RELEASE Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 – Four leading universities with nationally-recognized entrepreneurship programs announced today they will join the Student Startup Madness tournament to provide a comprehensive national footprint and presence in seeking the best student digital media startups in the country. Each university will anchor its respective region: Emory University in the Southeast, St. Louis University in the Midwest, The University of Texas at Austin in the Southwest, and Syracuse University in the Northeast. They will promote and facilitate this national student startup tournament which is held mostly online and culminates with the finals at South By Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas, in March 2013.

Student Startup Madness (SSM) 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. SSM is open to all student digital media startups from any college/university in the United States. Regional Hosts will promote the tournament, regional student entrepreneurship and serve as a focal point for attracting student startup teams from that region.


Tim Hayden, Director,
Center for Entrepreneurship, Saint Louis University:

“For the last 39 years, Saint Louis University has been teaching the next generation of entrepreneurs. In addition, we work with fifteen other colleges to promote student entrepreneurship across the Greater St. Louis area. Student Startup Madness is a tremendous opportunity for our students and will give them a national platform to promote their efforts. It’s great to connect with South by Southwest and the other host universities, and our students are excited.”

Andrea Hershatter
Senior Associate Dean and BBA Program Director
Goizueta Business School, Emory University

“As a leading business school that fosters and supports student entrepreneurs, we are delighted to be a part of Student Startup Madness. We are extremely proud of the Emory students who are in the process of building ventures and want not only to highlight their progress, but also to do everything possible to
facilitate their successes. For those in the digital media space, this tournament will provide them with a structured way to network, move their business forward and access the fabulous resources and contacts at South By Southwest. We view our participation as a great addition to the Emory entrepreneurial portfolio.”

Christina White, Ed.D., Director
National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars & K12 Partners Program
The University of Texas at Austin:

“Being a regional host for the Student Startup Madness is a natural fit for UT since the finals culminate right here in our hometown of Austin during South By Southwest Interactive. Known as one of the most innovative cities in the nation, Austin fosters a culture of creativity and landscape of learning that results in multiple campus-wide entrepreneurship opportunities for UT students. From interdisciplinary courses taught by leading faculty like Dr. Bob Metcalfe to incubators such as the Longhorn Startup Camp, UT is committed to integrating entrepreneurship into education to best prepare our students for success in the global economy. We are enthusiastic to welcome the SSM finalists where they will work closely with our active, local community of venture capitalists and angel investors as well as with the wide range of amazing entrepreneurs and investors from around the world attending South By.”

SSM Deadline and Tournament Format

To increase participation via the new regional hosts, the student startup application period has been extended. Applications will now be accepted through November 26th. To apply, go to

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 all online applications, 64 teams will be chosen by the SSM Selection Committee for the first round of competition and will be notified throughout November. Judging will take place online via, a platform used by Angel investors around the world. From the 64 first-round competitors, 32 will advance to the virtual regional round, based on their home college location. From the virtual regional round, the finalists will be chosen by mid-December, and these finalists — “The Entrepreneurial Eight” (or “E8″) — will be invited to pitch to a celebrity panel of well-known entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors at the Student Startup Madness national finals in Austin, Texas, on March 11, 2013.

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 the national tournament in 2013.

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 last year’s 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 (, see us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @StartupMad.

Contact: Sean Branagan
(315) 443-6310