This year's SXSW Accelerator Competition included a new Knight sponsored track focused on news-related technologies.' Over 400 submissions were received, but only the eight following news start-ups made it to the finals Monday in Austin.
Crowdmap ' A Web-based service that allows anyone to create live maps using information pulled from SMS, Twitter and other social media sources. Crowdmap operators categorize and visualize this data on an interactive map and timeline. Crowdmap is a service supported by the non-profit tech company Ushahidi.
DocumentCloud ' A catalog of primary source documents and a tool for annotating, organizing and publishing them on the web. Documents are contributed by journalists, researchers and archivists. DocumentCloud is helping reporters get more out of documents and helping newsrooms make their online presence more engaging.
Localocracy ' An online town commons, where registered voters using real names can vote, comment on and learn about their local issues. Localocracy partners with media organizations and helps them improve local coverage and engagement. The project is currently being used by the Boston Globe.
MuckRock ' A reporting tool that helps anyone legally get, share and analyze government documents, from internal e-mails and police reports to local statistics and reports. The project has helped break stories on immigration and governmental spending and is powered by a community of professional and amateur journalists.
Participatory Politics Foundation ' Open-source software platforms for transparency and civic engagement. Its flagship projects are OpenCongress.org and OpenGovernment.org, two efforts to bring transparency to state, city, local and international governments.
YAPPER-Your APP maker ' A Web based service that enables media organizations to build quick and affordable interactive mobile applications for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices, allowing them to sell their content via mobile technologies without writing a single line of code.
Each of the eight contestants presented their project to a panel of judges. Only three of the eight startups ' DocumentCloud, Storify and Opengovernment.org ' moved to the second and final round of judging. On Tuesday, after another round of fast-paced presentations to a panel of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and media innovators, Storify was announced as the winner of the 2011 SXSW Accelerator Competition in the news startup category.
Congratulations to all the finalists and to the grand prize winner!
Check out the eight projects and tell us what you think. If you have a great idea to speed media innovation and inform and engage communities, please visit www.knightfoundation.org and learn about the different ways Knight can help you launch your project.