PHOENIX, AZ (October 29, 2018) – The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced 25 semifinalists in the Fall 2018 round of the Arizona Innovation Challenge, a bi-annual business plan competition for promising early-stage companies in high-growth industries. 

As many as ten recipients in each round will receive up to $150,000 each in capital to grow their businesses, advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona. The funding for each awardee will be released in phases, according to milestones that are defined by participation in the Venture Ready mentorship program. 

“We’ve implemented enhancements to the Arizona Innovation Challenge in order to support a greater number of innovative Arizona startups in commercializing their technologies,” said Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “These modifications will also ensure all participants receive the Venture Ready mentorship experience, a rigorous process designed to equip them with the skills they’ll need as they continue scaling their ventures.” 

 The 25 Fall 2018 Arizona Innovation Challenge Semifinalists are as follows: 

Company Sector Location 

  • Atlas Guides, LLC IT-Software Flagstaff, AZ 
  • BetR-blok, LLC Cleantech/Renewable Energy Tempe, AZ 
  • bioSyntagma, LLC Bio & Life Sciences Scottsdale, AZ 
  • Breezing Bio & Life Sciences Tempe, AZ 
  • BrightGuest Technologies, Inc. IT-Software Gilbert, AZ 
  • Delta Thermal, Inc. IT-Hardware Tucson, AZ 
  • eTrack Tech, Inc. IT-Software Scottsdale, AZ 
  • Flora Coatings Advanced Materials Phoenix, AZ 
  • Innovative Climatic Technologies (Air2o) Cleantech/Renewable Energy Scottsdale, AZ 
  • Kinetic Edge Systems, Inc. Advanced Manufacturing Tempe, AZ 
  • Mindset Medical IT-Software Phoenix, AZ 
  • Omni Bioceutical Innovations Bio & Life Sciences Phoenix, AZ 
  • Optimum Technologies, Inc. IT-Software Mesa, AZ 
  • OraVu Bio & Life Sciences Scottsdale, AZ 
  • OTOjOY IT-Hardware Phoenix, AZ 
  • Paradigm Diagnostics Bio & Life Sciences Phoenix, AZ 
  • Persosa IT-Software Phoenix, AZ 
  • Quote Countertops IT-Software Phoenix, AZ 
  • Qwick IT-Software Phoenix, AZ 
  • RexPay IT-Software Phoenix, AZ 
  • Solid State Networks IT-Software Phoenix, AZ 
  • The TouchPoint Solution Bio & Life Sciences Scottsdale, AZ 
  • Trainual IT-Software Scottsdale, AZ 
  • Virtuous Software, LLC IT-Software Phoenix, AZ 
  • WIQ Pinnacle IT-Software Scottsdale, AZ 

A total of 104 applications were received for the Fall 2018 round from companies across Arizona. The judges assessed each application on a set of criteria including technology potential, marketing strategy, quality of management team and economic impact. 

The Fall 2018 semifinalist companies represent the following high-value sectors: 

Sector Count Percentage 

  • IT-Software 13 52% 
  • Bio & Life Sciences 6 24% 
  • Cleantech/Renewable Energy 2 8% 
  • IT-Hardware 2 8% 
  • Advanced Manufacturing 1 4% 
  • Advanced Materials 1 4% 

Every applicant that meets the Challenge’s eligibility requirements receives constructive feedback generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. Semifinalists will participate in another round of judging and 20 finalists will be selected to continue on to the next round of the Challenge. Up to ten awardees will then be selected from that group of finalists. 

All awardees will participate in Venture Ready, the ACA’s mentor program that connects early stage companies with high-level CEOs to further refine business plans and investor pitches. In order for the awardees to receive all of their grant funding, they will be required to successfully graduate from Venture Ready within 12 months. 

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