The Spring 2015 round of the Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC) continues as the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) announced 10 finalists in its bi-annual business plan competition, which awards $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 early-stage companies. Recipients receive up to $250,000 in capital to grow their businesses – advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona. The ACA’s engagement with early-stage companies through its suite of targeted programs such as the AIC continues to spur growth and capital investment within Arizona’s innovation ecosystem.

The 10 Spring 2015 Arizona Innovation Challenge finalists are as follows:

  • Campus Logic, IT – Software , Gilbert
  • Revolution Parts, Inc.. IT – Software, Tempe
  • eVisit, IT – Software, Gilbert
  • Beacon Biomedical, Bio & Life Sciences, Scottsdale
  • Higgle, IT – Software, Scottsdale
  • NVI Algae, Bio & Life Sciences,  Phoenix
  • eMoney Pool, IT – Software, Phoenix
  • Swimlane, IT – Software, Tempe
  • RBar Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, Tucson
  • RightBio Metrics, Bio & Life Sciences, Scottsdale

A panel of expert judges evaluated 138 applications for the Spring 2015 AIC round, from companies based in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Texas and Wisconsin. Each company was assessed 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. In May 2015, a total of 25 semifinalists were named in this round.

Every applying company that meets the AIC’s eligibility requirements receives constructive feedback generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. All 25 semifinalists are 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.