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AZ Tech Beat | May 29, 2017

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32 startups advance to round 2 in Venture Madness

32 startups advance to round 2 in Venture Madness
Tishin Donkersley

Venture Madness, presented by Invest Southwest, in partnership with Arizona Commerce Authority announced the next round of 32 startups, from the original 64, to advance to round two in the head-to-head competition.

Round two is critical as the public vote will directly help their favorite startup advance to the live pitch portion of Venture Madness where they will compete for $50,000 in shared prizes on March 5-7 at Talking Stick Resort.

Public voting will begin at 10 a.m. MST on Monday, February 17 and end at 3 p.m. MST, Friday, February 21. If you don’t think your vote matters, think again. The public vote plays into the overall decision as to which company advance. Jonathan Ariano, chairman of Invest Southwest explains, “We are using a blend of judges’ scores and online voting to determine which companies advance. The majority of each company’s score comes from the judges, but notably, a strong showing of public votes helped several companies advanced to round two.”

Each startup wants your vote! To learn more about them, check out the VentureMadness.com website to watch their 90-second video about their business. Remember to vote on Monday!

And now for the next 32 startup matchups…

venturemadness32

Want to learn more about the startups from AZTB? Click below to read more about their raises, growth and brainpower behind the company.  VOTE HERE AT VENTURE MADNESS

Strongwatch

Picmonic

Traklight

Brettapproved

Nasseo

ReplyBuy

Contatta

CellTrust

Park Genius

Recoleta

Pollen-Tech

SiO2

Delivery-IT

Clear Demand

Best of luck to all!

Read our coverage on Venture Madness here.

Learn more about Invest Southwest at http://InvestSouthwest.org.

Learn more about the Arizona Commerce Authority at http://AzCommerce.com

  • Jesse Jones

    “Round two is critical as the public vote will directly help their favorite startup advance to the live pitch portion of Venture Madness where they will compete for $50,000 in shared prizes on March 5-7 at Talking Stick Resort.”

    This explanation of Venture Madness is very misleading as the public vote has no impact on the competition.

    This is directly from the Venture Madness website:
    http://venturemadness.com/pages/faq
    How much impact does the public voting have on each venture’s score?
    Venture Madness is judged by a group of seasoned business executives and the public votes do not impact their decisions.

    It is disappointing to see AZ Tech Beat promote this competition and encourage the public to vote if their votes have no significant impact. It is also very disheartening to see this take place in the Southwest startup community. Several of these startups took the time to advertise their involvement in the competition and passed the information along to their followers and customers. What should the startup tell a customer when they actually have won the round by the number of votes, but do not advance into the next round because the panel of judges did not choose them? This is a very tough conversation for a startup to have.

    These are the actual public voting results from round 1 of Venture Madness:

    Contatta: 194 vs. Avimech Int Air: 302 (Contatta advances)
    Sell-Rights-Here: 37 vs. Celltrust: 14 (Celltrust advances)
    Park Genius: 1153 vs. Xplore BoX: 1562 (Park Genius advances)
    Kinesio: 248 vs. Orb Health: 130 (Kinesio advances)
    Pog Tech: 130 vs. NMIC: 31 (NMIC advances)
    Recoleta: 35 vs. Pyrascaf North America: 202 (Recoleta advances)

    Please bring to light who the true judges are in this competition and do not mislead the public and fragile startups.

  • Taylor

    Thank you for your comment, Jesse. We wanted to clarify the voting
    process as the public votes are actually very important. Venture Madness
    uses a blend of Judges’s scores with the public votes to determine
    which companies advance. This blended approach helps safeguard the
    integrity of the judging system. Notably, there were several companies
    that advanced to Round 2 based off a strong showing of public votes.

    If you have any questions or concerns about a specific company, please feel free to email us directly at hello@pinballstrategy.com.

  • Jesse Jones

    Thank you for the reply, Taylor. I understand your explanation stating the public votes are important, but this does not match the actual actions taken by Venture Madness. In the example listed below only 1 of 6 companies that advanced had more votes than their opponent. If the public votes really did matter and were taken into account than the majority of these startups would have advanced. How many of the startups advanced based off a strong showing of public votes?

  • Taylor

    We understand your concern, Jesse. Three companies advanced to round
    two based off a strong showing of public votes. However, due the
    sensitive nature of this issue and out of respect for all companies
    involved, we cannot disclose which ones. If you have specific
    questions about a particular company, please contact us directly hello@pinballstrategy.com

  • Concerned Executive

    I second Jesse’s concerns.

    So the public vote totals are used only to break a tie. It’s in the FAQ but definitely not called out. I would not invest my time to review these companies and vote if all it will be used for is a tie-breaker. Worse, as Jesse pointed out, some of the votes were quite lopsided which could be due to any number of reasons, but the vote winner didn’t continue to the next round. It’s difficult to believe the judging system has integrity when these discrepancies exist. It would be better for some kind of judges scoring to be published (number score, letter grade, something) so it’s clear.

    But most concerning is the ability to vote multiple times. While the votes are basically meaningless (see above), I can’t believe that is allowed. Obviously you want the traffic and PR, but really?!?!?

    Disclosure: I am not affiliated in any way with any of the companies in the competition.

  • Concerned Executive

    One other point — these articles get very little comment traffic, so the interest in this one is a clear indication to me that there is a problem.