Proto wins SXSW Innovation Award: Connecting People

The holoportation original took the top prize in its category and the new model M was demonstrated to the public for the first time ever

Austin, TX, March 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The 24th annual SXSW Innovation Awards announced that Proto Inc. (formerly known as PORTL) has won the top prize in the category “Innovation in Connecting People.”  The judges were the first people outside of the company to ever see the working prototype of the Proto M, the first fully self-contained hologram device designed to be in every home and office. This tabletop-ready model has the same holoportation and display capabilities as the larger Epic, which is already being used in enterprise, education, hospitality, retail, museums, marketing and NFT display. SXSW visitors can see both the Epic and the M at the Creative Industries Expo at the Convention Center, Booth 741. 

“We’ve been saying our mission is to ‘Bring people together across every kind of divide’ since the beginning. So this award is particularly meaningful,” said Proto CEO and Inventor David Nussbaum. “I’m grateful to SXSW and very proud of my team – I want to give a special shoutout to Proto CTO Edward Ginis, Head of Operations Noah Rothstein, Head of Hardware Innovation Raffi Kryszek and Head of Sales Sean Storin who made this futuristic dream into a reality.”

Of hundreds of applications submitted, Proto was one of 65 finalists selected across 13 categories by a panel of judges composed of industry peers and experts. Each entry was graded on four criteria: creativity, form, function and overall experience. The Finalist Showcase provided an in-person experience for the judges to complete their second round of voting.

“‘Proto’ means ‘first,’ said Co-founder and COO/CFO Doug Barry. “And our new name reflects the fact that the company was the first in the world to build a 2-way, interactive holographic communications platform. We were the first to beam patients into a medical center for education, the first to allow a major CEO to introduce a new product in China without having to actually travel there, the first to facilitate live interviews on a major TV network during the Super Bowl, and the first to allow consumers to become a hologram with just a smartphone.”

Proto has had a busy year already, with the M being debuted on the Today Show and winning 3 honors at CES 2022. Proto also dominated Super Bowl Week in L.A. with events and experiences involving CBS Sports HQ, Rolling Stone, the Denver Broncos and Coinbase. The company also recently beamed tech rockstars Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway into Vox’s Pivot MIA event, made its debut at New York Fashion Week, and showed the first ever astronauts as holograms with their own NFT artworks at the L.A. Art Show. 

Proto is backed by tech investor Tim Draper (Tesla, SpaceX, Twitch), early Uber investors Mike Walsh and Jill Manus, TRUE Capital, and 57 active and retired pro athletes including Marshawn Lynch, Robert Griffin III, Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart, Luke Walton, Albert Pujols and new Super Bowl champion Sony Michel. Other athletes and artists who have used Proto include Sean Combs, Usain Bolt, Lewis Hamilton, Ocho Cinco, Dylan Alcott, Danny Green, Pusha T, Deadmau5, Migos and Kane Brown.

Recent project partners include over 20 Fortune 500 companies in 30 countries, including DHL, T-Mobile, AT&T, HBO, Netflix, Columbia Shipmanagement, the University of Central Florida, Mercedes Benz Stadium. 

For more information about the SXSW Innovation Awards and to view the complete list of 2022 winners and finalists, visit 

For more information about PORTL contact:

About Proto Inc.
Proto Inc., founded as PORTL in 2018, is the maker of hologram devices and the software and cloud services to support holoportation. Founded by inventor and CEO David Nussbaum, its award-winning products are now in use all over the world, beaming executives, tech and science experts, and sports and music celebrities to events, displaying NFTs and other objects, and becoming a vital new tool for education, retail, marketing, and the hospitality industry. The Tim Draper-backed startup has recently been named the number one new technology at Mobile World Congress 2021 in Barcelona, the Best new Telecom Startup by the IT awards, and a three time CES Innovation Awards Honoree for 2022. Proto's headquarters are in Los Angeles and it has satellite and distributor showrooms in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Columbus, OH. Proto seeks to bring people together across every kind of divide. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For more information go to

About SXSW: SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, the event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2022 will take place March 11-20, 2022. For more information, please visit To register for the event, please visit  


 Proto Portl Hologram Proto hologram Portl