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AZ Tech Beat | May 22, 2019

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Venture Madness incentivizes voters with brackets, apples and cash

Venture Madness incentivizes voters with brackets, apples and cash
Tishin Donkersley

While the odds of writing the 2014 NCAA perfect bracket were at 9.2 quintillion-to-1 odds and it only took two days for an obliteration of millions of ESPN brackets, the public gets another chance to put their luck to the test with a new game of Bracketology that involves early-stage companies, and one of them has a smart basketball.

Venture Madness, a competition where 64 early-stage companies from around the Southwest go head-to-head in a bracket-style format to win $50,000, is incentivizing voters to fill out their brackets for a chance to win a MacBook Air or iPad Air and help their favorite startup win $5,000.

The first part of the Bracketology game is the People’s Choice Award where the public can fill out a bracket online and which ever startup, regardless of progression in the competition, is named champion most often wins $5,000.

Next, the individual with the bracket closest to the judges’ selections throughout the competition will receive a 13-inch MacBook Air, and the runner up will win an iPad Air 2.

“Although the companies that advance through each competition round are selected solely by a panel of judges, we wanted to give a voice to the public participants who will choose their favorite companies this year by filling out a bracket online,” said Jonathan Ariano, chairman of Invest Southwest. “The People’s Choice Award is an added incentive for them to participate in bracketology.”

RELATED: Who are the 64 startups for 2015 Venture Madness?

Brackets must be filled out and submitted by 11:59 PM on Sunday, January 18, 2015. The winners of the People’s Choice Award and Bracketology will be announced after the competition.

The live competition is held on March 4-6 at Talking Stick Resort where 16 companies will demo their product.

Read more about 2015 Venture Madness here.

  • Cynic

    Now that Contatta is slowly circling the drain, who’s the new kid on the block?

    • The Truth

      Ouch. So true!