Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Arizona Commerce Authority awards grants to innovators

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced the six winning companies in its Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC). These grant recipients represent innovative Arizona entrepreneurs who are creating technological solutions with the potential for global impact.

The Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge Grant Recipients are:

·       Iris PR Management – Phoenix, AZ (IT – Software): Iris PR Management is the developer of the first core management system for the public relations industry. The SaaS platform enables PR teams to manage and automate all of their daily activity, streamline efficiencies, measure performance and prove value. No other software solution for the PR industry addresses these core needs.

·       Iron Horse Diagnostics, Inc. – Scottsdale, AZ (Bio & Life Sciences): Iron Horse Diagnostics is the creator of a diagnostic platform for neurological traumas and diseases. The company’s tests support the diagnosis and management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, as well as traumatic brain injury, concussions and other neurological diseases.

·       NuvOx Pharma – Tucson, AZ (Bio & Life Sciences): NuvOx Pharma is the creator of a therapeutic biotechnology for improving oxygen delivery in the bloodstream to help treat life threatening conditions, including radiation-resistant cancers. The nanotechnology platform is based on dodecafluoropentane (DDFPe) nano-emulsion, which transports hundreds of times more oxygen per dose than other materials.

·       Park Genius – Tucson, AZ (IT-Software): Park Genius is the developer of a mobile application allowing motorists to conveniently pay for parking using their smartphone. The software solution also gives parking providers a cost-efficient way to process cashless payments for their parking operations and avoid the need to purchase new and expensive hardware designed to accept credit cards.

·       Pure Chat – Scottsdale, AZ (IT-Software): Pure Chat is the developer of a live chat solution for websites that helps businesses connect to their customers from anywhere.

·       Spotlight Software – Peoria, AZ (IT-Software): Spotlight Software is the developer of a SaaS-based sales performance management platform. It is the only remote sales performance optimization tool that tracks and measures individual behavior and soft skills to drive the actionable insight required to build a high-performance sales team.

A panel of expert judges evaluated 154 applications from the Fall 2014 AIC submitted by companies based in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia. The judges assessed each application 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.

“Congratulations to our newest AIC winning companies. They demonstrate the innovative spirit and next-generation thinking that make Arizona one of the top hubs for entrepreneurial excellence in the nation,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority.

Under the Arizona Commerce Authority, seven rounds of the AIC have been completed and more than 1,200 applications received for the program since 2011. Including the Fall 2014 recipients, the ACA has awarded 44 AIC grants to Arizona’s entrepreneurs to help them accelerate their businesses and advance technologies, which are diversifying Arizona’s innovation economy.

Jane Poynter, CEO of Tucson-based World View Enterprises, a Spring 2014 AIC grant recipient knows the importance of Arizona’s support of its startup community. Her company develops and manufactures high-altitude balloon technology that provides trips to near space for tourism, R&D and industry uses. World View’s unmanned balloons carry payloads for communications, surveillance, research, and launching microsatellites.

“Winning an AIC award last spring represented a key milestone for our company as well as for our relationship with Arizona,” said Poynter. “We are using our grant to begin standing up our balloon manufacturing facility. It is a key enabler for our company, and affirms that Arizona is interested in supporting innovation and the creation of manufacturing jobs in the state.”