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Canadian startups Maluuba, Synaptop join digital moshpit at SXSW

Maluuba co-founders Sam Pasupalak (left) and Mo Musbah.

Maluuba co-founders Sam Pasupalak (left) and Mo Musbah. Just as dozens of musicians here in Montreal’s Mile End dutifully pack up their guitars and prepare for yet another annual opportunity to schmooze with industry types, eat BBQ and drink beer at South by Southwest, the festival’s Interactive (SXSWi) sub-event will be giving startups and entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their tech offerings in an online equivalent of a moshpit around their products.

On March 11th-12th, the festival will be staging its SXSW Accelerator event, featuring 48 companies, two of which are from Canada.

In that event’s Web category, Toronto’s Synaptop will be showcasing its cloud-based operating system, which aside from its business applications allowing users to collaborate on shared documents in real time, also plugs its software’s ability to allow multiple users to watch movies and listen to music together. Nowhere better than at a music festival to unveil novel ways to enable people to share the experience of listening to music.

In the Entertainment and Gaming category, Maluuba, started by students from the University of Waterloo, is a bit of voice recognition technology allowing a user to bark commands at a TV or smartphone.

A few familiar faces will also be maintaining a presence at SXSW, including Toronto’s Shopify, who will be holding its own meetup on March 9.

Within the festival, the SXSW Startup village will feature several Canadian startups, rubbing elbows with the most promising American startups, including Calgary’s Crowd Act and Toronto’s Speeker.

A Canadian Mobile Innovations panel will take place on March 10, featuring presenters from Wavefront, pplConnect and Digital Retail Apps, will be staged to highlight some of the more talented innovators on the Canadian mobile scene. To be followed by a Smart Canadians Drinks Party.

South by Southwest is an Austin, Texas based film and music festival that got its start in 1987 and has grown each year since. The 2012 SXSW Interactive Interactive Conference featured nearly 25,000 participants and more than 2500 speakers.


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