Finalists Named for Arizona Innovation Challenge

Ten companies are in final stage to win up to $250,000


PHOENIX, AZ (May 2, 2012)  The Arizona Commerce Authority selected ten companies as finalists for the first round of the 2012 Arizona Innovation Challenge. These companies will make a final pitch to a panel of expert judges in hopes of winning a share of $1.5 million to commercialize their innovative technology ideas. Winners will be announced on May 15.


“The ACA received hundreds of applications, and while only a select few are moving on to the finals, I am continually impressed by the level of talent and innovation Arizona’s great minds have to offer,” said Don Cardon, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Technology start-ups ignite job and wealth creation, and the Arizona Innovation Challenge is a smart and aggressive investment in our state’s economic future.”


The Arizona Innovation Challenge is the largest financial prize of its kind in the country.  It advances innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona by supporting early stage ventures in Arizona’s targeted industries of renewable energy and sustainability, bio and life sciences, electronics, information technologies, aerospace and defense and advanced manufacturing. The ACA will award a total of $3 million to deserving start-ups in 2012, with a new round of competition beginning in the fall.


Start-ups receiving awards will be required to commercialize their technology solution and generate revenue within one year of the award. All companies will receive significant feedback generated from the evaluation process and a seasoned panel of evaluators, be invited to partner with commercialization resources across Arizona, and will be evaluated for eligibility in other ACA incentive programs like the Angel Investment Program.


The 2012 Arizona Innovation Challenge finalists are:


Agave Semiconductor

Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals

HJ3 Composite Technologies

Kutta Radios

MaxQ Technology


Serious Integrated



Arizona is a recognized leader in the nation for entrepreneurial activity. The 2012 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity ranks Arizona #1 in the nation for entrepreneurial activity. Milken Institute’s 2010 State Technology and Science Index ranks Arizona 9th in risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure and the state has ranked in the top ten for small business lending.


Through a suite of programs, including the Arizona Innovation Challenge, the Arizona Innovation Accelerator Fund, the AZ Fast Grants, and the Arizona State Trade and Export Promotion Program, Arizona is helping start-ups bring their ideas to life, expand, and serve as a catalyst for job creation and economic growth.


Media Contact

Nicole McTheny, Arizona Commerce Authority, (602) 8451-1231, [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.