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.
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.
Companies from Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah are encouraged to apply to compete in Venture Madness. The open application period takes place from November 21, 2014 – December 18, 2014. Steps to apply:
1. Click here to download the application document.
2. Complete the application according to the detailed instructions and create a PDF document.
3. Create a 90 second pitch video showcasing your company and upload to YouTube or Vimeo. The video is mandatory and will be used in the judging process. This is your time to shine!
4. Click the submit button below to upload your application and video link.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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)
Yes, conference registration is open to the public. Visit the Registration Page for more information.
See what’s coming up at Invest Southwest, from workshops to cocktail receptions, there are more than enough events leading up to the main conference in March that are not to be missed. To stay up to date with everything happening give us your information and we’ll make sure to keep you connected.
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.
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