In the closest round yet of Tech Madness, Minne Inno readers have selected an eclectic group of tech startups from different industries to compete in the Final Four.
Our first matchup is a battle of Target + Techstars Retail alumni: Branch Messenger and Upsie. After participating in the first Techstars Retail class in 2016, Branch Messenger moved its business from California to Minneapolis and raised $10 million in capital. Branch has been on a roll throughout the Tech Madness tournament, topping fellow employee scheduling software startup When I Work in round two. In round three, Branch took on number one seed Code42 to advance.
Then there’s Upsie – a force to be reckoned with in and out of the Tech Madness bracket. The warranty startup has been getting a lot of buzz since graduating from Techstars Retail last fall, and landed $1.7 million to ramp up hiring earlier this year. Upsie has been very effective at wrangling its followers during Tech Madness, but faced its closest matchup in round three against Kidizen. Upsie won by just five votes.
Aftercode also narrowly edged its way into the Final Four, beating SportsEngine by just three votes. The artificial intelligence startup next faces bio-tech biz StemoniX. StemoniX, a former Minnesota Cup champion, received more votes than any other company in rounds one and two. In the Elite Eight, StemoniX went up against Bright Health, which raised the largest round of venture capital funding in Minnesota history last summer with a total of $160 million.
All top-seeded companies have been eliminated. It’s any startup’s game in the Final Four.
Voting is open until Sunday, April 8 at 11:59 p.m.