The heat is on.

On Tuesday night, 64 fast-growing D.C.-area startups officially joined our Tech Madness bracket competition.

The group includes a wide range of industries, company sizes and product types. Each one is privately funded (through venture capital, private equity, angel funding, etc.) or bootstrapped, and seeding for the bracket was based on the metrics available to the DC Inno editorial team, including funding, head count and other information. This year’s Tech Madness competition aims to answer one question: Who would you invest in?

Now, that sounds intense. To be clear, this isn’t meant to create an “us vs. them” mentality. Instead, DC Inno hopes to create a fun way for our readers to get to know some of the top companies in the innovation scene. All you need to do is vote for who you’re bullish on! A vote for one company is not a vote against another.

You can vote for your first round picks here.

And, in true DC Inno fashion, we celebrated these great startups Tuesday night at WeWork 80 M St. SE to kickoff a month of madness. We’ll be adding a slideshow from our party pics soon, so stay tuned. And as we progress through each round of match-ups, we’ll have an update on our site with who made it into the the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four and The Champ. Here’s the voting schedule:

March 6-March 10: Round 1 Voting
March 11-March 15: Sweet 16
March 16-March 21: Elite 8
March 22-March 26: Final 4
March 27-April 2: Semifinals
April 3-April 5: Finals

Let’s get voting on our first round of match-ups. The competition is asking which company is the best investment. Once each round of voting closes, we’ll advance the winners and let you know about the news in The Beat newsletter.

Sam Sabin is a reporter at DC Inno covering all things innovation, technology and startup funding across the D.C. metro area. Sam joined the team in October 2016 and is passionate about diversity in tech, stories of how companies are built, Wendy's and her small baby cat, Barry. Get in touch: