By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

Two startup ventures founded by students at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) have been selected as semi-finalists in the Student Startup Madness digital media tournament. The first two rounds of the competition will be held online and the competition will culminate with the finals at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, in March 2013.

iSchool student startups PsyQic and uValue were selected as two of the 32 semi-finalists. The first round of competition was held online from August until November. The semi-finalists will advance to the virtual regional round where they will be judged against each other online. From each of the four regions, two finalists will emerge to form the “Entrepreneurial Eight” who will be invited to pitch their businesses at the national finals at SXSW.

PsyQic is a mobile app and web-based service created by iSchool Ph.D. student Keisuke Inoue. It allows users to make predictions about current events, and compete against their friends on social networks to see who makes the most accurate predictions.

iSchool master’s student Joshua Anderson founded uValue over the summer at the Syracuse Student Sandbox. uValue is a proximity-based marketplace for college campuses that helps to facilitate student to student commerce in a transparent environment.

Student Startup Madness is promoted and supported by four anchor universities in four regions across the country: Emory University, Saint Louis University, The University of Texas at Austin, and Syracuse University. Major corporate sponsors for this year’s tournament include Turner Broadcasting’s Media Camp, Foursquare, and Rain Media.

The contest concept was developed by Sean Branagan, director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, in conjunction with SXSW. Syracuse University is the organizing institution for this year’s national tournament.