By Mary Simonds (Blogger, Startup America Partnership)
Are you a Startup America Master? Do you have enough startup influence to help us recruit 100,000 startups by March 31, 2012? Prove it.

We ended last week with a bang and kicked off our first Master Challenge Throwdown: Brad Feld v. TechStars!

As of this morning, Brad Feld is in the lead with 55 startups and TechStars with 53 with David Cohen claiming almost half (22) of the TechStars number, and finally getting us our FIRST North Dakota Startup, Tech Games LLC!

There’s been a lot of fun back and forth between Brad and the TechStars leaders including two blog posts! Brad highlighted the Master Challenge throwdown in a blog that discussed his involvement in Startup America and urged startups to sign up for access to over 1.2 billion dollars worth of unique services to help their startups grow.

David Cohen, founder and CEO of TechStars, heightened the competition with this blog he posted on Friday afternoon. He hopes to “crush Brad Feld like a bug,” and out-recruit him! The rest of the TechStars team hasn’t been quiet either. Check out some of the back and forth from the weekend on twitter that we are loving!

Who do you think will win the bragging rights? The battle will continue all week with the winner announced on Monday, January 16th! We are all anxious to see who will come out on top!

Interested in becoming a Master? Sign up here.
Are you a startup that wants access to our unique offerings? Sign up here.

This post was originally posted at Startup America Partnership.

About the guest blogger: Mary Simonds is the Executive Assistent to the CEO of Startup America Partnership. She is involved in the social media efforts of the partnership contributing to Twitter and Facebook posts as well as frequent blogging. Mary holds a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations and a minor in Psychology from Salisbury University. Follow her on Twitter at @maryksimonds and @startupamerica.