How do you win SXSW? With a very big steer

South by Southwest Interactive, an annual rite of inspiration, information, barbecue, booze, and #humblebrags, starts tomorrow.

As hipsters descend upon Austin, Texas, a huge flood of tech startups will be angling for attention. How do you rise above the noise? We’ve got a way: Enter our unofficial, awesome, tongue-in-cheek, yet very practical #WinSXSW contest, hosted by VentureBeat and Fandrop.

The rules are simple: Go to and sign up. Then look for the #WinSXSW video crew at the Austin Hilton, every day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Central, or tweet at us using @WinSXSW and the hashtag #WinSXSW. Give our camera crew your 30-second pitch, and we’ll post it on the website.

That’s all you get: 30 seconds to make your case.

Then the fun begins. Get your friends to share your 30-second video pitch via Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, Google+, or Pinterest. Every share counts as a vote, as long as you do it through the #WinSXSW site. Whoever has the most votes on March 15 wins.

We’ll be writing about the top startups right here on VentureBeat. In addition, we’ve lined up some great prizes, including cash and services worth more than $100,000.

So get your startup registered! Look for us at SXSW — and may the best company win.

Find more SXSW coverage here.

Photo credit: David Berkowitz/Flickr