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The 6 Hottest Start-Ups at SXSW 2013

Austin Technology + Gear Humor
by Andy Verderosa Mar 12, 2013

WHILE THERE ARE a ton of free SXSW parties, panels, and potential Twitter followers in Austin this week, you’re pretty much wasting your time if you aren’t pushing your new start-up. Sixth Street is a cesspool of early-adopters and venture capitalists ready with the Wells Fargo app running in the background if an opportunity arises.

I’ve been here for 24 hours and have a number of start-ups in the works.

1. Squatcharge

Squatcharge makes cell phone chargers that connect to your toilet. This really couldn’t be any more practical. The toilet is the one place where people need their mobile device the most. Too often are we in need of a good charge and a good release and faced with an unfair choice.

At SXSW we have Squatcharge-branded porta-potties lining Rainey street. We’ll be having the Porta-Party brand launch this Thursday at Blackheart from 3pm-8pm.

2. Brunchster

In today’s competitive brunching world, you’re only as good as your weakest mimosa, your plainest omelet, your most clean-shaven waiter. Brunchster puts the hung-over back in control with a dedicated app providing real-time brunch forecasts and omelet breakdowns. Using data collected from the #foodporn instagram hashtag, Brunchster is able to provide accurate ambiance data right to your smartphone. Find out the salsa-to-avocado ratio on the huevos rancheros, or connect with Facebook to see if any scorned ex-lovers have already claimed a prime table.

Join Brunchster this Saturday with a special performance by Beach House. We’ll be serving free brunch and mimosas from 4pm-9pm with special giveaways. Use the #hashbrowns hashtag to follow along on Twitter.

3. Gripple

Any rock climber will tell you that climbing rocks is easy, it’s climbing life’s mountain that’s a challenge. Gripple is a nonprofit that sends rock climbers to local schools to teach children important lessons like giving yourself slack and maintaining a good hold. Participating classrooms will be equipped with a rock wall with routes from V1 to V14. To move on to the next “grade,” students are required to confront their most primal fears and/or complete a V6 route. Numerous studies have shown that students who rock climb have above average college GPAs and triceps.

On the corner of 2nd and Red River, Cliff Energy and Gripple are hosting the Edmund Hillary stage. We’ll be giving out free carabiners all week. Make sure to stop by on Tuesday when famed rock climber Chris Sharma will be playing a DJ set on top of our Mountain Dew rock wall.

4. Queue

Queue is a secret-passcode-protected app made only for SXSW 2013. At Queue, we believe the current party model at SXSW is outdated and inefficient. Instead of lines forming when a party is announced, we make the party form where the lines are announced.

With Queue, find out where the best lines are forming at South by Southwest. Queue has teamed up with ESPN, Nikon, Mozilla Firefox, Paramount Pictures, Gawker Media, Wyndham Hotels, Sandisk, Campbell’s Soup, and more to start parties at the front of the most exclusive, high-profile lines in Austin.

The Queue team will be driving around downtown Austin in custom Queue Fiat 500s this week. Ask them for a download passcode. We’ll see you in line.

5. Deef

Despite great advances in modern technology, cooking still requires a great deal of foresight, a trait that is becoming biologically insignificant with the advent of smartphones. That’s where Deef comes in.

Defrosting beef and poultry is an arduous and inconvenient process. It requires you to be home around 4 o’clock and have an idea about what you want to eat for dinner often 3 hours before first bite. Deef employs a team of trusted (background-checked) “Deefers” who enter your home at 4 and begin the defrosting process by placing the beef and/or poultry in a pot of warm water. They then take inventory of your refrigerator and leave a note about what cooking options will be available upon your arrival.

The Deef team has left ready-to-be-made chicken cutlets on the East Side. Follow us on Twitter to find out when we’ll be knocking on doors in your neighborhood.

6. Re/drive

Isn’t it the worst when you’re about to torrent every episode of CSI: Miami or the entire Rick Springfield canon but your external hard drive is full of miscellaneous Chappelle’s Show sketches and fake versions of Adobe Creative Suite?

Re/drive is a social network where users can loan their files out instead of deleting them. You spent six hours downloading SNL: The Best of Cheri Oteri four years ago on a cable modem — it seems wrong to expunge the laughs for good. Re/drive allows users to enter into partnerships with people across the globe, creating a community of online hoarders who are not sure if they’ll ever need to use Final Cut Studio ever again.

At SXSW, pick up used and pre-loaded USB drives from our tent on Fourth and Rio Grande. Three grand-prize winners will find Microsoft Office complete with serial numbers. Other prizes include press-ready images of Congress Street Bridge and Argo before it comes out on DVD courtesy of Warner Bros.

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