Top student entrepreneurs will pitch their ventures at official SXSW event—with prizes and school bragging rights on the line.
RELEASE Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013 — The stage is set. The Entrepreneurial Eight have been chosen for the finals of the Student Startup Madness (SSM) tournament, an official event of South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive. Two teams from each of the four regional groupings-Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and Southwest-will be in Austin, Texas, on March 11 to pitch before a judging panel of successful investors and entrepreneurs to compete for top honors and valuable technology tools provided by Google Developers.
What started in November with a field of 64 college student startup teams was narrowed in December to 32 semi-finalists from 18 colleges and universities across the United States. The eight finalists come from eight different universities, with locations in seven different states.
Student Startup Madness is a fun and exciting nationwide tournament providing college student startups the opportunity to “live the entrepreneurial dream,” compete against fellow student entrepreneurs, grab the attention of potential investors and leaders in the startup community, and build an elite professional network. At the SSM finals at SXSW, these elite college student startups will pitch their businesses to well-known investors and entrepreneurs who can help them transform their ideas into business success.
The Entrepreneurial Eight Finalists
The eight teams selected for the finals are:
- crowdrx from The University of Texas at Austin
- Health on Time (HOT) from the University of Illinois at Chicago
- RentLingo from Stanford University
- Shindig from Emory University
- StoryBoard from St. Louis University
- TempoRun LLC from Michigan State University
- Traverie from the University of California at Berkeley
- UpSmart LLC from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
“This is a great group of finalist teams,” says Sean Branagan, creator of the SSM program. “Innovative ideas, interesting business models, amazing views of the future-the competition in Austin is going to be fierce on March 11. Can’t wait!”
The top three teams, as judged and scored by the SSM panel, will each get $5,000 of credits for Google Cloud Platform (https://cloud.google.com). Cloud Platform allows startups to build, deploy and run web applications and mobile app backends in the cloud, without having to worry about infrastructure or scalability.
“This is a valuable and fitting prize for the top teams,” Branagan says. “Not only are these the kinds of technology tools these digital media businesses need, but they are generously provided by Google-a company that was started by college students back in 1997.”
The first round of the Student Startup Madness competition was held online from August until November. Judging took place via Gust.com, a platform used by angel investors around the world. The 32 semi-finalists advanced to the virtual regional round, primarily based on their home college location, where they were judged against each other online (see regional bracket below). From each of the four regions, two finalists emerged to form the “Entrepreneurial Eight” (or “E8?), who will come to Austin on March 11 to pitch their businesses at the SSM national finals.
About the finalists
crowdrx from The University of Texas at Austin: We are crowdsourcing knowledge to save lives by empowering doctors with a workflow suited mobile application. [Justin Crites, Tony Llongueras and Macario Lara] – https://angel.co/crowdrx
Health on Time (HOT) from the University of Illinois at Chicago: A medication therapy management app that allows pharmacists to conduct comprehensive sessions by video conferencing with real time info [Soojin Jun, Jennifer Mourafetis] – https://gust.com/c/health_on_time
RentLingo from Stanford University: The social way to find roommates and rentals. See how you’re connected to prospective apartments, roommates and your new city. [Dan Laufer and Byron Singh] – www.RentLingo.com
Shindig from Emory University: The Social Network for Social People. Keep track of your social life by instantly sharing plans with friends. Know who is going where, when. [Hailey Friedman, James Rubinowitz, Julian Tigler, Alex Sloan and Eric Ugland] – www.shindigmobile.com
StoryBoard from St. Louis University: Your life is a movie; capture it. StoryBoard is your experiences, your characters, your story, one 30-second video at a time. [Darren Jackson, Ty Sondag and Alex Johnson] – https://gust.com/c/storyboard/
TempoRun LLC from Michigan State University: TempoRun is an app that will allow users to always run at a consistent and enjoyable pace, using music tempo as guide. [Josh Leider, Benny Ebert-Zavos, Phil Getzen and Adam Proschek] – www.temporunapp.com
Traverie from the University of California at Berkeley: Traverie.com helps you explore travel through friends. Think of us as an interactive travel magazine with content from friends. [Gaurav Agarwal, Jimming Cheng, and Tiffany Yang] – www.traverie.com
UpSmart LLC from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: UpSmart aims to take advantage the JOBS Act, by offering the first web presence for entrepreneurs seemlessly integrated with crowdfunding. [Heidi Beatrice Moore, Samuel Webster Hagen, Aaron Tobias, and Ryan William Maxfield] – www.upsmart.com
About Student Startup Madness
The Student Startup Madness concept was developed by Sean Branagan, director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, in conjunction with SXSW. Syracuse University is the organizing institution for this year’s national tournament.
Student Startup Madness is supported by generous corporate sponsors Turner Broadcasting’s Media Camp (Premier Sponsor), Google Developers, Foursquare, and The Newhouse School – with help from other media companies and firms that work with early-stage ventures.
The tournament has been promoted and supported by four anchor universities in four regions across the country: Emory University in the Southeast, Saint Louis University in the Midwest, The University of Texas at Austin in the Southwest and Syracuse University in the Northeast.
Student Startup Madness, along with its sponsors and host universities, believes in American entrepreneurship and on-campus startups-and wants to help young student entrepreneurs succeed and become a part of the SXSW experience.
Student Startup Madness debuted at the 2012 SXSW Interactive with a launch event and kick-off pitchfest, where five student startup teams representing eight colleges and universities pitched their ventures and won prizes. For more on Student Startup Madness, visit the website (www.studentstartupmadness.com), see us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: @StartupMad.
[FINALISTS FROM EACH REGION ARE IN BOLD]
|Amulet Media Inc.||Audiotecha|
|Bazaarboy||Health on Time (HOT)|
|Class on the Net||PsyQic|
|TempoRun LLC||UpSmart LLC|
|Text Reject||Uvalue Inc.|
|Parallel Players LLC||cooperat.es|