Tag Archives: AIC

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.”

technical education career training looking at petri dish

ACA names Arizona Innovation Challenge finalists

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced 10 finalists in the Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC), its bi-annual business plan competition that awards talented entrepreneurs who are solving today’s most challenging problems with technology-based solutions.

Each year in the spring and fall, the ACA awards to the most qualified, innovative startups and early stage companies capital to grow their businesses, advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona.

The 10 Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge finalists include:

• CampusLogic, IT – Software, Gilbert
• Dermspectra LLC, Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson
• Energy Conservation Mgmt., Cleantech/Renewable Energy, Scottsdale
• Iris PR Management, IT – Software, Phoenix
• Iron Horse Diagnostics, Inc., Bio & Life Sciences, Scottsdale
• NuvOx Pharma, Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson
• Park Genius, IT – Software, Tucson
• Pure Chat, IT – Software, Scottsdale
• RightBio Metrics, Bio & Life Sciences, Scottsdale
• Spotlight Software, IT – Software, Peoria

A panel of expert judges evaluated 154 applications from the Fall 2014 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. Last December, a total of 25 semifinalists were named and will be considered for participation in Venture Ready, the ACA’s mentor program that connects early stage companies with high-level CEOs to further refine their business plans and investor pitches.

The ACA will name its Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge winning companies later this month.

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ACA names Arizona Innovation Challenge semifinalists

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) today announced 25 semifinalists in its Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC), a bi-annual business plan competition awarding $3 million annually to talented entrepreneurs.

Each year, the ACA awards – $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.

“We congratulate the forward-thinking entrepreneurs selected as our newest AIC semifinalists,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Arizona’s engagement with early-stage companies through its suite of targeted programs continues to spur growth, technology commercialization and capital investment within Arizona’s innovation ecosystem. With more than 1,200 applications received for the AIC since 2011, the program continues to be among the many opportunities available to innovators which have made Arizona a top hub for entrepreneurial activity and startup success.”

The 25 Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge Semifinalists include:

• Adosia, LLC, IT – Software, Tempe, AZ
• Allbound, IT – Software, Scottsdale, AZ
• Cactus Semiconductor, Advanced Manufacturing, Chandler, AZ
• CampusLogic, IT – Software, Gilbert, AZ
• Crowd Mics, IT – Software, Mesa, AZ
• Dermspectra, LLC, Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson, AZ
• Energy Conservation Mgmt., Cleantech/Renewable Energy, Scottsdale, AZ
• EZ Dump Commercial, Advanced Manufacturing, Phoenix, AZ
• HiringSolved, IT – Software, Chandler, AZ
• Iris PR Management, IT – Software, Phoenix, AZ
• Iron Horse Diagnostics, Inc., Bio & Life Sciences, Scottsdale, AZ
• MWI Laboratories, Advanced Materials, Tempe, AZ
• Next Alternative, Inc., Cleantech/Renewable Energy, Chandler, AZ
• Numa Tactical Eyewear, Advanced Materials, Phoenix, AZ
• NuvOx Pharma, Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson, AZ
• Park Genius, IT – Software, Tucson, AZ
• PoG Technologies, LLC, Cleantech/Renewable Energy, Peoria, AZ
• Pure Chat, IT – Software, Scottsdale, AZ
• RightBio Metrics, Bio & Life Sciences, Scottsdale, AZ
• Salutaris Medical Devices, Inc., Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson, AZ
• Sentinel Internet Systems, IT – Software, Phoenix, AZ
• Smart Service Desk, IT – Software, Chandler, AZ
• Spotlight Software, IT – Software, Peoria, AZ
• Universal Bio Mining, Bio & Life Sciences, Tucson, AZ
• Zero Shock Seating, Advanced Manufacturing, Chandler, AZ

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.

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 also will 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 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge finalists in early January and the winners later that same month.

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LaBianca Elected to Arizona Investment Council Board

Margaret LaBianca, an attorney and shareholder with Polsinelli, has been elected to the Arizona Investment Council (AIC) Board of Directors. LaBianca brings to the board extensive experience in energy, natural resources, and environmental regulatory compliance, utilization of public lands, and strategic development.

“I am honored to be elected to the Arizona Investment Council. The work of the Council has a significant positive impact on Arizona. I look forward to working with the board to achieve its goals and further support the development of Arizona’s energy infrastructure,” said LaBianca.

LaBianca will serve a two-year term. “We are excited to have Margaret join the board. Her commitment and knowledge in the field of energy and natural resources will bring additional strength to the board as we work to carry out the objectives in our 2013 strategic plan” said Gary Yaquinto, president and CEO of the Arizona Investment Council.

LaBianca is the current Chair of the State Bar of Arizona Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section and past Chair of the Maricopa County Bar Association Environmental Law Section. In 2012 she was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business and ranked by Chambers USA: American’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the category of Environmental. She earned her B.A. from Simmons College, her M.A. from Columbia University, and her J.D. from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law magna cum laude.

pool safety

Pool Safety: Preventing Child Pool Drownings

With the summer just beginning, practice pool safety; ensure your pool and spa area in your backyard is safe, to prevent child drownings.


So far this year, 14 pool-related drowning incidents by children have occurred in the state. In 2011 alone, 27 children died from drowning, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS).

This summer, keep your kids safe (especially around the backyard pool) by taking the following precautions, provided by the Arizona Insurance Council (AIC):

  • Add a barrier between the pool and your home; make it difficult for your kids to get to the pool by installing a pool fence. Ensure it has self-closing, self-latching gates and a door alarm that sounds when a door is opened from inside the home, says Ron Williams, executive director of the AIC.
  • Secure all doors, gates and pets doors that lead to the pool area.
  • Ensure your pool has compliant drain covers.
  • Keep toys away from pool areas, and secure spas with childproof covers.
  • Teach children how to swim.
  • Take the phone with you to the pool; in case of an emergency, dial 911 immediately.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that you have a pool safety toolkit near your pool or spa so you are ready to respond quickly to anything that may happen:

  • A first aid kit
  • A pair of scissors to cut hair, clothing or a pool cover, if needed
  • A charged portable telephone to call 911
  • A flotation device

For more information about AIC or the CPSC, visit azinsurance.org or cpsc.gov, respectively.

For more information about pool safety, visit poolsafely.gov.