Tech MadNess 2021

Which of these Tampa Bay startups would you invest in?

Get ready for tip off: Tech Madness is back. We’re bringing some friendly competition (and okay, a little heat) back to Tampa Bay with our annual Tech Madness competition.

We’ve got a line up of 32 tech-enabled companies for our bracket, which range from being brand new, completely bootstrapped startups to companies set to become institutional giants that have been building for years.

Why you vote for a specific company is entirely up to you. It could based on the amount of funding the company has raised, the trajectory it’s seen through Covid-19, or you simply just like what they’re doing. But the main question to answer is: Who would you invest in?

We seeded the companies based on venture capital funding and other growth metrics. We rely on venture funding because it’s the most accessible and universal metric available. All startups on the list are private, venture-backed and tech-enabled.

And we know Tampa Bay residents are all about lifting each other up, so keep in mind this is not a “versus” thing. A vote for a company is not a vote against the other

We’ll spend the month of March voting, which will eventually culminate in our third annual Tech Madness winner March 30.

Round 1 update

It’s the season of the underdogs.

Multiple upsets occurred with the first 32 startups in our annual tech-enabled company lineup, which is now whittled down to 16 companies.

The biggest upset is 2020 Tech Madness winner ReliaQuest, which lost out to Paragon Cyber Solutions that pulled in 72% of the vote and more than double the votes.

There was also Edgility winning over ComplianceQuest with 65% of the vote, Scion Analytics taking down startup powerhouse Peerfit with 52% of the vote, Wedzee beating out the quickly-growing Homee with 64% of the vote and Nickelytics beating out well-established Vology with only 10 more votes.

There was also some close calls among the tech powerhouses, proving no one is safe from an upset. Former San Francisco cybersecurity company OPSWAT narrowly missed Round 2, missing out to Ideal Agent who had four more votes. Perch Security and SKUxchange both beat out their opponents by only five votes.

And some tech companies have shown they are here for the Tech Madness title. JustProtect and Knack both won with more than double the votes of their opponents.

Round 2 update

The Tampa Bay companies may be playing in Tech Madness, but they’re not playing around when it comes to advancing rounds.

A majority of the company match-ups were won handily, most evident with JustProtect, pulling in almost 30% more votes than its opponent Nickelytics, along with Knack and TrustLayer, which each got more than 50% of the vote.

The one close call: Paragon Cyber Solutions beating out Edgility by just four votes, proving the importance of casting your bracket ballot.

Round 3 update

The fight for the final four was in full swing.

The whittled-down eight companies all had roughly 20 votes or less that set them apart, with the exception of Paragon Cyber Solutions. The newcomer to the bracket once again crushed its competition, this time taking 62% of the vote against Scion Analytics.

Ideal Agent inched out over TrustLayer with 11 more votes, with Knack having a slight edge against Perch Security with 14 votes. JustProtect had an even closer call against Chattr, winning by only eight votes.

Semi-finals recap

It was the battle of the underdogs in the semi-finals, with the remaining four companies garnering plenty of votes — but only two could go forward.

Paragon Cyber Solutions, as it has done this entire Tech Madness, dominated against JustProtect and received 78% of the vote.

It was a closer call between Ideal Agent and Knack, but the real estate tech company ultimately took the spot with 64% of the vote. Now, it’s the final face off between these Tech Madness new comers.

Here’s the deadlines to make sure you don’t miss a round:

Round 1 voting March 9 – March 14

Round 2 voting March 15 – March 18

Round 3 voting March 19 – March 22

Round 4 voting March 23 – March 25

Round 5 voting March 26 – March 29