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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.

The latest graduates of Scottsdale Healthcare’s U.S. Air Force Nurse Transition Program  pose with course supervisors Maj. Darla Mayo and Maj. Tiffanie Rampley.

Air Force RNs complete Scottsdale training

Thirteen active-duty new grad U.S. Air Force nurses graduated April 23 from an advanced clinical training course offered through Scottsdale Healthcare’s Military Training Program.

The nine-week Nurse Transition Program provides hands-on patient care experience for novice U.S. Air Force Air Force nurses at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.

Supervised by Scottsdale Healthcare preceptors, the Air Force nurses mainly work on medical-surgical units within the hospitals and have impact days to further enhance training in areas such as intensive care, emergency department, wound care, laboratory, and the operating room. The Nurse Transition Program is designed to enhance participants’ clinical skills before reporting for duty in military medical facilities.

The 13 graduating nurses bring the total number of graduates to 195 since the Scottsdale Healthcare Nurse Transition Program’s launch in 2009. April graduates and their base assignments include:

Captain Christina Nigro, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; First Lieutenant Paul Reichert, Keesler AFB, Miss.; Second Lieutenant Heather Batt, Joint-Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; Second Lieutenant Holly Fletcher, RAF Lakenheath, England; Second Lieutenant Ellen Frisbie, Fort Sam Houston, Tex.; Second Lieutenant Diana Hudson, Travis AFB, Calif.; Second Lieutenant Amanda Jones, Travis AFB, Calif.; Second Lieutenant Samantha Leonard, Travis AFB, Calif.; Second Lieutenant Emily Plowman, Landstuhl Air Base, Germany; Second Lieutenant Kathryn Polese, Nellis AFB, Nev.; Second Lieutenant Sean Pruett, Joint-Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; Second Lieutenant Rachel Schlink, Travis AFB, Calif.; and Second Lieutenant Elizabeth Shearer – Travis AFB, Calif.

Scottsdale Healthcare is the largest of four Air Force Nurse Transition Program sites across the U.S. in terms of number of participants and the facilities available for use in training. The only other civilian hospitals offering the program are University Hospital in Cincinnati and Tampa General in Florida.

The Nurse Transition Program is part of Scottsdale Healthcare’s partnership with the U.S. Armed Forces. Created in 2004, the military partnership made Scottsdale Healthcare one of the first community hospitals in the United States to welcome all branches of the military for medical training.

Scottsdale Healthcare’s Military Partnership provides training, education and clinical experience for military medical personnel to perform successfully in combat and humanitarian missions while building relationships that can be used in potential disaster response situations. More than 2,000 service members have been trained through the Scottsdale Healthcare Military Partnership.

Curis Resources - Florence Copper Project

MJ Insurance Expands Metals Group to Phoenix

MJ Insurance, a leading property-casualty and employee benefits agency headquartered in Indianapolis, is expanding its successful  Metals Group to its Phoenix office.

For more than 20 years, MJ Insurance has represented metals and metal-related companies including manufacturers, processors, scrap metal dealers and all other companies using metals with their risk management programs from its Indianapolis office. The private insurance agency is now expanding its reach by extending the service line in its Phoenix office for clients across the West.

“We are intrigued to see where this expansion takes MJ Insurance,” said Michael H. Bill, CEO of MJ Insurance. “Our Metals Group has seen significant growth in the last few years in line with new environmental policies and our team has remained on the front line of the risk inherent to the industry. We are excited to now expand these services and see how it benefits the industry in the West.”

MJ Insurance’s Metals Group helps clients identify and cover unique exposures by designing risk management programs specifically tailored to them. The team focuses exclusively on the metals industry, allowing them to offer the utmost individualized service and programs available while being resourceful to meet each specific company’s needs with safety and environmental consulting.

The metals group currently serves clients in the Midwest throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois and Missouri. With the expansion, the company looks to serve Nevada, Arizona, Utah, California and Colorado businesses, while expanding its reach in the already successful market in Mexico.

Specialty coverage and options include captive alternatives, ocean cargo, foreign travel, Mexico transit, environmental liability and trade credit, among others.

MJ Insurance also has an online Risk Management Center that enables clients to easily manage various insurance, risk management and OSHA compliance responsibilities while also offering access to online safety tools.

The company is an active member in several metals, manufacturing and recycling trade associations, further showcasing their commitment and knowledge of the industry.