The Arizona Center for Innovation, the University of Arizona's high-tech
business incubator, recently held its fourth annual PitchDay, a chance for tech
startups to pitch their ventures to an audience of potential investors, business
mentors and partners.
The event, hosted by the center at the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park, featured entrepreneurs representing 22 companies.
Notably, this year's event was opened to the whole state for the first time.
Each of the companies is supported by various business incubators and entrepreneurial mentorship programs around the state; locally, besides the AzCI, including the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship in the UA Eller College of Management; the Tucson tech-development firm AzTera; and Gangplank Tucson, a nonprofit collaborative workspace.
Outside of the Tucson area, the presenters included startups from Arizona State University's SkySong; Tallwave, a Phoenix-based venture accelerator; the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET); and the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI) at Gateway Community College in Phoenix.
Here's a quick look at the breadth of technologies addressed by the 22 companies that presented at PitchDay:
-- Acomni LLC (AzTera, www.acomni.com), which pitched a sophisticated thermostat that lets users track usage and change settings remotely;
-- Arbsource (CEI, www.arbsource.us), which focuses on compact bioreactors for water treatment and power generation;
-- Colloidal Gen (AzCI), with proprietary technology involving the use of ferrite iron oxides to magnetically separate biological material;
-- Convrrt (Tallwave, convrrt.com), apps to help website managers easily build "landing pages" to drive traffic;
-- Creative Allies (Tallwave, creativeallies.com), which hosts online design contests linking artists and bands who need designs for albums and merchandise;
-- Crowd Audio (McGuire, crowdaudio.com) connects musicians and audio engineers through community and "crowdsourcing" activities;
-- DNA on a Shirt (CEI, dnaonashirt.blogspot.com), maker of custom T-shirts imprinted with personal DNA test images;
-- Exchange Meds (Tallwave, exchangemeds.com), an online medication-exchange program for pharmacies;
-- Grafted Growers (McGuire, www.graftedgrowers.com) provides grafted vegetable plants for commercial growers and gardeners;
-- Howdy (McGuire), online marketplace for student-internship information;
-- Local Work (Tallwave), which helps local talent find local work through Web-based tools;
-- Metropia (AzCI), which uses proprietary models to predict vehicular traffic flows and influence motorist choices to relieve congestion;
-- Nest Energy (NACET), developer of mobile, solar-powered generating stations;
-- Obelus Media (Tallwave, obelusmedia.com), developer of mobile advertising technology;
-- Property Management EZ (AzCI), online property-management software for landlords;
-- Quantified Resistance (Gangplank), developing a wearable device that provides muscle feedback for weightlifting training;
-- RallyUp (AzCI, www.rallyup.com), website that offers discounts and free merchandise in exchange for product feedback;
-- Rarus Innovations (SkySong, www.rarusinnovations.com), education technology using mobile apps and games-based Internet platform;
-- Save on Couriers (Tallwave), a same-day courier-exchange;
-- Ufree (AzCI, www.ufreeapp.com) developed an app to identify and schedule when friends are free to interact;
-- Vive (McGuire), technology to reduce hospital-acquired infections by real-time pathogen detection;
-- YourLabs LLC (AzCI, www.yourlabs.com), an e-learning software and services provider that makes test and assessment data available on any device.
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