Venture Madness

Presented by Invest Southwest In Partnership with The Arizona Commerce Authority
Registration for our live bracket contest is now closed.
You can no longer sign up for or edit your bracket, but you can visit the leaderboard to follow the action and see if you're in the running for a MacBook Air or iPad Air 2!

[ About ]

Venture Madness, presented by Invest Southwest in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, pits 64 of the most promising startups against one another in a bracket-style, head-to-head competition. Think you’ve got what it takes? Registration is free and open to any startup in any stage of development.

How it Works

The competition starts with a bracket of 64 startup companies. After two online elimination rounds in which the advancing companies are chosen by a panel of judges, the top 16 companies will advance to the live-demo portion of the contest held March 4-6, 2015, at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. It’s here where they will compete for their share of $50,000 in cash prizes by live-pitching their way through the remainder of the brackets before a panel of judges, who will determine which company will be crowned the 2015 Venture Madness Champion.

[ Apply ]

Applications for Venture Madness 2015 are now closed. If you have questions please contact Rafal Chudzik, at Thank you!

Please download and review our Rules & Guidelines and Terms & Conditions. If you have questions, please visit our FAQ’s page or contact us.


What is Venture Madness?

Venture Madness, presented by Invest Southwest in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, was formerly the Invest Southwest Capital Conference and is the premier capital conference in the Southwest. This year’s conference celebrates more than 20 years of the region’s most promising startups and emerging growth companies with an audience of hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs and service professionals. Audiences from all over the globe will see companies present their business plans in rounds of head-to-head competitions.

On March 4-6, 2015, Venture Madness culminates when 16 startup finalists present at a live event at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. The event includes a nationally recognized keynote speaker, presenting company forums and exhibit booths, a variety of networking events, and an MLB Spring Training Game.

How is my application evaluated?

Please review the application information packet which outlines how your application is evaluated. The packet includes the judging rubric, which you may use to help you more effectively complete your application. Click here to download the application information packet.

What are the benefits to applying to present at the 2015 Venture Madness Conference?

Companies that present at the conference will meet people who’ve been in their shoes. They will be able to network with and learn from a panel of 30+ judges including expert investors, investment bankers and service professionals, in addition to the other entrepreneurial minds who attend the conference. They will have national and international exposure through the Venture Madness website during the competition, as members of the public view their applications and fill out brackets to predict which company will win. All 64 participating companies will be mentioned in the conference notebook, which is distributed to more than 300 attendees.

What are the pitch video requirements?

Videos are limited to a maximum of 90 seconds. Please save your video as an .MP4, .MOV or .WMV file format and host on YouTube or Vimeo. With your application, you must provide a link to your video hosted on YouTube or Vimeo. If you provide financial information or make an ask for money during your elevator pitch video, you will be disqualified. Your video is one of the most important parts of your application. You have a minute and a half to make a lasting impression on the judges and the public, who will be voting for their favorites. This is your time to shine!

Who reviews my application?

Invest Southwest will review initial applications, and based on weighted scores, the top 48 will be invited to participate in Venture Madness alongside 16 other companies that have been recognized through the Arizona Innovation Challenge. Those 64 applications will be placed on the Venture Madness website for review and voting by a selection panel. Read the How It Works page for more information.

What is the cost to apply?

It is free to apply for the 2015 Venture Madness Competition. You will be responsible for your travel to and accommodations during the Venture Madness event.

What if there are problems with my application?

If you have a technical difficulty submitting your application through ValidEval, please submit a help request here. If your response is not resolved through ValidEval, please contact Karen Katzorke, Executive Director of Invest Southwest. Please note that Invest Southwest receives a high volume of calls the week prior to the application deadline, and your request will be responded to in the order that is is received.

When do I know if my company was selected to present at the conference?

An Invest Southwest representative will be in touch with you by February 4th 2015, a month prior to the conference, if your company is selected to present.

How can I confirm that my application was successfully submitted?

Once you have successfully submitted your application materials, ValidEval will take you to a thank you page confirming your submission. If you apply prior to the deadline and do not see a thank you confirmation page or experience other issues with the ValidEval site, please email Karen Katzorke at

If my company is selected to present at the March 2015 Conference, what are the next steps?

An Invest Southwest representative will contact each company to notify them if they are selected to compete in each round. Companies that move on to rounds 2 and 3 will compete based on their original applications. The final 16 companies selected to present at the conference are required to attend:

Presenting Company Orientation

Mentor Team Meetings (ongoing)

March 4-6 Conference (CEO/President is required to present)

Can I attend the 2015 Venture Madness Conference?

Yes, conference registration is open to the public. Visit the Registration Page for more information.

Are there any Invest Southwest or Venture Madness social media networks?

Yes, join our social media networks at the following:

Invest Southwest’s Facebook


Invest Southwest Twitter

Venture Madness Twitter


Tickets for Venture Madness 2015 will be available soon! Please sign up for email updates and we will notify you when tickets are on sale.

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[ Agenda ]

Check In/Registration

Top 16 Company Presentations

Networking Reception

Top 8 Company Presentations

MLB Spring Training Game

Top 4 Company Presentations

Top 2 Company Presentations

Keynote Speaker

Venture Madness Winner Announced

Event Registration

Want to witness the crowning of the 2015 champion? Sign up for updates and we will make sure you are among the first to learn when tickets go on sale. Venture Madness will be held March 4-6, 2015. Don’t miss out on live-pitching, networking, a spring training game and more.


Check back for tickets,
coming soon!

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