The Elite 8 has been decided! The winners are:

WEST: Stealz (#8) and The Produce Box (#14)
MIDWEST: EmployUs (#9) and Boostopia (#15)
EAST: Freedom (#12) and Brilliant Sole (#14)
SOUTH: Brainbuild (#13) and Tom & Jenny’s (#15)

Vote for the Final Four here.

We continue to see great community engagement, with nearly 2,400 votes, the most in a round yet. That brings total votes to nearly 7K—a testament to the passion you all have toward your fellow startups.

Some highlights from the Sweet 16:

-EmployUs (#9) snuck by Teamworks (#5), winning with just 52% of the votes
-Boostopia (#15) beat Spiffy (#6), marking the biggest upset of the week
-Although they were strong in Round 2, all three of the drink companies are gone: Untappd (#5), BrewPublik (#6) and MATI Energy (#8)
-Our last #16 seed, Nugget, fell to Brainbuild (#13)
-The remaining eight teams combine for only $4M in funding, with four companies bootstrapped

As a reminder, here’s the scoop on the Elite 8 teams:

Stealz (Raleigh): App that rewards customers for being brand ambassadors for restaurants and provides social media marketing material and analytics for restaurateurs and corporate franchises.

The Produce Box (Raleigh): Produce and goods from North Carolina farmers and food makers delivered weekly to doorsteps across the state.

EmployUs (Raleigh): By empowering people to refer their friends for open technology jobs and earn cash for successful placements, EmployUs is working to democratize the recruiting process.

Boostopia (Durham): Customer support and analytics for B2C companies.

Freedom (Durham): An app that helps people stay focused by blocking apps, websites or the entire Internet on iPhones, iPads, Windows and Mac computers.

Brilliant Sole (Wilmington): Sensor-embedded footwear that allows for locomotion experience in virtual reality and video games

Brainbuild (Durham): Automated nutrition and health planning for performance, collegiate and professional athletes based on training, competition schedule.

Tom & Jenny’s (Durham): All-natural sugar free caramels and candies healthier for teeth.


Click here to vote for the Final Four. Voting ends on the 30th, after which we’ll be back on the real March Madness schedule.

To the eight teams remaining—best of luck!