A Chicago HR startup is leaving SXSW this year victorious after being crowned a winner at the festival’s annual pitch event.
Anthill, a startup that helps companies better engage with their blue-collar workforce, was named the winner of the “Future of Work” category at SXSW’s pitch event. The Chicago startup was one of nine category winners at the competition. Chicago-born JusticeText, a software platform that allows public defenders to efficiently sift through video footage, also won in the Smart Cities, Transportation & Logistics category.
Anthill received a $4,000 prize and passes for next year’s SXSW conference for winning the competition.
Founded in 2020 by Muriel Clauson and Young Jae Kim, Anthill creates a text messaging-based platform that supports a company’s “deskless” workforce. These employees, who often don’t have a company email address or computer, may find it difficult to communicate with their employer or take advantage of HR programs. Anthill fixes that via a SMS-texting platform that helps give a voice to those workers.
It raised a $3 million round last year from backers including Origin Ventures, Rethink Education and BBG Ventures. The startup also participated in the 2020 Techstars New York accelerator program. Anthill was one of Chicago Inno’s 21 startups to watch in 2021.
SXSW’s pitch event is now in its 14th year. Past winners include 3D printed home startup ICON and Apple’s Siri.
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