The annual South By Southwest Interactive awards/festival took place over the weekend, and Boston was well represented at the SXSW Accelerator Awards.
Sensible Baby, a Somerville-based startup that uses sensors to monitor sleeping babies, won the competition’s “Best Bootstrapped Company” award — given to the company that has “done the most with the least.”
The company has grown quickly since being formed and winning Startup Weekend Boston’s sensor-focused event last March. After a stint in MassChallenge, the company is seeking to be a player in the very competitive “quantified baby” sector.
Sensible Baby’s SmartOne sensor can detect a baby’s movement (or lack thereof), temperature, breathing, and sleeping orientation. The company was originally formed as a way to be able to detect signs of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by connecting a data-tracking sensor to a parent’s smartphone.
Ben Cooper, Sensible Baby’s chief executive, explained that they were finalists in the “Health” category at the SXSW Accelerator, which was won by mental health coaching company ThriveOn. When the last award of the night, the Bootstrapped Award, was announced, they were shocked to win.
“It was absolutely incredible,” Cooper said. “Entrepreneurs and startups need to always be hustling, identifying ways to get the job done.” To be recognized for that was pretty wonderful, he added.
As for the rest of 2014, Sensible Baby is beta testing their products with some parents and hope to officially launch SmartOne in the late summer or fall.
Another company with a New England connection, Waygo, an app that allows users to instantly translate written Chinese, won the Entertainment and Media category. The company has its roots in Rhode Island; they were part of Providence-based accelerator Betaspring’s 2011 cohort. The company move from Betaspring to the 500 Startups program and are now headquartered in Mountain View, California.
Two other local companies, DataBox and Map-D also took part in the pitch competition.