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With March Madness just around the corner, we thought we’d get in on the action.

We’re launching our own “bracket style” tournament to find the next big thing. We’ll be picking 64 startups to face off in Startup Madness. In order to quality for the bracket, your startup must meet the following requirements:

  • Haven’t raised funding of $250,000 or more and haven’t generated revenue of more than $250,000 in a single year.
  • Have a live, usable public site or an accessible demo on their home page
  • Have not already been in the Techstars program – this is not for Techstars companies or alumni companies
  • Must be an internet, software, or hi-tech company

All nominations must be received by Wednesday, March 9th to qualify. We won’t necessarily pick the startups with the most nominations, but the number of Tweets we see for each company will be one of the key factors in selection and seeding.

You can nominate a startup here or simply tweet as follows:

“Hey @Techstars, I nominate @ENTRANT for the @StartupMadness Tournament http://tsta.rs/sumadness”

@ENTRANT should of course be replaced by the company twitter handle. You can nominate your own company. We expect this to be competitive, so be sure to have your friends nominate your company too. The top 64 companies that are battle ready will be accepted into the bracket. Number of nominations will be one factor we’ll consider in choosing entrants and seeding the tournament.

Nominations are due by March 9th, and the actual tournament will start on March 14. Each week one round of the bracket will be “played” by allowing people to vote on two startups head to head.

Here’s what the winners will receive:

The Tournament winner will receive over $25,000 in valuable prizes, including:

Semi-Finalists Receive:
An invitation to Techstars for a Day, with reimbursement for one person to travel and automatic consideration as a finalist for Techstars.

If you’d like to add something to the prize package for the winners, please contact us.

NOTE: Application and attendance to Techstars is *not* required to enter. Anyone that meets the other qualifications above may enter Startup Madness. That said, it’s fine to enter Startup Madness and also apply to Techstars.

Nominate your favorite startup now and help us spread the word about Startup Madness if you can spare a tweet (http://tsta.rs/sumadness).

David Cohen
(@davidcohen) Co-founder & Co-CEO of Techstars, previously founder of several technology companies. David is an active startup advocate, advisor, board member, and technology advisor who comments on these topics on his blog at DavidGCohen.com