The Spring 2016 round of the Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC) continues as the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced 10 finalists in its bi-annual business plan competition.
The ACA provides $3 million in grants annually – $1.5 million in the spring and $1.5 million in the fall – to the most qualified, innovative startups and early-stage companies. Up to $250,000 is granted to each recipient to commercialize their technologies and grow their businesses. Grant money is provided only as each company reaches specific business milestones during a 12-month period. Companies located anywhere in the world may apply, as long as they plan to establish operations and commercialize their product or service in Arizona if they are awarded an AIC grant.
“The Arizona Innovation Challenge continues to provide early stage growth companies with a platform to commercialize their innovations and gain traction,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO. “These companies are developing potentially life-changing technologies right here in our state, and the ACA is proud to support their success. Congratulations to all of the Spring 2016 finalists.”
The 10 Spring 2016 AIC finalists are Allbound (Phoenix), IT – Software; AniCell BioTech (Chandler), Bio & Life Sciences; Breezing Co. (Tempe), Bio & Life Sciences; Clean Router (Gilbert), IT – Software; LocalWork.com (Scottsdale), IT – Software; MWI (Tempe), Aerospace/Defense; PerioEndoscopy (Scottsdale), Bio & Life Sciences; SalesTalk Technology (Scottsdale), IT- Software; Salutaris Medical Devices (Tucson), Bio & Life Sciences; and SMART Brain Aging (Phoenix), Bio & Life Sciences.
A panel of expert judges evaluated 97 applications for the Spring 2016 AIC round from companies currently located in Arizona, California, Colorado and Switzerland. The judges assessed each company application on a set of criteria including technology potential, marketing strategy, quality of management team and economic impact. In April 2016, a total of 25 semifinalists were named in this round.
Every applying company that meets the AIC’s eligibility requirements receives constructive feedback generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. All 25 semifinalists are considered for participation 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.
The ACA will name its Spring 2016 Arizona Innovation Challenge awardees in early June.
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.