Field of 64 college startups announced for national tournament; Finals to be held at South By Southwest in March
Student startups from colleges across the USA compete for top honors and bragging rights in Student Startup Madness tournament.
Friday, December 28th, 2018
College startups from across the nation are finding out today they are part of the “starting field of 64” (SSM 64) in this year’s Student Startup Madness (SSM) competition, which will end on March 11, 2019, with the final competition on-stage at South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX.
Applications came from across the country, from large state universities to small private colleges, from technical institutes to liberal arts schools. Members of the SSM 64 came from 54 different colleges and universities, with a few active entrepreneurship campuses having multiple teams.
SSM highlights and spotlights college digital media startups. Famous college student startups include powerhouse companies such as Facebook, Google, Dell, Microsoft, Reddit, WordPress, and SnapChat. The startupsin this year’s SSM 64 are creating innovative new products and services, disruptive new business models, and brand new digital capabilities.
“These sixty-four startups may be the best college digital media startups in the country,” according to Sean Branagan, creator of Student Startup Madness and director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. “Every year we see hundreds of college student startups, and we are always impressed with the creativity and innovation… And, these startups come from colleges campuses all over the country, not just the usual tech hubs.”
“This year, we saw college startups inventing new virtual reality gaming systems, ‘soft robotics’ technology, and new voice and speaker tech that harnesses sound or produces it,” adds Gianna Whitver, Director of Marketing for the tournament. “We saw teams disrupting stable industries with artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, improving learning and economic outcomes for students, starting Gen Z-focused and diversity-minded media companies, and improving healthcare…Plus, we noticed an increase in the number of mission-driven startups utilizing tech ‘for good’ and startups that are integrating a charitable component into their business plans. There were many strong applicants.”
With this announcement of the starting field, the SSM competition really begins, and all teams have a shot at top honors and the SSM National Championship. The first two rounds of the tournament will be held online, and the competition culminates with the finals on-stage at SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas, on March 11, when the Entrepreneurial Eight will pitch to a panel of startup judges, which will be announced soon.
Student Startup Madness is the only nationwide collegiate tournament focused on digital media startups. It affords college student startups the opportunity to compete against fellow student entrepreneurs, grab the attention of potential investors and supporters, and build an elite professional network. At the SSM finals at SXSW, eight elite college student startups will pitch their businesses to well-known investors, technologists and entrepreneurs who can help them transform these early startups into successful businesses.
The SSM tournament is promoted by anchor universities in regions across the country and supported by corporate partners. SSM also cross-promotes the tournament with with Women 2.0, the leading media brand for the next generation of technology leaders, and with Student Veterans of America, a coalition of student-veteran groups on more than 1,300 college campuses across the globe. All these organizations believe in the power of American entrepreneurship and innovation on our college campuses.
The 2018-19 SSM Starting Field of 64: (in alphabetical order)
360VR Technology from University of Delaware
A Sneakerhead’s Paradise from Lehigh University
AgraChain from University of Rochester
AirMotion Designs from Academy of Art University
Audivity from University of Arizona
Careerquo from University of Memphis
Char’s Charms from Lake Forest College
Clean ‘Em from University of Texas at Austin
ClearCam from University of Texas at Austin
Cut to the Case from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Darsana from University of Massachusetts Amherst
Davis&Yousaf Technologies from Drexel University
ecoText from University of New Hampshire
Elixir from University of Washington
ExecU Weekly from Washington University in St. Louis
Flashtract from Auburn University
Future Starts Now from University of Baltimore
Hindsight from John Brown University
Homecooked, Inc. from University of Chicago, Yale University, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)
iSpyPens.com from University of Tampa
JourneySafe from John Brown University
Kadoo from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Kwest from University of Texas at Dallas
Lingco Language Labs from Michigan State University
Low Red from Purdue University Northwest
Mission Control from Saint Louis University
MyHotelRider from University of Bridgeport
Nimbus from Purdue University Northwest
OpportuniMe from Northeastern University
OptechVR from Syracuse University
Perch from University of Michigan
Parents in Motion (PIM) from Cuyahoga Community College and Case Western Reserve University
PLUR Tech from California State University, Chico
Podium from Tufts University and McGill University
Programmable-Air from New York University (NYU)
PurPics from University of Virginia
Red Clover Reader, Inc from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Regavi from Washington University in St. Louis and Pennsylvania State University
Resonado from University of Notre Dame
Riley from University of Virginia
Runerra from University of Minnesota
Side Hustle Gaming from Loyola University New Orleans and University of Alabama
Simple Gardens from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Sincere Sitter from Seton Hall University
Skoop, INC from Michigan State University
SmartMat from Purdue University Northwest
Socipod from Florida Atlantic University
Sound Cycle from Purdue University Northwest
Soundcollide from Georgia State University
Souvinear from Drexel University
StudyTree from University of Pennsylvania
Suna Breakfast from Cornell University
Tableau Media from Syracuse University
Tango from University of Chicago
The Acme Fellowship from Bucknell University
Thrive Systems from Brigham Young University
Trade Arcade from Indiana University Bloomington
Vize from Texas A&M University, College Station
Wello from University of Texas at Austin
WinutRx from Rochester Institute of Technology and Saint John Fisher College
WOKEN from New York University (NYU)
Worksense from Tufts University
Yespat from University of Texas at Arlington
Zonder from Michigan State University
SSM Tournament Format
Each round of the nationwide tournament will build momentum, awareness and social media buzz, drawing attention to colleges and universities as sources for innovation, entrepreneurship and talent while showcasing university entrepreneurship and encouraging college students to start businesses.
The first round of competition will be held online among the 64 startup teams, with judging conducted via Gust.com, a platform used by angel investors around the world.
From the starting field, 32 semi-finalists will be chosen and advance to the next round. By late January, the Entrepreneurial Eight finalists will be selected and invited to pitch to a well-known panel of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors at the Student Startup Madness national finals in Austin, Texas, on Monday, March 11, 2018. The SSM Finals and Championship event will be held at SXSW’s Startup Village main venue in the downtown Austin Hilton hotel conference center.
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. Student Startup Madness believes in American entrepreneurship and on-campus startups—and wants to help young student entrepreneurs succeed and become a part of the SXSW experience.
The 2018-19 SSM tournament has been promoted and supported by 13 anchor universities in eight regions across the country: Arizona State University (Southwest), Cornell University (Northeast), Bucknell University (Mid-Atlantic), Georgia State University (Southeast), Michigan State University (Great Lakes), St. Louis University (Midwest), Seton Hall University (Northeast), University of Florida (Southeast), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Midwest), University of Maryland (Mid-Atlantic), University of Southern California (West), University of Washington at Tacoma (Northwest) and Xavier University (Great Lakes).
Student Startup Madness debuted in 2012 at 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. Today it is a national tournament main venue of SXSW Startup Village. For more on Student Startup Madness, visit the website (http://studentstartupmadness.com), see us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: @StartupMad.