University of Bridgeport student makes it to Student Startup Madness

Mihovil Bakovic among 64 hoping to reach the finals at SXSW in March
photo of the Ernest C. Trefz School of Business

Mihovil Bakovic, a University of Bridgeport student whose new business aims to make hotel stays more enjoyable for travelers, has made it to the starting field of Student Startup Madness, the high-visibility digital media competition for college students that culminates on March 11, 2019, at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX.

Backovic qualified for the competition's starting round, known as the “Field of 64,” through online judging.

“These sixty-four startups may be the best college digital media startups in the country,” said Sean Branagan, creator of Student Startup Madness and director of the Center for Digital Media Enterprise at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. “Every year we see hundreds of college student startups, and we are always impressed with the creativity and innovation.”

Half of the 64 competitors will advance to the semifinals, called the "Field of 32," through another round of online judging. Of those, eight elite finalists will be chosen to pitch their startups to well-known investors, technologists, and entrepreneurs in person at SXSW in March.

Bakovic’s entry, MyHotelRider, is a website and app that allows guests to customize their hotel experiences by pre-ordering hotel amenities or making special requests prior to their arrival. MyHotelRider can be used to communicate with one or several hotels, streamlining the registration and planning for travelers.

Bakovic has developed his business with assistance from the University of Bridgeport's Student Entrepreneur Center.

He is the second University of Bridgeport student-entrepreneur to qualify for Student Startup Madness. In 2018, Reem Alattas, PhD, founder and CEO of Rumble Helmets, made it to the "Field of 32" semifinalists.

Student Startup Madness is the only nationwide collegiate tournament focused on digital media startups. It affords college student startups the opportunity to compete against fellow student entrepreneurs, grab the attention of potential investors and supporters, and build an elite professional network.

Past famous college student startups include Facebook, Google, Dell, Reddit, WordPress, and SnapChat.


Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,