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


RELEASE Wednesday, Jan 7, 2015 — Sixty-four college student startups across the nation comprise the starting field in the 2014-15 Student Startup Madness (SSM) tournament, where they will compete for top honors and the SSM National Championship. The teams in the “SSM64” come from 33 colleges and universities—from large state universities to small private colleges, from technical institutes to liberal arts schools.

The first two rounds of the tournament will be held online, and the competition culminates with the finals at South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in Austin, Texas, on March 16, 2015, when the Entrepreneurial Eight will pitch to a panel of startup judges, who will declare the champion.

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.

“We received more than 150 applications from colleges and universities from all over the country,” says Sean Branagan, creator of the SSM concept and tournament, and director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. “Every year, the quality of the talent and innovation gets better and better. Today, more and more students see entrepreneurship as a career choice. It’s an exciting time.”

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.

The 2013-14 SSM Starting Field of 64: (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
  • Campus Pursuit from Binghamton University
  • CampusFly from University of Rochester
  • 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
  • Contact from Syracuse University
  • Crawlr from Texas Tech University
  • Cthroo from Seton Hall University
  • CUSELIGHT from Syracuse University
  • Develo from Texas Tech University
  • Digital Revu from Purdue University, Calumet
  • EsteamSteps from Texas A&M University
  • EZ Tap from Bucknell University
  • Force Impact Technologies from Arizona State University
  • Freenters from University of Chicago
  • FreeSkies from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • HigherEd from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • HoundDog from Syracuse University
  • Ignite from Bucknell University
  • Legal Stats from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • LittleBucks from Michigan State University
  • Loco Labs from Bucknell University
  • Lunch-Breaks from Texas Tech University
  • LykeMe from Michigan State University
  • Mango from Case Western Reserve University
  • Mantis Augments from Georgia State University
  • Meoton from Harvard University
  • myCampusHacks from University of Memphis
  • MyLastNight from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • NoteBowl from Arizona State University and University of Arizona
  • OneSound from Michigan State University
  • Out There Productions from Syracuse University
  • Pathwise from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Pick from Arizona State University
  • Plateful from Auburn University
  • Pridgit from Michigan State University
  • Reliefwatch from University of Chicago
  • Re-Mind from Elon University
  • RESIDENT from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Resumazing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Harvard University
  • S.R.T.E.X. from Syracuse University
  • Service Station from Seton Hall University
  • Shaked from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Shortnotice 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
  • STRIVR from Lehigh University
  • Tech Twurl from Michigan State University
  • Timing and Racing Around the Clock from Northwestern University
  • Track Ripple from Columbia University
  • Turnip from University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • Ulocal from Syracuse University
  • Univate from Columbia University
  • Uptrader from University of Tennessee
  • VigorWay from Arizona State University
  • Yorango from Cornell University
  • York Project 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.

More than 150 applied online between August and the end of November. The first round of competition will be held online among the 64 startup teams, with judging conducted via, 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 March 16, 2015. 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, 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, where five student startup teams representing eight colleges and universities pitched their ventures and won prizes. 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.

For more on Student Startup Madness, visit the website ( and follow SSM on Facebook:

Contact: Sean Branagan
(315) 443-6310