On Thursday, March 8th, we will debut BostInno’s official 2018 Tech Madness Brackets at our Reveal Party at Game On Fenway. Bonus: We will open Round 1 of voting at this year’s Tech Madness Bracket Reveal where one vote will count as 10. So join us at the party and get off to a hot start with voting!

Tech Madness is our annual bracket-style competition designed to generate awareness and excitement for the Boston ecosystem. This year, every matchup will be determined by readers answering one simple question: Who would you invest in?” And this can be for anything from potential ROI to a concept you love, or a company you’d just like to see succeed. We’ll seed public and private tech companies and put them head-to-head in two brackets, with our readers determining who will move on to the next round. Last year, the bracket registered over 100,000 votes – and resulted in one Final Four company renting a plane to promote votes – and we expect this year to be even BIGGER.

Also, we’re changing a few things up this year! In the past, we’ve selected 150 finalists from private and public companies and revealed the bracket at the Tech Madness event. This year, there will be one core bracket, which will only include 64 private, VC-backed or bootstrapped companies. While it was fun having large public companies face off against early-stage startups in the past, it was tricky asking readers to weigh in on businesses that were at such drastically different stages of their journey. This way, by only including private startups that are bootstrapped or have raised venture capital, we can create a bracket that doubles as a valuable resource to the community, offering a more meaningful snapshot of the Boston tech ecosystem in 2018. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to exclude public companies — they will face off in the Public Pool. The Public Pool will include 16 public companies and voting will open on March 8.

You’ll notice that we have only released 60 finalists in the private, VC-backed or bootstrapped companies bracket, but the bracket holds 64. Why? If your company didn’t make the list of finalists, we are giving four companies a shot to pitch us at the Tech Madness Bracket Reveal Party. We will have our editorial team at the event to determine who gets the last four spots and will announce them during the event.

We wanted to answer one big question you’re probably asking: “How does BostInno assemble the bracket?” Here’s the low-down:

For the past month-and-a-half, we’ve asked you to nominate companies for the brackets. From those nominations, we created our 2018 Tech Madness Finalist list below.

While putting together the brackets, we’re looking for a group that embodies the complete range of Boston tech, in both industry and stage. So, no, the brackets will not just be a list of the local companies that have raised the most money, hired the most people or generated the most revenue. The bracket will also have a handful of companies that we think could get there in five, 10, 15 years.

Over the next month, we’ll be seeding the brackets. Seeding, like last year, is based almost entirely on funding and market cap, although variables such as headcount and growth will be factored in, too.

Seeding is not an editorial statement on how we feel about a company. The bracket only works if companies are seeded 1 through 16 and venture capital is the most accessible, universal metric to use for categorization. It’s also important to note that, outside of the physical placement on the bracket, seeding doesn’t matter.

So, without giving away the whole recipe, that’s how the Tech Madness Bracket will be put together. Here it is, 2018’s private company, VC-backed/bootstrapped bracket and the public pool list, with names you’ll probably know and names you may not.

Come to the event in on March 8th for the double bracket reveal and the start of Round 1 voting. Don’t forget. If you didn’t make it on the private companies bracket, you’ll still have a chance to come to the Tech Madness Bracket Reveal party and pitch us on why you should be included in one of the four open spots. We will announce our four wildcard picks at the event.

2018 TECH MADNESS FINALISTS

Private, VC-Backed/Bootstrapped Company Bracket
Acquia
Accion Systems
AdmitHub
Affectiva
Asimov
botkeeper
Care Academy
Catalant Technologies
Circle
Circulation
ClearMotion
ClimaCell
CloudHealth Technologies
Cogito Corp.
Cybereason
DataRobot
Desktop Metal
DraftKings
Drift
Edgewise Networks
Edmit
ezCater
Flywire
Formlabs
Hopper
Humatics
indico
Indigo Agriculture
InsightSquared
Kensho
LevelUp
Lovepop
Markforged
Mautic
Neurala
NewStore
Notarize
PatientPing
Pepperlane
Perfecto Mobile
PillPack
Quantopian
Salsify
Sea Machines
Shoobx
Starry
Tamr
Tive, Inc.
Toast
TrueFit
TrueMotion
Turbonomic
Vesper
Virtudent
Wanderu
Wellist
WordStream
WEVO
Whoop
Zagster

Public Pool
Akamai
athenahealth
Brightcove
Carbonite
Care.com
CarGurus
Everbridge
HubSpot
iRobot
LogMeIn
Nuance Communications
Pegasystems
PTC
Rapid7
TripAdvisor
Wayfair