It’s that time of year where it seems like everyone is in Austin, Texas for SXSWi (I write, jealously, from a sofa in the north of England).
Plenty of startups are looking to make their mark at the festival, and many European companies have flown across the Atlantic hoping to get noticed.
If you’re lucky enough to be there, here are three European startups aiming to help you make the most of SXSW.
Work out who you should meet at SXSW
“We’re pulling in 100% of tweets that mention SXSW, #sxsw and 600 session hashtags via Gnip (exclusive providers of Twitter’s firehose for research and data analysis),” explains the company’s Alex Housley. “The more you tweet about SXSW, the more relevant the recommendations become. It’s also possible to search for any keyword or hashtag to find the most relevant people.”
Tracking down the people it suggests is made easy with Qwerly integration that pulls in all the social network links it can find for each user, and you have the option to tweet out an introduction straight from the site. Housley says that today the ability to introduce two other people to each other will be added.
Help build a league of the best SXSW speakers
French startup Balloon, which offers an app to make conferences more interactive, has launched Rate My Speaker. This site lets you enter the name of a conference speaker, or a conference hashtag, and then, er… rate the speaker!
Marks are out of five stars, and speakers are organised into the conferences they’re taking part in for easy browsing. As SXSW proceeds, the idea is that a league will build up of the most popular speakers, helping you work out the best people to catch along the way.
Maximise your networking on the flight home
When it comes to flying home, it makes sense to try logging your flight numbers with Planely. This Denmark-based service (one of our Ten European startups to watch in 2011) lets you discover other people traveling on the same plane as you and those who will be at the airport at the same time.
It’s potentially a great way of connecting with others and just ahead of SXSW, Tripit integration was added to automatically import your flights logged there. On my most recent trip, I ended up getting invited to an event as a direct result of using Planely.