The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) will begin accepting applications for the Spring 2019 Arizona Innovation Challenge on Monday, February 25, 2019. The business plan competition is one of the nation’s largest and helps early-stage technology companies scale their innovations.
The ACA will award as many 10 technology ventures up to $150,000 each in non-dilutive capital. The competition has also expanded to prepare awardees for success through participation in Venture Ready, the ACA’s program that connects early-stage companies with mentors who are high-level executives or serial entrepreneurs.
“Arizona has established a reputation as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, and the Arizona Commerce Authority remains committed to building the ecosystem in our state,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “That’s why we’ve expanded the program to assist more early-stage Arizona companies, as well as provide valuable mentorship that will prepare them to commercialize their technologies and scale their success.”
Venture Ready helps startups refine their business plans, improve go-to-market execution strategies and increase investor readiness. Awardees partner with an Entrepreneur-in-Residence who provides one-on-one coaching through five mandatory panels focused on key business objectives designed to commercialize innovations. The competition requires awardees to complete the five panels and bring their technologies to market in Arizona within the subsequent 12 months of the award.
Companies that meet the eligibility requirements complete three application rounds, during which they receive constructive feedback generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. Participants will also have an opportunity to receive a consultation to discuss their business plans and other potential resources. Companies that move on to the final round are required to do a live pitch to a panel of judges.
Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, February 25 through Friday, March 22, 2019, at 3 p.m. MST.
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: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries.