The companies, selected by a panel of independent judges from more than 275 nominations, were officially revealed and named to the annual Austin A-List of Hottest Startups in ceremonies held this evening at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The 12 honorees for 2015 were named in three investment stage categories: emerging, growth and scale, and represent key sectors of innovation including big data, biotechnology, hardware, software, consumer packaged goods, music technology, agriculture, medical devices, e-commerce and mobile app development.
“It is a great honor to be recognized as a company with “breakout potential.” CognitiveScale was selected as one of five companies in the growth stage category. We would like to thank the Austin Chamber of Commerce, SXSW and the vibrant Austin community for continuing to encourage start-ups and be invested in their success. Austin is fast emerging as one of the key hubs for breakthrough innovation around cognitive computing. CognitiveScale was one of five companies in the growth stage category and this is testament to our technology which is groundbreaking with the potential to transform the way industries do business,” said CEO Akshay Sabhikhi.
Recognition as an A-List Company is intended to increase the visibility of Austin's most fundable, scalable and innovative regional startups, and drive increased venture capital funding to Central Texas. Since the inception of the annual A-List awards, there has been a combined $358,670,000 in investment for all A-List honorees. Recent venture capital activity for Central Texas companies continues to show momentum: first quarter 2015 funding is 31% ahead of the same period last year, and at $265.33 million, is the highest quarterly total since the first quarter of 2012.
“Austin is rich with innovative startups that are primed for rapid growth. The A-List platform shines a spotlight and amplifies our diverse and rich talent, helping to maintain our lead as the most innovative, entrepreneurial region,” said Michele Skelding, SVP of Global Technology and Innovation at the Austin Chamber of Commerce who also co hosted the awards ceremony. “That’s what drives economic growth and job creation, and what continues to drive our global competitiveness. Austin’s innovation ecosystem has never been stronger, and the A-List winners and participants are poised to make their mark, elevating our region’s ability to continue to attract and retain top innovative companies, talent and capital.”
The awards ceremony featured remarks from co-host and SXSW Interactive Director Hugh Forrest as well as several high profile speakers. This included Gene Austin, Chamber Chair and CEO and President of Bazaarvoice, Bob Metcalfe, Professor of Innovation at The University of Texas at Austin, Hank Seale, Founder and Chairman of Q2, and a special presentation from Erik Qualman, #1 Best Selling Author and 2015 Pulitzer Prize Nominee.
"Entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit are powering so much of what makes Austin's current economy so exciting," said Hugh Forrest, Director, South by Southwest Interactive. “Given that so much of what we do at SXSW Interactive focuses on startups, I'm delighted that we are a part of this event and can help with the Austin Chamber's ongoing goal of strengthening Central Texas as a hub of innovation."
CognitiveScale™ powers standards-based Cognitive Clouds, which are revolutionizing the big data and analytics markets. Cognitive Clouds power a new class of data interpretation and learning applications that weave contextual and actionable intelligence into business processes and applications. They work on massive amounts of multi-structured data including text, images and video to generate actionable insights from Dark Data – data that is not machine readable, not easily accessible, or not leveraged.
The Cognitive Cloud platform, called Insights Fabric™, accelerates the creation of domain optimized cognitive applications for healthcare, retail and employee shared services.
About the Austin Chamber
The mission of the Austin Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for its more than 3,000 members. For more information about the Austin Chamber of Commerce visit www.AustinChamber.com.
About SXSW Interactive
An incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, the SXSW features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line-up of special programs showcasing the best new apps, Page 3 of 3 hardware, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer. From hands-on training to big picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to experience a preview of what is unfolding in the world of technology. Visit http://sxsw.com/interactive.