunningly designed.
With the gorgeous imagery, clean layouts and easy purchasing, we’re stoked about Market Publique, an online vintage shopping marketplace. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller of decades-past wardrobes, this is a site you want to be a part of.
TechStars-grad Contently is doing good things for both freelance journalists and the companies who want to hire them. One the journo side, Contently vets and approves quality writers which they then match up with brands who want to work with them, promising good pay for great work. On the brand side, Contently provides an easy option for sourcing top-in-their-industry writers and editors.
Based off the idea that everyone has a side business or passion that they’d like to share with others, SideTour lets you find and book neat experiences offered by cool and interesting people. You can eat dinner with a banker-turned monk (all proceeds go to the monastery), go on a curry crawl with an Indian food writer or get a graffiti lesson from a legend. Or if you like, you can sign up to host your own mini adventure.
Shop We chatted with Ashley Granata from Fashism and learned that the popular fashion Q&A site just added a shop. The globally-curated shop specializes in accessories — usually what tips an outfit over from good to wow.
While there are many players in the digital business card scene, Bump, Snap Dat, and Jumpscan for example, we found CardFlick‘s beautiful designs to be particularly compelling. The app imports photos from Facebook and Instagram and then allows you all kinds of creative freedom over the look and feel.
InBedMe lets you book hostels (and beds and couches) all around the world, and lets you know who else booked the same space for the same time, so you can chat with others before you even get there. The hostel profiles are fairly robust — with great information on the host and the hostel itself — photos, location, amenities and local activities.
We met up with Betterworks co-founder Sizhao Yang early one morning for BBQ (it was well worth the 50+ mile trip to Snow’s) and talked about what makes a happy employee. Zao thinks (and we agree) that the key to productive employees is to keep them healthy + happy, and that’s what Betterworks aims to do. Betterworks is a platform that makes it easy for employers to provide personalized local perks to employees, like catered lunches, and discounted rates on gyms and spas.
Girl Walk All Day
Less a startup and more a movement, Girl Walk All Day is a feature-length music video following three dancers across New York City. We ran into one of the dancers on Sunday night who led a rowdy crown of SXSW-goers (us included) in a choreographed routine full of hip shakes and fist pumps. It was so much fun we had to sneak them on the list.
We ran into Andrea Pappas of BrunchCritic and knew right away that this was a site we had to check out. Like Yelp on steroids, but laser-focused on brunch, Brunch Critic is the stuff of Sunday afternoon dreams. Covering every neighborhood, every mood, and even includes cross streets on every listing (thank you Andrea!), this is definitely the winner for the best site we never knew we needed. (And maybe the most New York-y site ever.)
Now go forth (and rest up for next year)!