Three Leading Universities Join Student Startup Madness as Regional Hosts

SYRACUSE, N.Y., November 22, 2016 – Three major universities with entrepreneurship programs have joined the Student Startup Madness (SSM) tournament as Regional Hosts in order to provide a presence in seeking the best student digital media startups in the country. Each university will anchor its respective region: University of Maryland in the Mid-Atlantic, University of Southern California (USC) in the West Region and University of Florida in the Southeast Region.

These three schools will be joining current regional hosts: 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 California Davis (West), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Midwest), University of Washington at Tacoma (Northwest) and Xavier University (Great Lakes).

All Student Startup Madness Regional Hosts work to promote and facilitate the culminating start-up tournament that occurs during South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas, in March 2017.

“We are happy to add such big-name schools with great entrepreneurship programs to our existing group of regional hosts. Student Startup Madness gets more and more momentum each year, and addition of the schools prove that momentum is continuing,” said Sean Branagan, founder of SSM.

SSM is a nationwide tournament that offers college student startups the opportunity to “live the entrepreneurial dream” and compete against fellow student entrepreneurs while also grabbing the attention of potential investors and leaders in the startup community.

Competition Format and Application Deadline

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, which will take place online in the platform.

From the 64 first-round competitors, half (32 teams) will advance to the semi-final regionals round. From the regionals will emerge the “Entrepreneurial Eight,” the top eight student teams that will be invited to pitch to a celebrity panel of well-known entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors at the Student Startup Madness national finals at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, in March 2017.

Applications will be accepted through December 2, 2016. To apply, visit

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.

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