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


PHOENIX, AZ (January 27, 2011)  In a window of fewer 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.” 


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.


Media Contact

Nicole McTheny, Arizona Commerce Authority, (602) 845-1231, [email protected]


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: 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. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.