Arizona Innovation ChallengeABOUT

How does Arizona prove it’s the best state for innovation?A $3 million reality check.

Visit campuses, laboratories, even basements around the world… and you’ll see… our future is currently under development in the minds of our best entrepreneurs. The Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC), powered by the Arizona Commerce Authority, is an investment in that future. The business plan competition awards qualified, innovative start-up and early stage companies capital to grow their business in Arizona. That’s why the ACA awards $3 million every year to the most innovative companies. It’s the most money in the country for a technology challenge—$1.5 million in the spring; $1.5 million in the fall.

At the end of each Challenge, six companies are each awarded up to $250,000 to help them advance from startup-up or early stage status to the next level. These investments represent non-dilutive capital and will be provided to the winning companies as they attain certain business milestones during a 12-month period.

Winners are commercializing their technologies or new products to generate revenue, and with their business growth, literally changing the way the world works: advancing solar technology on the global landscape; creating more effective ways of detecting breast cancer; streamlining blood-testing techniques to improve the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

But don’t take our word for it. Take the Challenge. Innovate today.

Note: Interested companies must meet specific eligibility requirements to apply. Applicants will be evaluated on the qualifications of their team, market potential of their technology, strategies to commercialize their product or service, and the potential risk versus benefit to the state of Arizona. Submission guidelines are described in detail on the application form itself – which will be available when the spring Challenge opens. Participating companies may also be eligible for other ACA programs, such as the Angel Investment Program and the SBIR Training Program. The ACA has the right to make final rulings related to individual company submissions or to make changes to the AIC Program at its discretion – under the umbrella of having the intention to improve the given Challenge or improve the overall Program by doing so. These may include, but are not limited to, any final rulings on the eligibility of a participating company; the final judges screening and/or scoring of any submission; the selection decisions for semi-finalists, finalists and recommended winners; and the criteria and milestones for awarding grant funds to the winning companies.