ACA’s Arizona Innovation Challenge commits funding for early-stage tech ventures

ACA’s Arizona Innovation Challenge Commits Funding for Early-stage Tech Ventures

PHOENIX, AZ (Jan. 27, 2011) - In a window of less than thirty days, the Arizona Commerce Authority received 108 proposals competing for the Arizona Innovation Challenge. The ACA will award $1.5 million to companies creating jobs in Arizona for innovators in renewable energy and sustainability, bio and life sciences, electronics, information technology, aerospace and defense, and advanced manufacturing.

“This is just the start of Arizona’s aggressive economic growth plan to refocus and privatize the Arizona Commerce Authority and establish programs that increase our state’s economic competitiveness,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “Nationwide, the success of small technology ventures leads to quality employment, attraction of outside capital investment, export sales and wealth creation.”

“Arizona’s entrepreneurs are emerging as the economy begins to recover. The ACA is committed to investing in our early-stage ventures by bridging the gap between research and development and the commercial launch of some very promising technology.” said Don Cardon, President and CEO of the ACA. “We are eager to see the success this funding brings to Arizona’s technology industry, which is quietly becoming a global player in innovation,” added Cardon.

The proposals are being screened by a panel from both the public and private sectors. The semifinalists will be announced next week, and the winners will be notified in early February. Each Arizona Innovation Challenge winner will receive between $100,000 and $250,000.

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Media Contact:

Nicole McTheny, Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing

Arizona Commerce Authority

602.845.1231 or nicolem@azcommerce.com

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.