Arizona Commerce Authority Opens Application Window for the Arizona Innovation Challenge


PHOENIX, AZ (July 17, 2020) — The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) announced today applications are being accepted for the 2020 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC) beginning Monday, August 3rd. The business plan competition is designed to advance innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona by helping early-stage ventures scale.


Upon completion of the competition, up to ten companies will be added to the AIC portfolio and will participate in the ACA’s Venture Ready Accelerator, which connects companies with serial entrepreneurs, high-level executives, and subject matter experts. Participants will complete a series of panels and workshops within the subsequent 12 months of the award during which they will learn how to refine their business plans, improve go-to-market execution strategies and increase investor readiness.


“Supporting entrepreneurship is more critical than ever, as today’s early-stage innovators are advancing next-gen solutions that will solve global challenges,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO. “The ACA is proud to continue our support through the Arizona Innovation Challenge and Venture Ready Accelerator programs, and we strongly encourage all interested tech startups to apply.”


The AIC consists of three judging rounds, during which companies receive constructive feedback on their applications generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. Companies that move on to the final round will pitch live — virtually — before a panel of judges. After all judging rounds are complete, participants will also have an opportunity to receive a consultation with the ACA to discuss their application and other potential resources available to help improve their business plans.


Applications will be accepted beginning on Monday, August 3rd through Friday, August 28th at 5 p.m MST. Virtual workshops are being held free of charge to provide more information about the competition, application process, eligibility and guidelines. Interested applicants will learn how to be more competitive.


Four workshops will be held virtually via Zoom.


Media Contact 

Connie Weber

Arizona Commerce Authority
(602) 845-1243
[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 @azcommerce.