Arizona Commerce Authority Announces Semifinalists For The 2023 Arizona Innovation Challenge


PHOENIX, AZ (October 4, 2023) — The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) announced today that 30 semifinalists have been selected for the 2023 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC).


The AIC is designed to advance innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona by helping early-stage ventures scale.

“Narrowing it down to just 30 semifinalists from 100 applicants for this year’s competition was a challenging task,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Each year we’re more impressed with the caliber of startups applying for the AIC and this year was no exception. Congratulations to each of this year’s semifinalists and good luck in the next round!”


The 2023 Arizona Innovation Challenge Semifinalists are:


AIC 2023 Semifinalists

In total, 100 applications were received for the 2023 competition, representing the following sectors:

  • IT/Software: 41% of applications
  • Bio & Life Sciences: 24% of applications
  • CleanTech/Renewable Energy: 13% of applications
  • Advanced Manufacturing: 10% of applications
  • IT/Hardware: 6% of applications
  • Aerospace & Defense: 6% of applications

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. Judges will now select 15 finalists that will pitch their startups in-person before a panel of investors. The judges will choose up to 10 companies as AIC awardees for 2023. After all judging rounds are complete, participants will 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.

2023 AIC Schedule

  • Week of October 2, 2023: Semifinalist Applications Open
  • October 17, 2023: Semifinalist Applications Due
  • October 19, 2023: Semifinalist Judging
  • November 14, 2023: Finalists Announced
  • November 17, 2023: Finalist Pitch Day
  • December 1, 2023: Awardees Announced

Up to 10 companies are added to the Arizona Innovation Challenge portfolio following each cycle of the competition. Companies chosen to join the Arizona Innovation Challenge portfolio will participate in the ACA's Venture Ready Accelerator, connecting 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. The Accelerator helps startups refine their business plans, improve go-to-market execution strategies and increase investor readiness.

Media Contact
Alyssa Tufts, 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 @azcommerce.