Participation Criteria & Application Steps
ALL applicants to Invest Southwest’s Venture Madness MUST be available, willing and prepared to FULLY participate in the entire competition process, including but not limited to:
- Completing the online application (including your 90-second pitch video).
- Creating a video, no longer than 90 seconds, that pitches the company’s idea and business plan (note: videos longer than 90 seconds will be rejected, and you’ll be given the opportunity to resubmit a revised video that meets the 90-second criteria).
- Submitting your completed application by 3 p.m. (AZ time) on Thursday, January 5, 2017, via the application submission link on the Venture Madness website (which will direct you into our online ValidEval online application platform).
- Attending the March 8-10, 2017 conference (all 16 finalists must attend the live event) and conduct live pitches to a panel of judges as well as a live audience, and participate in Q&A sessions with judges.
Industry Eligibility Requirements
Innovative companies from all industries are invited to apply, with the following exceptions: fashion, restaurants, retailing/distribution, mining and real-estate companies. Applicants will select the industry they best fit into as listed on the application form and within our online management platform (ValidEval).
Employee Eligibility Requirements
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.
All companies must be existing, for-profit legal entities at the time of application submission.
This competition is open to companies located in the Southwest region including Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Southern California, Texas and Utah.
It is Invest Southwest’s discretion to determine the qualification of applicant companies, and all such decisions are final.
Additional Rules + Guidelines
IMPORTANT: All applicant companies must adhere to the Terms and Conditions and abide by all Rules and Guidelines of the competition event.
Of the 64 competing companies, 16 will be sourced from the top-ranking companies of the Spring 2016 ACA Innovation Challenge competition and the other 48 will be selected from a competitive and open, at-large application process. Criteria for selecting, seeding, judging and deciding are at the complete discretion of 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 64 companies, including those selected from the ACA Innovation Challenge, must complete their application materials within the submission period.
Applicant and seeded companies will be judged on their potential to be successful and to have the most impact on their customers and industries.
All information submitted (except information related to past or current funding efforts), including the application and video, will be open to public viewing and analysis, and will be judged by ISW experts, as well as registered participants from business communities not only in Arizona but nation- and worldwide. Do not share information that you do not wish to make public; however, submitted information related to past or current funding efforts will be reviewed by ISW judges only and will not be made public. It is VERY IMPORTANT to adhere exactly to the instructions and notes in the application document itself, which will guide you how to separate your financial/funding information from your other business plan information that will be made public.
Participants who attend the March 8-10 event at Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Ariz., must be able to pay for and provide their own travel and lodging accommodations.