Rovio’s Angry Birds Makes Another Move Towards Disney [sxsw]

Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka and me at Rovio’s SXSW party (photo: NMI 2013)

Three years ago when we first met Rovio’s chief marketing eagle, Peter Vesterbacka, and he was talking about Angry Birds toys, balloons, books, restaurants, airplanes and tv shows, we thought he was nuts.

The following year when we saw him at the launch of AngryBirds Space at SXSW12 his vision was coming together. We had seen him speak throughout the course of the year as Angry Birds became more than a household name. At an event in Hong Kong Vesterbacka was talking about how they had to rip off the rip offs to keep up with the phenomena of Angry Birds merchandise.

Angry Birds, Angry Birds Toons, Rovio,startup,Finnish, Finland, SXSW,SXSWi,SXSW13At South By South West this year we got a chance to talk with Vesterbacka and Mack McKelvey a mobile marketing expert and consultant to Rovio. She told us that the company had recently taken over several McDonald’s restaurants in China and launching a separate game called Angry Birds McDonalds.

In the midst of all the startup and PR hype at SXSW, Rovio Entertainment hosted a swank pool party high atop Austin Texas. This time though they weren’t introducing the next wave of the game. They were talking about bigger and better. They were launching a new cartoon and media network that would stream through the Angry Birds apps. They also launched the Angry Birds network with several cable operators.

The apps alone give the Angry Birds network access to over 1.3 billion users (with a B).

The Angry Birds network will feature original content centered around the game characters. You can watch the Angry Birds network on the most recent versions of the game and on select cable operators.

You can find out more here.

Check out more of our SXSW coverage here.

Gangnam (style) SpringBoard Startup Flitto Is THE Translation App

Flitto,S.Korean startup,startup,startups,startup interview,sxsw,sxswiFlitto, a SpringBoard London graduate has the Gangnam style for sure, that’s because they are based in Gangnam South Korea. They are truly rockstars for graduating from SpringBoard London which has become TechStars.

When you think about Flitto don’t think translation app. Simon Lee, Flitto’s founder describes the app as: “a social translation platform that lets you access all kinds of content in your own native language. Any user can add translation and earn points and ‘karma’ from other fans for your translation work.”

Flitto serves up translation from the crowd, making it easy to get quick, real life translations on content rather than mechanical translations which can sometimes leave the user just as lost as before the translation.

The language barrier can be broken down by hiring professional translators. But we’ve tried to be smarter than that. We can get rid of the language barrier without hiring one single translator just by using the greatest tool humans have ever made – the Internet.” Lee said on the SpringBoard/TechStars London Blog.

We got a chance to catch up with Lee at the SXSW Interactive Tradeshow in the Gangam Style startups showcase.

Check out these other stories from SXSW

We’ve got more TechStars coverage here. Returns To The Dolphin Tank At SXSW 2013,California startup,startup,startup pitch,Startup America, SXSW,SXSW 2013Mara Lewis, the founder of California startup returned to pitch her startup in the Dolphin Tank at SXSWi. The Dolphin Tank is a pitch panel session held at the Startup America Live stage in front of influential judges. The reason it’s called the Dolphin Tank is because the judges are instructed to give constructive feedback rather than criticism as seen on the hit ABC show Shark Tank.

This was the second time Lewis has pitches in the Dolphin Tank. After here appearance in 2012 she was able to secure an angel investment. We ran into Lewis while on the LaunchYourCity mission trip to Silicon Valley on Thursday where she told us she’s working on raising another round, it’s time to move her startup out of her apartment and eat more nourishing than Ramen Noodles.

She’s also received a bit of traction for which is a platform that turns users onto the newest sites on the web by recommending sites that friends are using. According to her pitch, over 150,000 websites are launched every 24 hours in the US alone.

Check out her pitch below. For more info visit

Check out more of our startup coverage from SXSW 2013 Here!

Detroit Startup Glocal: Share Your Local Content With 113 Cities Around The World [video][sxsw]

Detroit startup Glocal is a new local sharing site that allows you to share your pictures, videos and other content with 113 cities worldwide.

Glocal aims to be the source for localized content, shared with the world. Content creators can share their articles, photos and videos from their city. Content consumers can use Glocal to find out what’s going on, what to do, where to eat, local news and more for any of the 113 cities (and growing) that Glocal has a community for.

Glocal,Detroit startup,startups,startup interview, SXSW,SXSWiThe company, founded by Lincoln Cavalieri, launched back in October after a three year development period, and after raising $1 million dollar seed round from Compuware’s venture capital arm.

One of the things that makes Glocal unique is the diverse range of content being created by community members. For instance, content creators in the Memphis community have offered everything from great burger and restaurant suggestions, to photos from a tour of the Fedex world headquarters.

A quick check in Chicago has highlights captured from various Saint Patrick’s day parties, to fan pics of the Chicago Bulls and even local news like a recent lawsuit in McDonald’s.

A tour of the Berlin community turns up beautiful photos of the city, the newest Mercedes Benz and a variety of local news.

Right now Glocal can be accessed via mobile web but Cavalieri already has his team working on native apps for Android, iPhones and iPads.

You can sign up to contribute content, or peruse the Glocal offerings here at

Check out our quick video interview from SXSW below.

We’ve got a truckload more SXSW 2013 coverage here.

Chicago Startup Bus Team: MyBestRX Pitches In Startup Bus Finals At [sxsw]

MyBestRX, Startup Bus,startup,startup pitch,sxsw,sxswiA team of ambitious entrepreneurs, that hope to tip the scale when it comes to enabling affordable local healthcare, completed the first in their suite of mobile apps, designed for just that, while on board The Startup Bus.

The idea behind MyBestRX is simple. When people purchase prescription drugs from the pharmacy, there is no standard “MAP” pricing. You could very well find your prescription at your pharmacy for hundreds of dollars, and find it a mile down the road for half of that.

MyBestRX hopes to solve the problem of looking for the best price on prescription drugs. The app will allow you to key in or speak your prescription and it will return results based on both proximity and cost.

Other features include the voice response, as described above, and the ability for the user to take a photo of their current prescriptions and have it filled by way of email or fax directly from mobile.

MyBestRx positions themselves as “A Personalized Rx Concierge”, perhaps the easiest way to find and purchase prescriptions.

Check out the video below and for more info visit keyword: SXSW

5 Rules For Naming Your Startup: Memphis Firm Offers Advice In SXSW Panel [sxsw]

archer malmo,memphis,startup,naming startups,startup tips,sxsw,sxswi60 year old Memphis advertising and PR firm archer>malmo presented their panel “When Bad Names Happen To Good Startups” last Monday at SXSW Interactive. Over 100 people attended the panel discussion and stayed throughout the entire hour long session.

archer>malmo Chief Creative Officer Gary Backaus and Senior Copy Writer Justin Dobbs presented the entertaining hour long session for startups curious about naming. The duo of advertising executives mixed humor with the session which made it quite entertaining.

Despite having a client roster that includes names like Pfizer, Verizon and RJ Reynolds, Dobbs broke the ice and established credibility by making light of the fact that the firm is located in Memphis. He showed a few slides of new technologies that archer>malmo currently employs including; email, and intranet. He also showed a slide of a rack card rack that you would find at a hotel, saying they were creating something new called the “Take One”.

When it came down to content though, Dobbs and Backaus gave out some great tips in their “5 Rules for Naming Your Startup”.

1) you’re not naming a startup you’re naming a brand.

2) Create a first impression that’s positive, intriguing and clear

3)  Don’t create conceptual or technical hurdles

4) When necessary be descriptive, whoa whoa not that descriptive

5) If it ain’t broke.

It was during the fifth rule where Backaus discussed the work that the firm is doing with The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else. (disclaimer: nibletz is a portfolio company for archer>malmo a>m ventures arm).

One of the biggest takeaways we got from the panel wasn’t an actual rule “You don’t need a big idea for your name you just need a name for your big idea” Backaus told the audience.

Find out more about archer>malmo here and a>m ventures here.

Here’s more of our great startup coverage from SXSW 2013

Xoogler Spotlight: Splenvid Zero Button Movie Creation [SXSW]

Splenvid,Xoogler,SXSW,SXSWi,startup pitch video,startup pitch,startupTwo former Googlers (xooglers) who once worked on the UX team at the internet giant have put together something new and exciting called Splenvid.  They spent over a decade at Google building maxable scalable systems so they are taking what they learned there and putting it into their new startup.

Splenvid is the self proclaimed “Zero Button Movie Creation” platform that allows users to tell stories through photos and videos uploaded to the cloud. That’s where the magic happens.

Splenvid is also fully collaborative and content can be combined to make even fuller movies.

All of the media that is uploaded from the user is then intertwined together automagically by Splenvid and spit back out as a complete story.

We got to see the pitch for Splenvid at the TechCocktail Pitch Jam event as SXSW (where I was a judge). While the app hasn’t been released yet, it may be just what the world needs in terms of easy ways to do media. Ease of operation are what make Instagram, Pinterest and Vine so popular.

Sure it’s not hard to string together movies using iMovie or a slew of other movie creation apps, but Splenvid’s value proposition is not having to do anything but upload and wait.

The app should be released later this spring. To get on their waiting list click here. Watch the video below:

Check out more of our startup coverage from SXSW here

Say It With A Song Using Utah Startup Gigg [sxsw]

Gigg,Utah Startup,Startup,startups,startup interview,sxsw,sxswiAre you one of those people that likes to quote song lyrics when talking to people? Perhaps you were a child of the 90’s and made “mix tapes” for everyone and everything? Well there’s a startup in Utah called Gigg that puts that nostalgia back into your life.

The best part?

You don’t even need to know the whole lyric.

With Gigg you can use their app and find the song lyrics you want by artist, title or even a couple of words you think are in the song. From there the app finds the song that you’re looking for, lets you send a message with the lyric and links the recipient to where they can purchase the song.

It was great running into the Gigg team at the SXSW trade show, right smack in the middle of SXSWi and SXSW music.

For our demonstration of the app the lyric was “I Like Big Butts” and it quickly found Sir Mix A lot and a bunch of other great lyrics that would make great messages.

The app is fun and for those who like to send sappy love songs, it could be just what you’re looking for.

Check out the interview below and for more info visit

Check out more SXSW 2013 Startup Coverage here. 

Silicon Slopes Startup Speakerfy Is Turning Devices Into Speakers Everywhere [sxsw]

Speakerfy,Utah startup,startup,startups,sxsw,sxswi,startup interviewHave you caught onto the latest phenom in night clubs and parties? Yes I’m talking about the silent disco or the headphone party. These are parties where everyone is listening to the same music, typically being spun by a dj, but using headphones. We’ve been to headphone parties in Memphis, New York, Baltimore and of course on 6th street at SXSW.

The great thing about headphone parties is there is no outer noise and no need for someone to call the cops and complain. The bad part is the upkeep of the wireless headphone equipment.

Well… Utah startup Speakerfy has the solution. Now keep in mind that Speakerfy isn’t just about the headphone party we’ll go over a bunch of uses later. For the example of the headphone party though, Speakerfy allows any wifi connected smartphone to turn into a speaker. It supports up to 250 devices.

So now, if you’re holding a “silent disco” you can use Speakerfy and send the audio through everyone’s personal phone and they can use their own headphones or earbuds to join in the party. (if someone wrote a text communication app on top that would solve the anti-social part of the silent disco).

So all of the devices on the same Speakerfy hear the exact same audio at the exact same time.

Here are some other great uses for Speakerfy:

– Presentations at conferences
– Walking tours
– Museum tours
– your own personal radio station
– sharing music on the bus

the uses are really endless.

For more of how Speakerfy works check out the video interview from SXSW below:



Quick Concise Pitch From Realty Mogul, Eye Catching, And Prize Winning At SXSW [sxsw]

RealtyMogul,Los Angeles startup,startup,startup pitch,startup america,sxsw,sxswiRealty Mogul, a crowdfunded real estate platform and graduate of the TechStars Microsoft Azure accelerator wowed multiple audiences at last weeks SXSW Interactive festival.

We got the chance to see Realty Mogul pitch on the Startup America Live stage before the Hatch Competition. It was the intense coaching they received both in the accelerator and from their Hatch coach, that got their pitch down to almost perfect.

It also resulted in them winning the Hatch Pitch competition, and judges calling the startup “Histrionic”.

The Hatch competition was in it’s second year and narrowed down the field from over 100 applicants. It’s an intense pitch contest with startups selected getting one on one coaching from industry leaders and previous Hatch winners.

“A big piece of what pitches needs to happen is to make the audience relate. What made us successful last year was we told a story about the problem. A lot of the companies don’t engage the audience that well. When you tell a story in four minutes, it’s really hard to be concise with the message. You have to treat it like you have 30 seconds instead of four minutes. That forces you to get the message down.” Distil Inc CEO (and judge for this years Hatch competition) Rami Essaid said to SiliconHills.

When you watch the quick pitch video below you’ll understand how all this work has paid off and how it led to the Realty Mogul team winning the Hatch competition. You can find out more about Realty Mogul, here or here on their Angel List profile.

Cincinnati Startup Repp Pitches At Startup America Live At SXSW [sxsw]

Repp,Cincinnati Startup,SXSW,SXSWi,Startup Pitch,Startup America,BranderyCincinnati startup Repp was one of the great startups we saw at the Brandery 2012 demo day back in October. Repp is a service that allows people to validate their repp or reputation.

Repp waited from October until now for their first big marketing push. We bumped into Michael Bergman, Repp’s co-founder in the lobby at the Hilton where he was wearing a hot pink Repp t-shirt and handing out breakfast tacos. Startup founders will do anything they can to get much needed exposure at SXSW.

They were also one of the startups invited to pitch at the Startup America Live pitch sessions, which included feedback from top members of the startup community.

Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date, but a year to make love she wanted you to wait… oh wait that’s a song lyric. Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date and after she stood you up you found out she “pre date stalked you”? Well that’s exactly what happen to REPP founder Michael Bergman, when he actually met his now wife. Luckily for Bergman he’s got a pretty popular name. In fact, [Chris Bergman], the founder of Chore Monster (which is a previous graduate of The Brandery) isn’t even related to Michael.

So sure we internet stalk everyone now. The first thing I do when I get a new business card or meet someone at a conference I find intriguing is go right to good ole Google. The problem with that in the dating world is that there is a lot of stuff out there that may be better suitable after a few dates.

Now take a situation at the complete other end of the spectrum. It’s time to sell your iPhone 4s on Craigslist. Now this is a hot item and you may want to know a little bit more about the man who just pulled up to a panel van and appears to be packing a pistol in his sweatshirt.

In both of these cases you want more information about someone. If you were the someone in question, with REPP at, you can control that flow of information.

REPP aggregates your social graph and can even integrate a background check into a profile that you can give people access to. You can also control how much information is given out in that profile.

You may want the ladies to know a little more information than the guy you’re buying the stolen Xbox from. Nonetheless both the Craigslist seller and the nice young lady would be more comfortable with more information about you.

The service is free at the moment but moving to a freemium model with added features. Check out Bergman’s pitch from the Startup America Live stage below:

We’ve got even more startup coverage of SXSW here.

Please take a look at this.

48 Startup Stories From SXSW 2013 [sxsw]

Startups,SXSW,SXSWi,SXSW2013Before we dive into this list of 48 startup stories from everywhere else at SXSW 2013, in the words of the late great Billy Mays, “But wait there’s more”. We have another weeks worth of stories so if we met you or interviewed you and you don’t see your story yet, or your jonesing for even more startup stories from SXSW keep checking back.

And of course, this was ONE writer, and we could always use your help, so click here!

Speek’s Danny Boice pitches at TechCocktail event, co-founder John Bracken gets a monkey tattooed on his ass.

We met this cool founder, Josh, from Birminham Alabama, claiming “NotIt” 

If you’re crowdfunded startup needs due diligence, this DC startup has you covered

AustinPreneur Jason Cohen, on angel investing and deal flow

DC startup Homesnap returns to SXSW after nailing funding in 2012

The Sneaker Strapped SXSW take over

KC Startup TreeSwing gets you started with investing for a buck

These ladies have the ultimate breakup app 

Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend speaks on a SXSW panel about Startup Communities

Yes there are cool startups in New Hampshire like RockLobby

Woman founders hows off her startup that helps you tell stories through cooking

Tony Hsieh talks about startup communities

Juan DotCo, no relation to Kim DotCom, takes a break from his birthday party to chat with nibletz.

Mr. Lean Startup, Eric Ries, gives out some advice.

We attended over 30 parties, VegasTech’s was the best.

Don’t believe us, here are the Vines from the Vegas Tech Party

Interview with Bad Ass Startup Chick, Denver Hutt.

This Austin startup has home automation, REALLY figured out

Yes, Dave McClure did the Harlem Shake at SXSW

A startup from Sheboygan Wisconsin launches at SXSW, and gives away $150,000

Meet our good friend Sam from Atlanta and his startup Medicast.

Yes this is a bad ass startup from Las Vegas and it’s all about bowling.

Steve Case talks about the importance of crowdfunding for early stage startups

DC Mayor Vince Gray comes to SXSW to support DC startups

Meet Startup Bus startup BriefSkate, the first startup to build an actual physical product on the Startup Bus.

Move over Mailbox App, Taskbox is better.

We caught up with Alex from Fetchnotes at SXSW

Austin startup Stormpulse is immune to the series a crunch.

Chicago Startup tackles childhood obesity

Drunkspotting gets created on the bus after the startup bus. 

Jason Cohen on the importance of AngelList.

Interview with Crowdery at the SXSW Startup Crawl.

Video pitch from MatchBox one of the LaunchEDU finalists 

Interview with Shari Wynne the founder of Austin’s Incubation Station

Baltimore startup disrupts curriculum writing.

Austin startup Ordoro was our first stop on the SXSW startup crawl

Here’s the winner of the K-12 category at LaunchEDU

Here’s the winner of the higher ed category at LaunchEDU 

Check out this Chicago Ed Tech startup from SXSWedu

Maryland startup Collegesnapps gets students to and through college

The big win announcement from SXSWedu

Amplify announces a tablet for middle schoolers at SXSW

I wish we had this when I was in school

I don’t care what they do, this startup has a bad ass name

We caught the premiere of the StartupWeekend EDU movie at SXSW

Cristin Frodella talks about the Google Science Fair in the Google Classroom at SXSW

Catch the evolution of SXSW in an infographic

This Boston Augmented reality startup won two honors at SXSW 2013


This Pitch From DC Startup Speek Results In A Monkey Tattoo On John Bracken’s Ass [video][sxsw]

Speek,DC Startup,John Bracken,Danny Boice, Monkey Tattoo,startup,startup pitch,sxsw,sxswiWe’ve been following Washington DC conference calling startup Speek since they were little more than a pitch deck last year at a DC tech event.

The company was founded by John Bracken, one of the cofounders of E-Vite (the precursor to Facebook events lol) and Danny Boice, a startup renaissance man, who even spoke at our huge “ The Startup Conference”.

Anyone who knows the Speek team knows that John and Danny compliment each other greatly. John is the yin to Dany’s yang. Danny is a constant cutup bringing fun into every situation and John plays a playful straight man to Danny’s antics. Well if John had been at Danny’s pitch during the TechCocktail Pitch Jam on Saturday at SXSW 2013, this great stunt, that made the Wall Street Journal, may not have happened.

Danny knows they have something great going on with Speek. It’s by far the easiest way to hold a conference call and it does away with the need for long phone numbers and longer “pin” numbers. You simply go to someone’s speek page, like (my page) and click the call button. Voila. But after partaking in SXSW libations all day long and being couped up because of the rain, Danny had something cool in mind to win the Pitch Jam contest.

After going through is normal 60 second pitch, he added a twist. Call it humor, or a little jealousy, but John had to bail on the event to go have dinner with DC Mayor Vince Gray, and left Danny alone, to pitch, and to say whatever he wanted. And he did.

Danny told the audience at the end of the pitch that John would get a tattoo of Speek’s mascot monkey on his ass if they won. Since there was a lot of spill over from the DC Tech Meetup earlier in the day, there were plenty of people who knew John, and wanted to see him get a monkey tattoed on his ass.

Well low and behold, Danny won. The next day, John got this:

(photo: Wall Street Journal)

And here’s Danny Boice’s winning pitch video:

We’ve got more startup coverage from SXSW than any other site, click here and see for yourself.

We really need some help, click that button below:

Birmingham Startup NotIt Labs Shows Off iPhone App At SXSW [video][sxsw]

Notit,NotIt Labs, Birmingham Startup,Alabama Startup,startup,startups,startup interview,sxsw,sxswiBirmingham Alabama’s startup ecosystem continues to grow. Joshua Gilmer knows that first hand. He’s a serial entrepreneur that already has a successful web agency and is now putting the finishing touches on his mobile startup NotIt Labs.

NotIt is a mobile app that will debut on the iPhone in the next couple of months. The app makes delegating tasks fun, and a bit more fair.

Say you’re at the office and someone needs to go on a coffee run. Well, using NotIt everyone in the office can basically call “not it” and the last person to respond of course gets stuck with the task of running to the coffee shop.

It’s just as effective with house hold chores, mowing the lawn, picking up the kids, or even an old fashioned game of tag.

“We all know how to play Not It: give out some task arbitrarily to an open forum and all the kids would say ‘not it.’ We are taking that social contract to social media,” Joshua Gilmer,told Mashable in an interview as SXSW.

While the idea behind the mobile app is simple enough, it hasn’t been done before and the UI looks fantastic for an idea so simple.

In the interview below Gilmer talks about how he came up with the idea after reading the book “Reality is Broken”. He wanted to create something that blended the online world with real life.

The iPhone app should release in the coming months. The team plans to resort to KickStarter to raise money to build an Android version as well.

Check out the video below and for more info visit

Here are more startup stories from SXSW 2013