PHOENIX, AZ (October 29, 2018) – The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced 25 semifinalists in the Fall 2018 round of the Arizona Innovation Challenge, a bi-annual business plan competition for promising early-stage companies in high-growth industries.
As many as ten recipients in each round will receive up to $150,000 each in capital to grow their businesses, advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona. The funding for each awardee will be released in phases, according to milestones that are defined by participation in the Venture Ready mentorship program.
“We’ve implemented enhancements to the Arizona Innovation Challenge in order to support a greater number of innovative Arizona startups in commercializing their technologies,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “These modifications will also ensure all participants receive the Venture Ready mentorship experience, a rigorous process designed to equip them with the skills they’ll need as they continue scaling their ventures.”
A total of 104 applications were received for the Fall 2018 round from companies across Arizona. The judges assessed each application on a set of criteria including technology potential, marketing strategy, quality of management team and economic impact.
Every applicant that meets the Challenge’s eligibility requirements receives constructive feedback generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. Semifinalists will participate in another round of judging and 20 finalists will be selected to continue on to the next round of the Challenge. Up to ten awardees will then be selected from that group of finalists.
All awardees will participate in Venture Ready, the ACA’s mentor program that connects early stage companies with high-level CEOs to further refine business plans and investor pitches. In order for the awardees to receive all of their grant funding, they will be required to successfully graduate from Venture Ready within 12 months.
About the Arizona Commerce Authority:
The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: recruit, grow, create – recruit out-of-state companies to expand their operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to grow their business in Arizona and beyond; and partner with entrepreneurs and companies large and small to create new jobs and businesses in targeted industries. Visit azcommerce.com for more information and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.