Six Technology Startups Win the Spring 2012 Arizona Innovation Challenge

Companies will be awarded a share of $1.5 million


PHOENIX, AZ (May 15, 2012)  Six start-up companies have won the Arizona Commerce Authority’s Spring 2012 Arizona Innovation Challenge. The ACA awarded prizes between $100,000 and $250,000 to companies at a luncheon ceremony in downtown Phoenix. The winning companies were selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants. After a four month evaluation and review process, which included in-person pitches, a panel of expert evaluators selected the winners.


“The ACA and the state of Arizona have made an investment in these six promising startups.These companies are the best of the best and represent the impressive innovative talent Arizona possesses. We expect these companies to live up to the challenge, and we look forward to seeing their future success,” said ACA President and CEO Don Cardon.


The Spring 2012 Arizona Innovation Challenge winners are:

Agave Semiconductor:

Phoenix, AZ

CEO: Dr. Robert Brannen, PhD

Agave Semiconductor’s technology optimizes the energy efficiency of electric motors, including applications in portable medical devices and cloud server fans.

Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals:

Tucson, AZ

CEO: Jeffrey Jacob

CPP is a pharmaceutical company developing cancer prevention therapies to reduce the risk of cancer for people with elevated risk.

HJ3 Composite Technologies:

Tucson, AZ

CEO: James Butler

HJ3 produces carbon fiber reinforced polymer products used to repair the failing infrastructure worldwide.

Kutta Radios:

Phoenix, AZ

President: Matthew Savoca

Kutta Radios provides next generation radio products to mine operators and first responders to enhance their communications capability, especially in times of emergency.

MaxQ Technologies:

Chandler, AZ

CEO: Memo Romero

MaxQ manufactures advanced liquid cooled coldplates used to cool power converter systems in several markets, including renewable energy.


San Francisco, CA (relocating to Metro Phoenix, AZ)

CEO: Dave Albertson

Wholesalefund has a proprietary technology platform that helps consumer packaged goods manufacturers get quality products on store shelves more quickly and easily.


The six winning companies will be required to commercialize their technology and generate revenue within one year of the award.

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. The Fall 2012 Arizona Innovation Challenge will begin accepting applications on August 15.


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.