This year, International Accelerator, based in Austin, held its first FastPitch competition at SXSW at the Mexican American Cultural Center.
Flavr, a food tech app from Belgium, won the competition. The startup’s app connects food lovers with food makers in an on-demand marketplace. Flavr won a spot in the International Accelerator’s program and $50,000 in seed capital investment.
“We came to SXSW Interactive as part of Startup.be, a startup program for Belgian companies. We found out about FastPitch a week before so we only imagined this as a chance to gain some valuable experience pitching startup investors, not win it outright,” Alexander Van Lear, Flavr CEO, said in a news release. “”I honestly can’t believe our good fortune and am truly thankful to International Accelerator for the chance to compete.”
Coming in second place was Ergon Foods, a Greece-based startup which promotes Greek gastronomy through branded products and restaurants. Third place went to Ark Analytics, a Switzerland-based SaaS credit management solution that helps corporations, banks and insurers assess and manage risk inherent in complex transactions. Altogether, nine startups from nine different countries participated in the pitch competition.
“Being able to host a pitching event like FastPitch with startups traveling from nine countries during the world’s pre-eminent startup tech conference was a massive undertaking,” Phil Pompa, managing director of International Accelerator, said in a news release. “It’s a testament to the great network we have built over the past two years and the rich diversity of startup innovators eager to come participate in the American market through our accelerator program.”
The FastPitch gave startups a chance to pitch a panel of successful startup entrepreneurs and angel investors in hopes of gaining an invitation to join International Accelerator’s year-long program valued at over $300,000 in capital investments and in-kind contributions.
International Accelerator is focused solely on non-U.S. citizen founders. Angelos Angelou, founder of Angelou Economics and a long-time economic adviser to the tech industry in Austin, founded International Accelerator in 2013. With two selection rounds per year in June and November, International Accelerator runs a year-long program that provides access to seed funding, quality mentors and unique time-saving services needed to launch a startup in the United States.