Let the Venture Madness begin!


With eight seconds left in the game the crowd nervously chants “SEVEN, SIX, FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO and propelled by adrenaline the players in white, sweat-soaked jerseys work the ball around the three-point line.

Running out of options, the shooter heaves the ball toward the rim. His effort draws iron but ultimately careens harmlessly out of the cylinder allowing the road team to escape with a hard-fought victory and their NCAA tournament hopes intact.

So it was for the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday after a tilt with Bo Ryan’s scrappy 14th ranked Wisconsin Badgers.

Why bring up the Buckeyes? Ha! At brettapproved we don’t need a reason to talk about all things scarlet and gray! But seriously, the Buckeyes are top of mind because last week brettapproved received some exciting news (dramatic pause). We’re a #9 seed in Venture Madness!

Sure, we won’t be competing on the hardwood but we will be competing against 63 amazing entrepreneurs for a share of $50,000.

That’s right, folks! Venture Madness, the brainchild of Invest Southwest, the Arizona Commerce Authority and a host of other sponsors, is as close as we’ll get to draining a three at the buzzer to advance to the Final Four in Dallas, Texas at “Jerry’s World” also known as AT&T Stadium.

Survive and advance! 

Nothing compares to the thrill of competition but the truth is, aside from weightlifting (a sport I enjoyed until two shoulder surgeries necessitated that I stop) I’ve never competed in anything remotely athletic.

In fact, I like to joke that after I stopped lifting my abs disappeared without a trace because they witnessed a drug deal gone bad and they’ve been enjoying life in a remote Montana “town” under the watchful eye of witness protection ever since.

Anyway, I digress. As I was saying …

We’re thrilled to be one of the 64 companies selected from more than 120 worthy applicants to compete in Venture Madness.

Here’s how it works:

  • Companies are divided into 4 brackets consisting of 16 companies per bracket
  • VentureMadness.com will display the brackets showing each region’s matchups. This is where you come in! In order to move on to the second round, we need your votes in round one. If we get enough support, on to round two we’ll go. From there, we need you to keep voting. Our objective: to be one of the 16 companies left standing. Man, my palms are sweating just writing about it! 🙂
  • In each region, the #1 seed will compete against the #16 seed, the #2 seed against the #15 seed, and so on.

We need your votes to advance!

Advancing to the final 16 means we’ll compete in a head-to-head, in-person pitch competition held in March at Talking Stick Resort. Voting for the first round opens today and runs through Feb. 14. So vote for us and tell your friends too! Vote here!

Throughout the next couple weeks we’ll be reminding you to vote via Facebook and Twitter. This isn’t meant to annoy you. Nope. We’d never do that. Honestly, reminding people to vote constantly on social media was my only concern about the format but in the end, we couldn’t pass up the chance to be part of something so cool. Our efforts are simply a reminder that we’re on this crazy company-building journey together.

Thanks so much for your support. It means the world to the entire crew!

Oh, and one more thing. Thank you to staunch brettapproved supporter and film editor extraordinaire Anna F. Miller for editing our 90 second video! Anna, in case no one has reminded you today, you’re amazing and we love ya!


Brett Heising 37 total posts

Founder and CEO of brettapproved.com.