SXSW may have made their official award selections for this year’s festival but that doesn’t mean we have to agree with it. Food at this year’s festival played a bigger role than ever, but not only in the role of consumption through food trucks, parties and local restaurants. This year, food made a tremendous statement in nearly all aspects of SX, including Interactive, Film and Music.
We’ve selected several of our favorite activities, companies, films, panels, people and most importantly, our favorite bites of 2016’s festival.
Most Innovative Companies
IdeaWork Studios is a full-service agency specializing in branding, advertising, graphic design and website development with offices in Austin, Santa Barbara, New York, and Las Vegas. IdeaWork specializes in starting trends in technology by focusing on the brand development of prominent companies, helping them to build a strong brand presence. IdeaWork focuses on clients in the hospitality and nightlife industries, as well as several others that allow them to provide a game plan for growth. Some of their most notable hospitality clients include Charlie Palmer’s Harvest Table, Ozumo Restaurants, Jean-Georges Restaurants and Cetrella Restaurants just to name a few.
The Gatorade Fuel Lab went all out and spent an exceptional amount of money for an interactive showcase of their latest creation to serve today’s professional and evolved athletes. Using modern day technology, Gatorade has combined new data about performance, nutrition and biomechanics to fully develop a customized hydration profile for each athlete. With a new campaign and new direction, Gatorade Fuel Lab partnered with Marquee athletes like Usain Bolt, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Houston Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt. The digital presentation highlighted each athlete going through their athletic routines as well as talking about how Gatorade affects their performance on the field. Gatorade collects vital electronic information from each athlete based on their individual sweat levels and performance. This information allows the brains at Gatorade to prepare a customized mix uniquely designed for each athlete to attain proper hydration levels.
Though a simple concept, developing an app that analyzes tweets to serve up real-time dining suggestions requires a lot of complex code. Madeline Parra and her team has developed the complex patent-pending technology that examines millions of tweets for context, sentiment, credibility and influence to uncover customer opinions and deliver restaurant recommendations. Twizoo leverages machine learning to analyze those tweets and serve up real-time dining suggestions to consumers.
Once the relevant Tweets are discovered, Twizoo automatically tags them with relevant metadata to their corresponding locations. For example, it is intelligent enough to discern when the word “Subway” is used in a tweet relates to the sandwich shop down the street or the transportation system. The true differentiator is in the way Twizoo sources its reviews. Unlike Yelp, which requires reviewers to visit the app or site, find the business to review, then compose the text, Twizoo is culling through millions of tweets to surface consumers’ opinions, aggregate them and match them to venues.
ShareTheMeal is a crowdfunding application designed to fight global hunger launched by the United Nations World Food Programme in 2015. It enables users to make small donations to specific WFP projects and to track its progress. As of March 2016, ShareTheMeal has over 480,000 downloads and 5 million meals shared.
EatWith is the best way to discover amazing new chefs and was formed with the vision of creating a global community that offers unique dining experiences to help facilitate authentic human connections through food. With a thriving marketplace for home dining, private events, EatWith creates a space for culinary entrepreneurs to realize their dreams without the constraints of a restaurant. During SXSW, EatWith hosted two dinners in the hosting chef’s home, both of which presented a real sense of the entire EatWith experience.