Student startup teams from colleges and universities across the country compete for top honors and bragging rights in Student Startup Madness tournament.


RELEASE Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 — Thirty-two college student startup teams from across the nation move on to the semi-final round in the 2014-15 Student Startup Madness (SSM) tournament, where they will compete for top honors and the SSM National Championship. The semi-finalist teams come from 24 different colleges and universities across the country and are working on digital products and services in more than a dozen different industries, including Consumer Services, Financial Services, Gaming & Entertainment, Medical Devices, Security, Sports, and Travel.

Student Startup Madness (SSM) 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 business to well-known investors and entrepreneurs who can help them transform their idea into success.

The 2014-15 SSM 32 Semi-Finalists: (in alphabetical order)

  • 8countr from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Acadelic from University of Michigan
  • Advyzr from City University of New York Baruch College
  • BetaVersity from Washington University in St. Louis
  • Boldr from University of Michigan
  • Champio from Washington University in St. Louis
  • ChooseVets from University of Washington, Tacoma
  • Clean Connect from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • ComVey from University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Crawlr from Texas Tech University
  • Cthroo from Seton Hall University
  • Digital Revu from Purdue University, Calumet
  • EZ Tap from Bucknell University
  • Force Impact Technologies from Arizona State University
  • Freenters from University of Chicago
  • HoundDog from Syracuse University
  • LittleBucks from Michigan State University
  • Loco Labs from Bucknell University
  • Meoton from Harvard University
  • myCampusHacks from University of Memphis
  • NoteBowl from Arizona State University and University of Arizona
  • OneSound from Michigan State University
  • Reliefwatch from University of Chicago
  • RESIDENT from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Spray N’ Pray Studios from Georgia State University
  • Sravel from Arizona State University
  • Step Pets from University of Utah
  • Tech Twurl from Michigan State University
  • Timing and Racing Around the Clock from Northwestern University
  • Track Ripple from Columbia University
  • Univate from Columbia University
  • Yorango from Cornell University

From these 32 semi-finalists, the Entrepreneurial Eight finalists will be selected in late January and invited to pitch at the SSM Finals and Championship event, to be held at SXSW’s Startup Village main venue in the downtown Hilton Austin on Monday, March 16.

SSM Tournament Format

Each round of the nationwide tournament builds 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.

More than 150 teams applied for the Student Startup Madness tournament online between August and the end of November 2014. The first two rounds of the SSM tournament are held online, with judging conducted via, a platform used by angel investors around the world.

SSM is promoted and supported by anchor universities in regions across the country, as well as by corporate sponsors who believe in the power of American entrepreneurship and innovation on our college campuses.

“There are some serious ventures in this group of 32,” says Sean Branagan, creator of the SSM program. “Clearly, college campuses are teeming with innovation, entrepreneurship and talent. I hope any student who sees this list will be inspired and encouraged to start a business of their own while in college. It’s a great time to do it.”

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, 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 in 2012 at SXSW Interactive with a launch event and kick-off pitchfest. In 2013 and 2014, SSM became a SXSW Partner Program and was invited into the 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.

Contact: Sean Branagan
(315) 443-6310