Two Colorado startups named 2017 finalists at SXSW

2 min. read
A screen capture of the Blinker app. (Courtesy of Blinker)

A rendering of the Blinker app. (Courtesy of Blinker)

Two Denver startups, Blinker and Tokken, may be honored at South by Southwest for the way they're redefining the economy.

Both were among 65 finalists in the Interactive Innovation Awards hosted by the media, music and technology festival – and the odds are decent that one of the Denver companies will win in their category.

The advisory board of SXSW jurists selected the finalists from hundreds of international applicants, and sorted them into categories such as "Music and Audio Innovation," "Sci-Fi No Longer" and "Wearables."

Blinker is a peer-to-peer car sales app and 2016 Denver Gazelle. Tokken provides banking and compliance services to cannabis and other high risk industries. Together, they were two of the five finalists in "New Economy."

According to SXSW, this category recognizes companies that that redefine "the exchange of goods and services, from the sharing economy, to virtual currency, to micro-finance, to mobile-device-payment systems and beyond."

Jenaya McGowen and Lamine Zarrad outside of the Tokken office. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

“It’s an honor for all of us at Tokken to be recognized by the SXSW panel as a company bringing creative solutions to the fintech space and solving one of the biggest problems in the history of banking,” Tokken Founder and CEO Lamine Zarrad said in a statement. “Tokken is poised to not only extend banking to the emergent legal cannabis industry, but to reshape the way the world pays itself.”

Finalists earn complimentary SXSW Interactive registrations, as well as demo space at the Interactive Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase on Sunday, March 12.

Representatives from both companies will travel to Austin, Texas, to showcase their technology and be considered for the award.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at [email protected] or

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