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SXSW 2013
Shaq Attack

Shaquille O'Neal picks the winners of his Pitch Shaq mobile startup contest

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Austin Photo Set: News_Shaq_SXSW_Mar 2013
Courtesy of Courtesy of SXSW

Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal announced the winners of his 15-second “Pitch Shaq” contest in a chummy gathering at the Long Center as a part of SXSW Interactive.

The winners, which Shaq will be providing capital contributions to, are Beam, a smartphone to desktop (and vice-versa) communication app, and Speakerfy, an app that allows multiple devices to play music in sync. Both apps are in early building stages, and the idea is that Shaq’s support will be what they both need to take on the stiff mobile application market competition.

 “The way I use [Twitter] is to 60 percent to make you laugh, 30 percent to inspire you and 10 percent endorse products,” Shaq said. “I do a lot of ‘yo mamma’ jokes.” 

App companies competed by sending in 15-second video pitches to Shaq through Tout, the same video app that the celebrity used to announce his retirement from professional play.

Beyond his prolific basketball career, the San Antonio native has also become a bit of a technology and social media savant — he was an early, pre-IPO investor in Google.

He also has business interests in Five Guys burgers, Vitamin Water and Muscle Milk.

“I’ve always wanted to be at the forefront of technology,” he said. “I’m one of the world’s tallest geeks.”

His expertise, though, lies in Twitter, where he commands nearly seven million followers. The panel’s moderator, author Brian Solis, relayed that Twitter creator CEO Jack Dorsey himself says Shaq is the “ideal” Twitter user.

“The way I use it is to 60 percent to make you laugh, 30 percent to inspire you and 10 percent endorse products,” Shaq said. “I do a lot of ‘yo mamma’ jokes.”

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