Will One Of These Music Apps & Services Be The Next Big Thing At SXSW?

Posted February 1

Every year, music and tech nerds alike descend on Austin, Texas, for South By Southwest, hoping to emerge from the fray the next big band, the next big app, the next big film — and, one would hope, not wholly ravaged by alcohol and sleeplessness. The festival is still a little more than a month away, but SXSW is now out with a list of music/tech stars hoping to come out on top: The SXSW Music Accelerator 2013 Finalists.

SXSW Accelerator is a competition five years running that pits innovative companies against each other for a chance to nab the tech spotlight — or, as SXSW put it: “The opportunity to receive exposure to the SXSW audience looking out for the latest in cutting-edge technology.” (Along with some tech-related goodies and other fripperies.)

According to Mashable, “41% of the companies that have participated in the first two competitions received funding after the event,” which is ample enough reason to participate for many a bootstrapping company.

Each year, SXSW holds two such competitions — the SXSW Interactive Accelerator, held during the Interactive portion of the event (a.k.a. tech nerd Spring Break) and SXSW Music Accelerator held during the Music portion (a.k.a. music nerd Spring Break). This year, music/tech nerds will face off on March 13, 2013

Check out the full list of finalists — chosen out of 500 entries — below. Which do you think will come out on top this year?

Chelmsford, MA
AudioCommon is a team of musicians and hackers redefining the way music is created in today’s interconnected world. Through our online platform,musicians and the greater audio production community can build decentralized teams, comment directly on multi-track waveforms, and collaborate in new ways during critical stages of the creative process.

Berkeley, CA
BioBeats is creating the future of adaptive media, a world where our apps and devices understand and adapt to the way we feel. We are creating technologies that leverage biometric data to react to our emotional and physiological states, dynamically creating and discovering music that is appropriate to that state.

San Francisco, CA
Founded by lifelong friends Alex Fortunato and Laird Hayward, FoxSpring Labs has a passion for creating intuitive mobile applications to share multimedia. Their first release CrowdSync puts users in the director’s chair, changing how people watch, share and edit user-generated content with its proprietary technology.

Molecule Synth
Portland, OR
Molecule Synth is a physical electronics modular synthesizer and experimenter’s design set. It is an utterly unique musical instrument, combining LEGO-like interchangeability with Synthesizers & Physical Electronics. Design Your Own Instrument, configure and shape the Molecule Synth into entirely new combinations each time you play.

London, UK
ROLI is a music technology start-up using intuitive design to createintegrated hardware and software interfaces that increase thebandwidth of interaction between humans and computers. We buildground-breaking products-based on our patent-pending SEA Interfacetechnology-that enhance the ways our customers physically engage withthe digital world.

San Francisco, CA
TastemakerX is a social game for music discovery. The platform allows users to express musical tastes and preferences by building virtual collections of the artists they love, and connect with like-minded music fans. TastemakerX is free to join and is currently available on iOS.

Vela App
Viejo, CA
Vela App is a start-up company whose mission is to bring voice control to music. Vela (Voice Electronic Listening Assistant) is a music aggregator app for iPhone that allows you to voice control on demand music from Spotify, Rdio, and more soon.

Dublin, Ireland
WholeWorldBand is a platform where anyone can earn money by recording their own music or adding to others in sound and vision. RECORD- your own music, or add to someone else’s MIX- yourself with up to five other performers to create your own unique video EARN- revenue from your performances.


San Francisco, CA
Playground finds handmade playlists just for you. Instantly listen to music you’ll love from your friends, world famous DJs, and people who share your taste in music. Its super fun, ridiculously easy, and 100% free.

San Francisco, CA
Pulselocker is the first on-demand streaming and subscription music service that gives DJs access to millions of tracks, playable on the most popular mixing apps, online or off. With Pulselocker, DJs can: Stream full-length tracks; Download and DJ tracks out – before they buy; and Buy only the ones they want.

New York, NY
Stereotypes is a group chat app for people who enjoy music and need help keeping in touch with friends. With an interface optimized for sharing, talking about and listening to music, Stereotypes helps you keep in touch in a meaningful yet effortless way, and our users feel closer to friends whenever they listen to music.

Image courtesy of Christian Reed