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 27th, 2019

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 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 Michigan State University having the most startups enter!

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 startups in this year’s SSM 64 are creating innovative new products and services, disruptive new business models, and brand new digital capabilities.

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 when the Entrepreneurial Eight will pitch to a panel of startup judges.

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 2019-20 SSM Starting Field of 64: (in alphabetical order)

360VR Technology from  University of Delaware
Abled Magazine from University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Allure by Mia from University of Memphis
Amulya from Bucknell University
Andy’s Beekeeping from University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Ascent Analytics from Emory University
Averto from University of Oregon
Biosolution Innovations from Michigan State University
Blitz from University of Virginia
Callege from Duke University
CAPNOS from Michigan State University
CLLCTVE from Syracuse University
DataSiv from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Stanford University
Door Robotics from Colgate University and University of Maryland
Drispy from City University of New York
Farm to Fridge from University of Mount Olive
First Friday’s Group from Johns Hopkins University
Flave from Johns Hopkins University
Flee from Purdue Northwest
Frap from Indiana University
Glyde from New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University
Graff Golf from Johns Hopkins University
Grid from Washington University in St. Louis
ICON Tutors from University of Notre Dame and Texas A&M
Iconic AIR from West Virginia University
InnoDT from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Instashowing from University of Oregon
KaleidoscopeME from Rochester Institute of Technology
Kandy Kidz from Montclair State University
Lingco Language Labs from Michigan State University
Mennier from University of Washington
Olive Branch Pictures from Wesleyan University, Drexel University, Brandeis University, and Harvard University
oneHolt from University of Louisville
Otion from Auburn University
Picture It from Michigan State University
Plug Talk from Auburn University
Promptous from Syracuse University
QuickTech Medical from Virginia Tech
re|mappable from University of Texas at Austin
ReBokeh from Bucknell University
Rendered from University of Maryland
Resonae from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Revibe from Louisiana State University
Samay Bacho from Purdue University Northwest
scrapIt Technologies from Stony Brook University and Farmingdale State College
ShoeBio from Oregon State University, University of Oregon, and University of Arizona
Sike Insights from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Simulpass from Washington University in St. Louis
SKOOP from Michigan State University
Somatic from Michigan State University
Spott from University of Chicago and Loyola University
Talklet from University of Chicago and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Tammira from University of Southern California (USC)
The Healing Elephant from Champlain College
TheLook Mobile Barbershop from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
True Adherence from University of Utah
True Owl from New Jersey Institute of Technology
UNICOILS from Michigan State University
Upscribbr from Washington University in St. Louis
V Air from Georgia State University
vekkolabs from Orange Coast College University of California
Visos from Syracuse University
Voxel from Cornell University
WinutRx from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and St John Fisher College

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.

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 16, 2020. The SSM Finals and Championship event will be held at one of SXSW’s Startup Village main venues.

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 2019-20 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 (, see us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: @StartupMad.