PHOENIX, Nov. 4 -- The Arizona Commerce Authority (formerly the Arizona Department of Commerce) issued the following news release:
The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced its 25 semifinalists in the Fall 2013 Arizona Innovation Challenge (http://www.azinnovationchallenge.com/) (AIC), a bi-annual business plan competition that awards the most money in the country for a technology commercialization challenge.
The ACA awards $3 million annually -- $1.5 million in the spring and $1.5 million in the fall -- to the most qualified, innovative startups and early stage companies. Recipients receive up to $250,000 in capital to grow their businesses, advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona.
"Arizona leaders support our state's innovation ecosystem by helping startups to take root and grow through invaluable programs like the Arizona Innovation Challenge," said Jarret Hamstreet, CEO and co-founder, Post.Bid.Ship (http://www.postbidship.com/)., a two-time winner of the challenge that has raised nearly $2.5 million in investment capital to date. "The AIC's rigorous application process has helped us refine our business model and winning a challenge award has opened doors to new sources of capital, which allows us to continue to grow our business."
"I want to congratulate our semifinalists. Arizona's investment in these talented entrepreneurs and high growth-potential companies contributes to a stronger and more dynamic high-tech community, one that will continue to innovate and diversify our state's economy long term," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority.
The 25 Fall 2013 Arizona Innovation Challenge semifinalists include:
* Arbsource, Tempe, AZ - Cleantech/Renewable Energy
* Argylla Technologies, Tucson, AZ -- Bio & Life Sciences
* Beckon Call, Scottsdale, AZ -- IT Software
* CellTrust Corporation, Scottsdale, AZ -- IT Software
* Clear Demand, Scottsdale, AZ -- IT Software
* Contatta, Scottsdale, AZ -- IT Software
* Deliver It, Phoenix, AZ -- IT Software
* Energy Conservation Management, Scottsdale, AZ -- Cleantech/Renewable Energy
* Infra-Tect, Chandler, AZ -- Advanced Materials
* Local Alternative, Flagstaff, AZ -- Advanced Manufacturing
* Metropia, Inc., Tucson, AZ -- IT Software
* MWI Laboratories, Tempe, AZ -- Advanced Manufacturing
* Nano Materials International Corporation, Tucson, AZ -- Advanced Materials
* NanoVoltaics, Phoenix, AZ -- Advanced Manufacturing
* Orb Health, Phoenix, AZ -- Bio & Life Sciences
* Park Genius, Tucson, AZ -- IT Software
* PassRules US Security LLC, Scottsdale, AZ -- IT Software
* Photon Medical Communications, Phoenix, AZ -- IT Software
* Pinnacle Cart, Phoenix, AZ - IT Software
* Pollen-Tech, Scottsdale, AZ - Bio & Life Sciences
* Recoleta Digital Media, Tucson, AZ -- IT Software
* Stat Coordinations, Flagstaff, AZ -- IT Software
* Tempronics, Tucson, AZ -- Cleantech/Renewable Energy
* Verve Medical, Santa Barbara, CA -- Bio & Life Sciences
* Yolia Health, Peoria, AZ -- Bio & Life Sciences
A panel of expert judges evaluated 180 applications from the fall 2013 round of the AIC, assessing each on a set of criteria including technology potential, marketing strategy, quality of management team and economic impact. These companies represent high-value industry sectors that include IT software, IT hardware, bio and life sciences, cleantech/renewable energy, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, and aerospace and defense.
Every applying company that meets the AIC's eligibility requirements will receive constructive feedback generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. All semifinalists will also be considered for participation 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.
The ACA will name its Fall 2013 Arizona Innovation Challenge finalists in early December and the winners later that same month.
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