Six companies from the Tucson area are in Phoenix Thursday taking part in a head-to-head business pitch tournament called Venture Madness.
The final four teams in will split $50,000 to go toward their startup company.
“Venture Madness is the inaugural, signature event that marries Shark Tank and March Madness into a one-of-a-kind startup competition,” said Jonathan Ariano, chair at Invest Southwest, which organized the event alongside the Arizona Commerce Authority. “I think so many people think startups are only in Silicon Valley, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona actually ranks number 1 for entrepreneurial activity.”
More than 120 companies applied to take part in the tournament. The teams that are left have already survived the first round, where judges decided based on entry forms.
The remaining companies will pitch once Thursday, and, if they continue winning, twice on Friday before a final winner is announced.