Invest Southwest expands Venture Madness competition to companies nationwide


The 2021 Venture Madness event, Arizona’s longest-running VC conference and pitch competition, is now open for applications through June 3.

The difference this year? The event is open to companies across the U.S.

“Business growth in Arizona has propelled the state to become one of the best places in the country to start a company,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO at Arizona Commerce Authority and Invest Southwest Board Member, in a statement. “We’re excited to open up this year’s event to companies across the country to help fuel their exposure, growth and potential future impact on expanding jobs and the economy.”

The competition features six categories: SaaS; Deep Tech, Hardware and IoT; growth; Institutional Tech; Biotech, healthcare and life sciences; and consumer.

“Since Venture Madness began in 1992, presenting companies like CampusLogic, Swimlane and WebPT have collectively raised more than $1 billion in funding, and approximately 40% secure funding following the event. That speaks volumes about the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit in our region,” said Diana Vowels, this year’s Chair of Invest Southwest and board member, in a statement. “We encourage ambitious companies to apply for the opportunity to gain valuable mentorship and high-impact networking with investors, business leaders and other entrepreneurs. This competition isn’t just for early-stage companies, we encourage those with revenue up to $30M who are ready to scale to apply.”

Interested companies can apply on the Invest Southwest website. Finalists will be chosen by an expert panel prior to the event. Venture Madness will be held October 6-7 at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix.