Invest Southwest Announces Venture Madness Final 16 and Keynote Speaker at Inaugural Event

Startups enter live rounds of business pitch competition for $50K in cash prizes; Geoffrey Moore to deliver keynote


PHOENIX, AZ (February 25, 2014)  Venture Madness, presented by Invest Southwest in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, introduces the final 16 competing startups. Additionally, Venture Madness announces that Geoffrey Moore, best-selling author of Crossing the Chasm, will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural event.


After two online elimination rounds, only 16 of the original 64 startups remain. These final contenders will live pitch their way through the brackets of this unique, head-to-head business pitch competition that culminates March 5-7 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. Only one startup will be named Venture Madness Champion and walk away from the event with their share of $50,000 in cash prizes along with the prestige that comes with the title.


"Our state provides a platform for innovators to showcase their ideas to the world, creating opportunities for the next generation of Fortune 500 companies and breakthrough startups to rise from Arizona," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. "Venture Madness is that coalescence of entrepreneurs, startups, venture capitalists, angel investors, incubators, along with Arizona's many supporting organizations, which work together to form a vibrant business environment that helps early-stage companies advance in the global marketplace."


The Venture Madness Final 16

The advancing startups, their industry and hometown, plus their head-to-head matchups for the live pitching rounds are:

  • Strongwatch (Tucson | Instrumentation) v. Picmonic (Tempe | Education)
  • Brettapproved (Phoenix | Travel) v. Pinnacle Transplant Technologies (Phoenix | Biotech)
  • Universal Bio Mining (Tucson | Biotech) v. Outski (Tucson | Travel)
  • Phocus (Phoenix | Products/Services) v. ReplyBuy (Scottsdale | Mobile)
  • Contatta (Scottsdale | Software) v. Park Genius (Tucson | Software)
  • Recoleta (Tucson | Advertising/Marketing) v. Endovantage (Tempe | Healthcare)
  • SiO2 Nanotech (Phoenix | Nanotechnology) v. Delivery IT (Phoenix | Software)
  • Notebowl (Tucson | Internet/Web Services) v. Clear Demand (Scottsdale | Software)

Keynote Speaker

Geoffrey Moore, best-selling author, leading business consultant and managing director at Geoffrey Moore Consulting will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural Venture Madness event. Moore brings an in-depth knowledge of the startup ecosystem to the Venture Madness event agenda.


“Our goal with Venture Madness was to create the go-to event in the region for investors and the startup ecosystem,” said Jonathan Ariano, chair of Invest Southwest. “Between the exciting, live-pitch format of the competition and now Geoffrey delivering the keynote speech, the inaugural Venture Madness is set to exceed our goal.”


Tickets to Venture Madness, held March 5-7 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., include full access to the live pitching rounds, an opening and closing cocktail reception, plus tickets to a Spring Training baseball game. Click here to learn more, view the detailed agenda and purchase tickets.


How Venture Madness Works

After two online elimination rounds that included public voting, the Venture Madness contenders were narrowed from 64 companies to just 16. These final few startups are invited to the live-pitch portion of Venture Madness, held March 5-7 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. It's here where the companies will compete for their share of $50,000 in cash prizes by live-pitching their way through the brackets before a panel of judges, who will ultimately determine which company will be crowned the 2014 Venture Madness Champion.


Media Contacts

Elle Shelley, Invest Southwest, (602) 803-9590, [email protected]

Joseph Valdez, ACA, (602) 845-1234, [email protected]


About Invest Southwest

Invest Southwest is the premier organization for connecting investors with the best and brightest ventures in the region. In addition to providing valuable information on topics important to the investment community, Invest Southwest offers year-round opportunities for investors to connect with startups. Its signature event, Venture Madness, is a unique startup competition presented in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority. Venture Madness pits 64 thoroughly evaluated startups against one another in a bracket-style, head-to-head competition to crown the champion of champions. Visit for more information.


About the Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.