Venture Madness wrapped up on Thursday night, with four winners named in the state’s longest running pitch contest and startup gathering. This year Invest Southwest, the nonprofit organization that organizes the event, celebrated 30 years of Venture Madness.
Sixteen startups made pitches throughout the day on March 3 across four categories: consumer, medical, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and tech. Winners in each category took home $10,000.
Consumer: Frites Street – a Scottsdale startup that makes a variety of potato products — like thick cut french fries, potato chips and home fries — for restaurant customers.
Medical: Taproot Interventions and Solutions – A Phoenix company that runs a care management software for caregivers treating patients with Alzheimer’s and other mental illnesses. Taproot was one of 10 winners in last year’s Arizona Innovation Challenge.
SaaS: Botco.ai – An artificial intelligence chatbot software company based in Scottsdale that primarily serves medical customers. Botco raised $3.6 million in seed funding last year and, like Taproot, was one of the 10 Arizona Innovation Challenge winners in 2021.
Tech: PWR Lab – A Flagstaff company that takes lived experience (LX) data from wearable technologies and helps turn that data into business intelligence. Sonoran Founders Fund, an early stage investor based in Scottsdale, participated in PWR Lab’s seed funding earlier this year.
This year’s contest also featured a People’s Choice winner, as decided by conference attendees. Neon, a Tempe company that makes digital signage, won the award after pitching in the consumer category, picking up $10,000 as a result.
Venture Madness was hosted at Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Phoenix this year and featured an expo hall for past and current presenters to meet and mingle.
Editor’s Note: The Phoenix Business Journal was a media sponsor for Venture Madness 2022.
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