• FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


The Venture Madness Conference, by Invest Southwest in partnership with Arizona Commerce Authority, connects investors with early-stage and growth companies in the U.S. The 2023 conference is scheduled for April 12-13. With an audience of nearly 300 attendees including accredited venture capital and angel investors, seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders, approximately 16-24 presenting companies showcase their innovative solutions and business plans in various tracks to compete for investor attention, media attention, future investment potential and cash prizes.

Yes, buy your ticket now to attend the conference and gain exclusive access to our year-round Venture Madness Community.

Click here to view a sample of our past presenters. Also, be sure to check out our past winner testimonials here.

Venture Madness’s primary focus is the health and safety of our attendees and partners. As in 2022, we are closely monitoring conditions, including following the recommendations from the CDC and the State of Arizona Governor’s office and health agencies. We will err on the side of caution and ensure the safety of all attendees.


Visit our Annual Conference page to learn more about the application window and deadline. Be sure to sign up for our newsletters and announcements so that you can be among the first to learn more about our upcoming activities and key dates.

It is FREE to apply for the Venture Madness Conference. If your company is selected to present at the conference, you will be responsible for your travel and accommodations to participate in the live event.

Companies that present at the conference will not only meet other founders and seasoned entrepreneurs who’ve walked in your shoes (which is invaluable in a startup’s journey), you’ll meet mentors and industry influencers who can help mentor your team and accelerate your growth. You’ll also have the opportunity to network and spend quality time connecting with some of our region’s most active angel and venture capital investors, get mentorship from successful entrepreneurs and past contestants, and connect with the other competing companies.

Venture Madness will review initial applications, and based on weighted scores, the top finalists will be invited to participate in the Venture Madness Conference. Read the How It Works section for more information.

Applications are reviewed and evaluated by an expert selection panel and evaluation criteria is based on your solution uniqueness, competitive differentiation, market traction, potential market opportunity, business model, team strength and presentation quality. Please check back for the competition Terms and Conditions for more details on evaluation timelines.

Once you have successfully submitted your application, you should receive a confirmation email from the application platform, specifically from our Premier Partner, Arizona Commerce Authority via email from info@startupwind.com. Please add this email to your address book to ensure receipt of future communications regarding your application and participation status. Please note that you cannot amend your application once submitted, however, you can save your partial application and revise it *before it is submitted* at any time up to the deadline.

If you have a technical difficulty submitting your application through our new application platform, called StartupWind, please submit a help request through the platform HELP link. If your response is not resolved through StartupWind support, please contact Karen Katzorke, Executive Director, as soon as possible. Due to tight timelines, we ask that you follow up quickly with any issues or questions.

Please note that Venture Madness receives a high volume of calls and emails in the (3) weeks prior to the application deadline, and we’ll do our best to respond to your request in the order it was received. Due to this volume, we strongly suggest you start and submit your application process as early as possible during the application window.

A Venture Madness representative will contact each company to notify them if they have been selected. The companies selected to present at the conference are required to attend the following sessions (times and locations TBA):

  1. Presenting Company Orientation + Kick-Off Reception (February 15, 2023)
  2. Mentor Team Sessions (February 24 & March 10, 2023)
  3. Venture Madness Conference (April 12-13, 2023)


Accredited investors have an opportunity to see the best of the Southwest’s startups and region’s most promising ventures. The Venture Madness Conference provides an opportunity for investors to network with other serious investors, hear from the latest startups and connect with other key community leaders. Registered accredited investors are invited to an exclusive VIP event where investors can directly connect with the Venture Madness presenting companies.

Click here to view a list of investment firms that have participated in Venture Madness.

From networking, mentoring, and fueling the startup and emerging growth ecosystem in Arizona, there are many opportunities for investor involvement in Venture Madness programs and events. Contact us to learn more about investor opportunities.