Spring 2013 Arizona Innovation Challenge Draws Competitors From Around the Country

Arizona Commerce Authority narrows field from more than 185 applicants to 27 semifinalists, including four from out of state


PHOENIX, AZ (May 9, 2013) — The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced the 27 companies, from the more than 185 applicants, that will move on as semifinalists in the Spring 2013 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC). Four of the semifinalists are located out of state – two from California and two from New York City – and, if awarded, will be required to relocate operations to Arizona.


“Arizona is fast becoming the hotspot for early stage, inventive entrepreneurs to incubate their ideas and bring the most promising technologies to market,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Our state is committed to advancing this innovation ecosystem, and we support that commitment with a suite of programs and services to propel success, including the highly competitive Arizona
Innovation Challenge.”


The Arizona Innovation Challenge awards qualified, innovative startups and early stage companies capital to grow their business, ultimately advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona. Of the more than 185 applicants this round, nine companies were from outside of Arizona, one from Bremen, Germany.

The 27 semifinalists represent targeted industries including clean tech/renewable energy, bio/life sciences, information technology, aerospace and defense, and advanced manufacturing:

  • Alert GPS Holdings, Corp., Phoenix, AZ
  • appsFreedom, Inc., Chandler, AZ
  • CellTrust Corportion, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Clear Demand, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Desert Silicon, Inc., Glendale, AZ
  • Excelsius Surgical, Phoenix, AZ
  • Gamma Dynamics, Chandler, AZ
  • Gingerbread Shed Corporation, Tempe, AZ
  • Nano Materials International Corporation (NMIC), Tucson, AZ
  • NanoVoltaics, Phoenix, AZ
  • Nasseo, Inc., San Diego, CA
  • OnRelay, San Francisco, CA
  • Picmonic, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Provista Diagnostics, Inc., New York, NY
  • ReplyBuy.com, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Salutaris Medical Devices, Inc., Tucson, AZ
  • SaveOnCouriers.com, Phoenix, AZ
  • SchoolCues, Phoenix, AZ
  • SenesTech, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Stealth Software, LLC, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Strongwatch Corporation Tucson, AZ
  • TiFinity Oral Care, Anthem, AZ
  • Tresóna Multimedia, LLC, Paradise Valley, AZ
  • Viomics, Phoenix, AZ
  • Viridis Learning, New York, NY
  • Vizzda, Tempe, AZ
  • Yolia Health, Peoria, AZ

A panel of expert judges evaluated all applications, assessing each on a set of criteria including technology potential, marketing strategy, management team, and economic impact. The six to 10 winning companies will receive anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000. Those companies receiving awards will be required to commercialize their technology in Arizona and generate revenue within the following 12 months.


“Winning the Innovation Challenge last fall has not only drawn national attention to our organization but has also allowed us to accelerate our mobile strategy and improve the care that we offer our patients,” said Dr. Alan Roga, Stat Doctors, fall 2012 award


The ACA conducts the Arizona Innovation Challenge twice per year, committing $3 million annually to the competition—$1.5 million in the spring and $1.5 million in the fall.


“What’s incredibly exciting this round is that 13 of our semifinalists are first-time applicants,” added Watson. “Not only is the Innovation Challenge drawing from all corners of the country, we’re resonating with companies that have yet to apply, adding to the number of entrepreneurs we can assist with a host of ACA programs and services, ultimately driving wealth and job creation for the state of Arizona.”


Every applicant that meets the competition’s eligibility requirements will be provided the opportunity to meet with the ACA’s Innovation Team to discuss their specific application and additional resources that may further their success. Additionally, all 27 semi-finalists will be invited to participate in VentureReady, the ACA’s mentor program that connects companies with high-level CEOs and serial entrepreneurs to further refine
business plan models and propel individual success.


The ACA anticipates announcing this round’s award recipients in June.


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 azcommerce.com and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.