Welcome to the Arizona Innovation Challenge
Know How Arizona proves it’s the best state in the country for innovation? A $3 million reality check.
The Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC), powered by the Arizona Commerce Authority, awards the most money in the country for a technology commercialization challenge – $3 million ($1.5 million twice yearly) to the world’s most promising technology ventures. Awards range from $100,000 to $250,000 per company.
The results? A big-time investment in the most talented entrepreneurs. Bringing to market products that are literally changing the way the world works. Driving wealth and job creation for the state of Arizona.
Are you up for the Challenge?
The buzz is building. The world is watching. Your time is now.
Arizona is a proven hot spot for innovators and entrepreneurs to start, expand and thrive. Join us.
The business plan competition awards qualified, innovative start-up and early stage companies capital to grow their business in Arizona.
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Does your company have what it takes to win the Arizona Innovation Challenge?
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Hear what previous winners have to say about their awards – anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 per company.
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Have questions? Check out the top questions and answers here.
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Arizona ARIZONA INNOVATION CHALLENGE: In The News
AZCentral.com • 07.23.2014
The National Federation of Independent Business has identified the top five U.S. cities for opening and operating a small business. Phoenix occupies the fifth spot on the list.
HealthPlanOne, one of the nation’s leading Medicare and under-65 health insurance sales and customer acquisition companies, has announced plans to open a new location in Phoenix. With plans to hire 175 people this year, the new office will support the company’s brokerage business and its growing number of insurance carrier clients.
The Arizona Commerce Authority has selected 18 recipients for AZ Fast Grant, a highly competitive grant program that provides qualified Arizona-based, early stage technology companies with intensive training and technical assistance to commercialize their innovations, grow their businesses and create quality jobs.
AZ Tech Beat • 06.25.2014
Twice a year the Arizona Commerce Authority awards grant funding capital to a group of startups to help them grow their business and fuel innovation.
Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the ACA said, “This round of the Arizona Innovation Challenge demonstrates why Arizona continues to be recognized as a hub of innovation and technology.”
USA Today • 06.23.2014
The "Silicon Desert," as locals call it, is thriving, with start-ups taking advantage of the lower cost of living, tight-knit community and talent from one of the nation's largest schools — Arizona State University — to help sprout new tech ideas.
Weebly, a global service that lets everyone create a high-quality website, has signed a 25,000-square-foot office lease in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the company’s North American customer operations headquarters. Weebly plans to bring more than 250 new positions to the city over the next three years.
Arizona General Hospital announced it will open a boutique, full-service health care facility in early 2015 in Laveen, Ariz. The 39,000-square-foot hospital will provide Phoenix-area residents 24/7 access to emergency medical care. Arizona General Hospital also plans to bring 300 new jobs and invest $75 million over the next three years.
AZCentral.com • 06.3.2014
Prosper Marketplace, America’s fastest growing peer-to-peer lending company, today announced the opening of a new office in Phoenix – the first office outside the company’s San Francisco headquarters.
AZCentral.com • 05.28.2014
The Phoenix metro area ranks ninth on a new Forbes list of American cities with the fastest-growing information sectors. Close to 2 percent of the jobs in the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area are information jobs, according to the list.
From the ACA Blog
Mar 13, 2014
T.J. Jennings, Vice President, Capital Strategies, Arizona Commerce Authority
Arizona actively engages its entrepreneurs with strategic programs to assist in their expansion. The Arizona Innovation Accelerator Fund (AIAF) program is one example of this strategic support. The AIAF program provides debt financing to expanding Arizona businesses that need resources to capitalize on market opportunities.
Feb 6, 2014
Pat Sullivan, Co-Founder & CEO • Contatta
I love Entrepreneurs. I love Arizona. And I absolutely love Arizona entrepreneurs. The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is one of the reasons Arizona is ranked first in the nation for entrepreneurial activity. The ACA has a three-pronged approach of “recruit, grow, create,” and though Contatta supports everything the ACA is doing, it’s in their efforts to “grow” and “create” that Contatta and the ACA are most closely aligned.