The education and medical technology industries in Arizona were strongly represented during this year’s Venture Madness competition. The event culminated with Gilbert, Ariz.-based CampusLogic emerging victorious as the Venture Madness Champion in the final round. CampusLogic is a student financial aid self-service platform that gives students a simple, TurboTax-like way to apply for and receive financial aid. CampusLogic delivers a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for colleges and universities, which decreases administrative costs, lowers security risks and dramatically improves the student experience. The company’s goal is to increase borrower understanding and simplify the financial aid process. In addition to the title, CampusLogic took home the $30,000 top prize award that will help the business continue to grow.
The unique, bracket-style pitch competition, presented by Invest Southwest – the premier organization for connecting investors with ventures in the region for more than 20 years – in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, offered $55,000 in total cash prizes, which were split between the top four competitors and a People’s Choice winner. Taking second place and earning a $10,000 check was EndoVantage, a cloud-based solution for planning patient-specific endovascular treatments. RightBio Metrics, a bio fluid measurement technology company, and Beacon Biomedical, a medical diagnostic device company that provides blood tests for early cancer detection, each took home $5,000 for being among the second runners-up. Picmonic, which helps students learn using mnemonic illustrations, won the $5,000 People’s Choice Award for being ranked first most often in the public bracketology portion of the competition.
“The level of competition increased from last year ten-fold, and each company really stepped up to fine-tune their presentations and focus on the important elements of their business,” said Jonathan Ariano, chairman of Invest Southwest. “I’m impressed by all of the startups that competed this year and the way they represented the Southwest as a thriving community for entrepreneurs and investors.”
The Venture Madness competition began online in January with 64 early-stage growth companies seeding the bracket. The public was able to review each company’s video and application online and make picks by filling out their own bracket for a chance to win prizes for the most accurate bracket. During the final portion of the competition held March 4 – 6 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, the top 16 startups pitched live in head-to-head match ups before a panel of judges.
“We are excited to have been a part of this incredible event and humbled to represent the education technology industry as the winner of Venture Madness,” said Gregg Scoresby, CampusLogic founder and CEO. “We believe the success of our innovative student self-service platform will help solidify Arizona’s position as the leading state in education technology.”
More than 250 people attended the 2015 Venture Madness conference including investors, entrepreneurs, industry experts and service professionals.