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@ SXSW: Winners named in Microsoft Bizspark entrepreneur contest

SXSW Accelerator presented by Microsoft BizSparkAUSTIN, Texas – Thirty-two hungry entrepreneurs showed off their products and services at the SXSW Accelerator presented by Microsoft Corp. BizSpark on March 14 at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival. The initial 32 were picked from more than 400 applicants and a panel of judges culled the pack and invited 12 finalists to participate in day two on March 15, where companies competed for the top spot in one of four categories that included news related technologies, innovative web technologies, entertainment technologies, and social media and social networking technologies.

Winners included Storify in the news related technology category, which is a way to tell stories using social media such as tweets, photos and videos. A user, such as a blogger or journalist, can search multiple social networks from one place, and then drag individual elements of what they are searching for into their news story. Users can re-order these elements and also add text to give context to readers.

Tango was the winner of the entertainment technologies category, which provides free cross-platform, cross-carrier mobile video calling available to users that download the app and register with Tango. The company uses a mobile device’s data network to place video calls and does not use up minutes of a calling plan. If a user has a plan that limits data consumption, according to the company, approximately two gigabytes of data will be used if the user makes 450 minutes of video calls over 3G or 4G.

Tango currently supports Android 2.1 or higher, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4G running iOS 4.0 or higher, iPod touch fourth-generation and iPad.

The innovative Web technology award went to Hipmunk, an airline flight search site with an improved interface for searching, browsing, and filtering flight search results to place the best results on one page based on price, duration, and number of stops.

PopVox was winner of the social media and social networking technologies award. PopVox verifies and aggregates communication with members of Congress on a nonpartisan level. Individuals and groups can provide their voices on pending bills and congressional staff and lawmakers can log into PopVox to measure reactions from their home district. Plans to make a mobile application are in the works.

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