Participation Criteria

ALL applicants to Venture Madness by Invest Southwest MUST be available, willing and prepared to FULLY participate in the entire competition process, including but not limited to:

  • Downloading the application;
  • Completing all three components of the application:
  1. General Application Information (located in Dealum platform),
  2. Financials, and
  3. Pitch Deck
  • Submitting the completed application by 3 p.m. (AZ time) on Thursday, December 14, 2023, via the application submission link on the Venture Madness by Invest Southwest website (which will direct you into our online Dealum platform);
  • If selected as a presenting company, having the President and/or CEO attend the following events:
  1. Presenting Company Orientation and Reception on February 1, 2024,
  2. Mentoring Sessions scheduled for Friday, February 23 and Friday, March 8, and
  3. Venture Madness Conference on April 3-4, 2024, including conducting pitches to a panel of judges, audience and participating in Q&A sessions with judges and closing reception.
  4. Venture Madness Conference VIP Event on April 5, 2024

Industry Eligibility Requirements

Innovative companies from all industries are invited to apply except for companies from the following industries: fashion, restaurants, retailing/distribution, mining, real-estate and non-software bio. On the application, applicants will select the industry they best fit into per the available categories. (Note: If your company is selected to present at

Venture Madness, the Selection Panel will determine your industry/track, as

deemed appropriate.) Samples of previous industries/tracks include:

SaaS – SaaS/Software companies in process of developing product, finding product market fit, and/or generating consistent revenue.

Deep Tech/Hardware/IoT – Companies building physical products (wearables, IoT devices, drones, robotics, 3D printing, space tech, AR/VR, Ag Tech, new materials, etc.) and/or software solutions (autonomous driving, computational, imaging & recognition, etc.).

Institutional Tech – Fintech, blockchain, cyber and ed tech companies in process of developing technology (machine learning, AI, blockchain, etc.), finding technology market fit, and/or generating consistent revenue.

Growth – Companies currently generating revenue <$1B annually.

Medical – Biotech, healthcare and life science companies with developed solutions in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems for solving health problems and/or improving quality of lives (pharmaceuticals, devices, procedures, systems, computer supported info systems, etc.).

Consumer & Business – Consumer based companies including technology companies focused on delivering product/services to individuals and/or households through software, mobile devices, etc.

Employee Eligibility Requirements

Eligible companies must have at least two (2), full-time employees who dedicate an average of at least 35 hours/week to the business. Employees may be paid or unpaid and may include founders or active investors who otherwise meet these criteria. Members of boards of directors or advisory boards who are otherwise full-time employees of another organization may not be included as part of the two-employee minimum.

Corporate Structure/Status

All companies must be existing, for-profit legal entities at the time of application submission.


This competition is opened only to companies located in the United States.

Eligibility Discretion

The eligibility qualification of applicant companies is determined at the sole discretion of Venture Madness by Invest Southwest, and all such decisions are final.

Additional Rules + Guidelines

IMPORTANT: All applicant companies must adhere to the Terms and Conditions. Of the companies selected to pitch at the Venture Madness Conference, up to 6 may be sourced from the top-ranking companies of the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 ACA.

Innovation Challenge competition, and the remaining companies will be selected from a competitive and open, at-large application process. Criteria for selecting, judging and deciding are at the sole discretion of Venture Madness by Invest Southwest and its related parties. The purpose of this format is to provide maximum exposure for innovative companies to the broader business community in a fun, exciting and competitive format. All decisions are final and are not subject to review or appeal. All presenting companies, including those selected from the ACA Innovation Challenge, must complete their application materials within the submission period. Applicants and selected companies will be judged on their potential to be successful and to have the most impact on their customers and industries. All information submitted in connection with the application (except information provided in the economics section of the application), including the application itself, may be subject to open public viewing and analysis, and will be judged by Venture Madness by Invest Southwest experts and by registered participants from business communities that may be located not only in Arizona, but nationally or worldwide. Do not share information that you do not wish to make public (except information provided in the economics section, which is related to financial projections and past or current funding efforts, and which will only be reviewed by the Venture Madness by Invest Southwest selection panel and judges and not made public). It is VERY IMPORTANT to adhere exactly to the instructions and notes in the application document itself. Participants who attend the April 3-4, 2024, Venture Madness Conference, must be able to pay for and provide their own travel and lodging accommodations.

Questions? Please visit our FAQs page.