Québec’s Booming Tech Haven Produces Seven SXSW ® Award Finalists

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Planet Québec is proud to announce expanded interactive representation at the conference this year, reflecting Québec's rapid growth in the industry.

Planet Quebec at SXSW 2014

“The IT industry is one of Québec’s fastest-growing sectors,” says Louise Fortin, director of Economic Services at the Québec Government Office in Atlanta. “And it shows, with seven Québec organizations chosen as 2014 SXSW award finalists."

The Québec Government, and its annual SXSW festival experience, Planet Québec, is proud to announce expanded interactive representation at the conference this year, reflecting Québec’s rapid growth in the industry. Thirteen of Québec’s best interactive organizations will attend, seven of which are SXSW award finalists.

“In the interactive sector alone, we’ve seen 700 percent growth in less than 12 years,” says Annie Bréard, International Business Developer, Invest-Québec. “In fact, Québec hosts the world’s third-largest pool of employees in the gaming industry, after California and Tokyo. This, along with 275 college and university programs designed hand-in-hand with local employers, significant tax incentives and highly-competitive costs, has convinced such big-name West Coast companies as Electronic Arts and Warner Brothers to open studios here.”

“The IT industry is one of Québec’s fastest-growing sectors,” says Louise Fortin, director of Economic Services at the Québec Government Office in Atlanta. “And it shows, with three Québec organizations chosen as finalists in the 2014 SXSW Accelerator competition and four more among the Interactive Award finalists.”

The 2014 SXSW Accelerator pitch competition is designed to highlight the most innovative advancements in a variety of emerging technology sectors. The three Québec finalists are:

1. Mighty Cast - http://www.mightycast.com - (Wearable Technologies category): Mighty Cast connects physical objects to the cloud through its patent-pending technology and proprietary platform. The first product for Mighty Cast, The NEX Band, is the world’s first collectible, social, gaming, proximity detecting wearable device; giving users an ever-changing experience

2. PPLCONNECT - http://pplconnect.mobi/ - (Social Technologies category): PPLCONNECT is a free app that allows users to access and use their smartphones from any web-enabled device, without changing their cell number

3. Synbiota - http://www.synbiota.com - (Innovative World Technologies category): Synbiota is a collaborative open-web platform that allows anyone to safely and sustainably create new medicines, materials, food and fuel by engineering life virtually, using real DNA as building blocks    

The SXSW Interactive Awards honor the concept of creation and strive to showcase the most innovative, “pushing the boundaries” projects developed by the world’s interactive community. Québec is proud to have the following finalists in four of the 15 award categories:

1. Emilie - http://emilie.radio-canada.ca - (Interactive category): A creatively interactive, romantic web series produced by Radio-Canada

2. Fort McMoney - http://www.fortmcmoney.com - (Experimental category): A highly-interactive documentary game by David Dufresne, produced with the National Film Board of Canada, to educate viewers about the impacts of the oil industry in Alberta, Canada

3. Just a Reflektor - http://www.justareflektor.com - (Music category): A first-of-its-kind interactive music video by Vincent Morisset for Grammy award-winning indie rock band, Arcade Fire    

4. Tom Bradley LAX International Terminal - http://www.momentfactory.com/en/portfolio/LAX - (Technical Achievement category): The largest immersive multimedia system of any airport in the Americas done by Moment Factory

Planet Québec invites SXSW badge holders to hob nob with these awe-inspiring finalists at Québec’s Interactive, Advertising, Film and Music Mixer, taking place in the Maggie Mae’s (6th & Trinity) Gibson Room on Tuesday, March 11, 5pm - 7 pm.

Additionally, even more of Québec’s promising technology entrepreneurs and knowledgeable representatives will be showcased at one of SXSW’s scheduled Meet Ups, So Cold, So Hot: Québec’s Booming Interactive Industry, on Monday, March 10 from 2:30-3:30 pm., as well as The Planet Québec SXSW Trade Show pavilion, located in the Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 3 at stands 1219, 1221, 1318 and 1320, from March 9 through 12. Join the Meet Up and stop by the booth to be inspired by these highly innovative organizations, and to learn exactly why Québec is a true North American entertainment, technology and interactive industry hub.

“Although a majority francophone culture, Québec is one of the most culturally diverse places in the world,” says Nadir Aboura, President, CEO of Kiwili and one of Planet Québec’s exhibitors at the Trade Show: “Québec offers unprecedented opportunities for growing businesses. It is a perfect testing ground for Kiwili because if it works for Québec’s diverse community, you know it will work globally.”

Planet Québec Trade Show Exhibitors

1. Brandicted - http://www.brandicted.com: Brandicted offers experiential shopping that allows consumers to visually explore and purchase branded products based on current, popular and relevant real-life images

2. Float4 - http://www.float4.com: Float4 Interactive is an award-winning Montréal-based creative technology company focused on producing interactive experiences in entertainment, advertisement, design and architecture. The company collaborated with NBA Digital for the 2014 Jam Session during the NBA All-Star event February 14 – 16 in New Orleans

3. Invest-Québec - http://www.investquebec.com: Invest-Québec consists of a team of experts providing the full range of services needed for organizations to set up operations in Québec and ultimately achieve long-term success

4. Kiwili - http://www.kiwili.com: Kiwili is a web-application management tool providing real-time information flow on estimates, billing, expenses, project management, accounting, time-sheet reports, charts and agendas, all combined with a private social network

5. Québec Cinema and Television Council - http://www.qftc.ca: The Québec Film and Television Council contributes to the development of Québec’s competitiveness as a world-class film and television production center by providing a single point of entry for foreign producers and offering a range of free services tailored to each producer’s needs

About So Cold, So Hot: Québec’s Booming Interactive Industry
Québec is known as a hotbed of creativity in interactive, film and music. On Monday, March 10, at 2:30 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center, join creative industry experts from Québec who will showcase innovative approaches to engaging customers and delighting audiences across multiple platforms.

About the Québec Interactive, Advertising, Film and Music Mixer
As SXSW Interactive comes to a close and Music launches, all SXSW badge holders are invited to mingle with some of Québec’s most innovative technology organizations at its Interactive, Advertising, Film and Music Mixer in the Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room on Tuesday, March 11, 5 pm - 7 pm.

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Katie Schaeffer
Planet Québec
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