Though we are not named after the month of March, it’s hard to deny it has a special place in our hearts. There is, of course, a general fondness for the name itself and it happens to be our birthday month (we are turning 12 this year!).

We also look forward to BostInno and ChicagoInno’s Tech Madness events. At the start of the year, readers nominated companies that they believe have major growth potential during the next five years. Each city’s site narrowed the field down to 164 finalists and sought a group of experts (VCs, analysts, etc.) to cut the field down to 64, bracket-style, like everyone’s favorite NCAA March Madness tournament.

To generate excitement for the competition (and the local tech community at large), there is a Bracket Reveal Party. ChicagoInno’s Tech Madness was held last week at the Chicago Sports Museum, and our research manager, Jeremy Guterl, and I attended to join in the fun and scope out the competition! We were looking forward to the evening, as Chicago has had one accolade after another surrounding its position as a major tech hub. We knew the competition would be fierce.

We enjoyed testing our sports knowledge at the museum and meeting other like-minded techsperts in the city. When the bracket was revealed, we saw a number of companies we’re familiar with and several that we think have what it takes to really make it. There were the household names like Groupon, GrubHub and TrunkClub, and some emerging local companies like Shiftgig, technology that connects people who want temporary work to businesses that need them, and NextMe, a waitlist app for restaurants to ditch the paper and pen method.

We encourage you to keep up with the bracket, and for our friends in Boston, the reveal party is this week. Until then, I’ll leave you with the above picture of Jeremy, Chicago great Harry Caray, and me.