Application Window Open for the Fall Arizona Innovation Challenge

Arizona Commerce Authority to open up competition to more awardees


PHOENIX, AZ (August 24, 2018) — The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced it has opened the application window for the Fall 2018 Arizona Innovation Challenge.  It is one of the largest business plan competitions in the nation, which helps early-stage technology companies scale their innovations. 


During this round, the ACA will award as many ten innovative technology ventures up to $150,000 each in non-dilutive capital. Companies receiving awards are required to commercialize their technologies or scale their businesses in Arizona within the subsequent 12 months of the award.


Another notable change in the competition is the requirement that awardees participate in the ACA’s Venture Ready program, the ACA’s mentor program that connects early stage companies with high-level CEOs and serial entrepreneurs to further refine their business plans and investor pitches. Through this process, each awardee will partner with an Entrepreneur in Residence who will provide one-on-one coaching through five mandatory milestones focused on pillar business objectives designed to commercialize innovations.


“For more than five years, the ACA has been dedicated to this program. We evaluate the program on a continuous basis to ensure the Arizona Innovation Challenge reaches more  entrepreneurs and their startups,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “The expansion of the program better serves the needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”


To be selected for an award, companies that meet the eligibility requirements complete three application rounds, during which they receive constructive feedback generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. These companies will also have an opportunity to receive a consultation to discuss their business plans and other potential resources to advance their companies. Companies that move on to the final round are required to do a live pitch to the final judging panel.


Applications will be accepted now through September 14 at 3 p.m. MST. Download the application and submission guidelines by clicking here or visiting:


Media Contact

Connie Weber, Arizona Commerce Authority, [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.