ACC Startup Madness Competition Returns to NC State University

Startup Madness, now in its fourth year, will return to NC State’s James B. Hunt Library on March 19, 2014. The runoff competitions will be held throughout the day, with the ‘Elite Eight’ final round beginning at 6:30 p.m. Networking will begin at 5:30 p.m. 

The collegiate entrepreneurship event brings together the best student startups from throughout the Atlantic Coast Conference to compete in a bracket-style startup pitch competition. The teams present their companies to a panel of judges in hopes of winning a trip to Silicon Valley to meet with venture capital investors. Last year’s event featured 22 student teams from 14 ACC schools, with more expected to participate this year.

“We’ve teamed up with HQ Raleigh and Poole College of Management to take Startup Madness to the next level,” said Startup Madness founder Scott Kelly. “Our goal is to provide a platform that celebrates student entrepreneurship across the ACC while also showcasing the exciting initiatives happening right here in Raleigh.” Poole College was a lead sponsor for the 2013 event.

A new addition to this year’s schedule will help Startup Madness accomplish its goals. In partnership with Poole College, HQ Raleigh will host an invitation-only University Roundtable on March 18 at its new Warehouse District location. This event is open to the ACC university officials and student advisors who are in town for the competition, and will provide a platform for sharing successes in their respective university entrepreneurship programs.

Startup Madness organizers are currently accepting team applications. The invited schools are each managing the application process at their individual campuses.

NC State undergraduate and graduate students interested in representing the university at Startup Madness must apply online by midnight on Tuesday, March 4. The application form is at Lewis Sheats, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at Poole College, is coordinating the NC State application process. Students with questions may contact Sheats for additional information.

Finalists from each division will be chosen by a review committee to present to a panel of judges on March 7 at the Poole College of Management in Nelson Hall. One winning team from each division will be notified by March 10, and will representing the university at the competition on March 18 and 19 at NC State’s Hunt Library.

Registration is now open for those interested in attending the preliminary and final rounds of the competition. There is no charge for general admission tickets which provide access to the afternoon preliminary presentations and the final round in the evening.

VIP tickets cost $50 and provide reserved seating at the final round, as well as entry to other portions of the competition. Proceeds from the VIP ticket sales help to support the collegiate entrepreneurs. Register at

The Hunt Library is located at 1070 Partners Way Campus on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh, N.C. Parking is available at a paid lot across the street from the library. Payment is by VISA or Mastercard, but there is no charge after 5 p.m.

Read about the 2013 Startup Madness results

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