Student ‘treps to compete at SXSW

BetaVersity and Champio, startups founded by current Wash U students have been named  finalists in the Student Startup Madness (SSM), a nationwide tournament-style competition for college student digital media ventures. The competition culminates with the “Entrepreneurial Eight” national finals at South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive on Monday, March 16th.

student startup madnessThe eight finalists, including Wash U’s Blake Marggraff and Jolijt Tamanaha, will pitch before a judging panel of successful entrepreneurs and investors from Google, Samsung, Dell and a Silicon Valley venture capital firm—all of whom can help the students transform their ideas into business success.

Marggraff and Tamanaha launched previous ventures after taking Olin’s Hatchery course.

The SSM event will be held at SXSW’s Startup Village main venue in the downtown Hilton Austin. The winning team will take home a prize package of software and services (valued at more than $2,000) and bragging rights as the best student startup in America.

Student Startup Madness (SSM) is the only nationwide collegiate tournament focused on digital media startups. It affords college student startups the opportunity to compete against fellow student entrepreneurs, grab the attention of potential investors and supporters, and build an elite professional network.

The 2014-15 SSM Entrepreneurial Eight Finalists (in alphabetical order)

  • BetaVersity from Washington University in St. Louis: The company offers BetaBox, a maker lab in a shipping container, as well as Atlas, a job-matching tool targeted at engineers, for 25+ university and corporate clients. [Contact Blake Marggraff,, or visit]
  • Boldr from University of Michigan
  • Champio from Washington University in St. Louis: An enterprise system that helps companies market better on social media by generating relevant and unique content from employees, which increases follower engagement. [Contact Jolijt Tamanaha,, or visit]
  • Loco Labs from Bucknell University
  • Reliefwatch from University of Chicago
  • Spray N’ Pray Studios from Georgia State University
  • Tech Twurl from Michigan State University
  • Yorango from Cornell University

See SSM press release here.

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