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The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) announced it has opened the application window for the Spring 2017 Arizona Innovation Challenge, one of the largest business plan competitions in the nation which helps early-stage technology companies scale their innovations.


Image courtesy of CO+HOOTS.

The ACA commits $3 million annually to the Arizona Innovation Challenge, and in each round of the competition awards as many as six innovative technology ventures up to $250,000 each in non-dilutive capital to grow their businesses. Companies receiving awards are required to commercialize their technologies or scale their businesses in Arizona within the subsequent 12 months of the award.

“The Arizona Innovation Challenge is designed to enhance Arizona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and technology sector by identifying the companies with the most promising innovations,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Since the inception of the Arizona Innovation Challenge in 2011, we are proud to have built a portfolio of 58 winning companies that are advancing new technologies and creating value in Arizona.”

Applications will be accepted now through February 17, 2017 at 3 pm MST. Download the application and submission guidelines by clicking here or visiting: www.azcommerce.com/programs/arizona-innovation-challenge/apply



Potential applicants are encouraged to attend one of three informational workshop sessions the ACA will offer to help companies maximize the competitiveness of their application:

• Monday, January 23 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
NACET Incubator Meeting Room – 2225 N. Gemini Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
• Wednesday, January 25 from 8:30 am – 10:30 am
CO+HOOTS – 221 E Indianola Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012
• Friday, January 27 from 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Startup Tucson – 17 E Pennington St, Tucson, AZ 85701

Every applying company that meets the Arizona Innovation Challenge eligibility requirements will receive constructive feedback generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. These companies will also be given the opportunity to receive a consultation to discuss their business plans and other potential resources to advance their companies. All semifinalists will also be considered for participation in Venture Ready, the ACA’s mentor program that connects early stage companies with high-level CEOs and serial entrepreneurs to further refine their business plans and investor pitches.