Silicon Prairie News

Hollrback moves forward in TechStars’ Startup Madness

Omaha March 18, 2011 by Michael Stacy

Hollrback is one win away from the Sweet 16. Of sorts.

The Omaha-based startup advanced yesterday to the second round of the Startup Madness Tournament, an NCAA tournament-style contest pitting 64 startups in competition for a grand prize worth more than $25,000. Startups advance through the single-elimination tournament, which is sponsored by TechStars and hosted at, by receiving more votes than the opposition.

(Screenshot from

Hollrback, a context-sensitive contact-exchange platform, garnered 58 percent of the votes in its first-round matchup with Uppward (Des Moines), a mobile travel application that's used to connect travelers across the globe.

When he learned the news, Hollrback's Gabe Kangas used a Tweet to convey his excitement over the win — and drum up some support in hopes of another victory. 

Hollrback's Gabe Kangas Tweeted the exciting news after his startup's win in the first round of Startup Madness. Screenshot from

The Silicon Prarie's third entrant, ScoreYard (Des Moines), a social team-management platform, received 48 percent of the vote to come up just short in its first-round meeting with Planely (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Now, Hollrback faces OnCompare (San Francisco & Seattle), which helps consumers choose between companies that offer similar services online, for the right to move on to the tournament's final 16. Voting continues through 4 p.m. Monday. 

Hollrback topped Uppward in the first round of Startup Madness and is pitted against OnCompare in the second round. Screenshot from

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Partying, Partying, Yeah!

Mar 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Ha! It's FRIDAY! Congratulations to the Hollrback crew from everyone @Uppward! We're going to keep voting to get a Silicon Prairie company to represent..WOOT!

Mar 18, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Thanks Nate!

Mar 18, 2011 at 12:29 PM


The polls are open!

Through August 22, help us decide the winners of our inaugural Silicon Prairie Awards, which will recognize 12 companies and individuals. You can vote once per day per category.
Winners will be announced live on stage at
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