Three Canadian Startups are Quietly Powering This Year’s SXSW Conference



A team of Canadian startups is powering much of this year’s South By South West Interactive Media conference.

Vancouver-based Eventbase developed the official 2014 SXSW Go app, which will achieve an industry first through the rollout of secure iBeacon-powered proximity beacons and the launch a “Session Live” feature that will enable real-time audience interaction.

Attendease, which also hails from Vancouver, is being used by SXSW in a number of capacities. First, the event planning team uses the company’s Schedule Builder tool to slot the entire schedule across all event venues. Second, the Attendease API is being leveraged to synchronize the slotted schedule data with related SXSW properties. And third, Attendease is being used to host the interactive schedule for SXSW’s Interactive Workshops.

Finally, a third Vancouver startup, Meetingmax, will be powering hotel reservations. Meetingmax’s online accommodation platform will handle hotel room bookings for SXSW’s roster of events and conferences; the companies expect the system to process more than $15 million in hotel transactions during the first year.

“Since 1987, SXSW has been a standard‐bearer for independent business and independent thinkers,” said Mike Shea, Executive Director of SXSW. “Meetingmax is cut from that same cloth and we think their housing technology is the right system at the right time.”


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“Meetingmax’s core competency matched exactly what we were looking for. They know housing inside and out,” added Michael Brown, Technical Project Manager of SXSW. “Rather than building a system with similar capabilities, working with Meetingmax means we know the system will function at the level it needs to. We’re now free to focus our energy on innovation in other areas.”

“This contract is a long-term, significant investment for Meetingmax and SXSW. Ensuring the fundamentals of our organizations aligned was important to both of us,” said Jeff Duncan, founder of Meetingmax. “It feels great to be working with a team that will benefit from our software and that also functions like ours in terms of goals and culture. We’re excited to develop this relationship in the years to come.”