The biggest challenge for Arizona entrepreneurs today is access to capital, said Dan Nienhauser, executive director of Arizona Collaboratory Inc.

To address the issue, the Arizona Technology Council has partnered with Arizona Collaboratory Inc. to launch the Arizona Collaboratory Capital Connectivity Portal.

This online platform is the first aimed strictly at Arizona technology companies and investors, organizers said.

The portal has two goals: connect startups with investors to generate capital and prepare businesses to manage the funds.

“By connecting small business owners with experts and resources, we help prepare them for growth and for access to capital,” Nienhauser said. “We call that funding preparedness.”

In April, Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2591, which allows equity crowdfunding in the state. Small businesses and entrepreneurs in Arizona can now raise money from the public, similar to crowdfunding sites Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, said the law only allows intrastate transactions, so the “investor and the company that is being invested in both have to be in Arizona.”

“Crowdfunding is great,” said Andrew Chaifetz, founder and CEO of Scottsdale-based NoteBowl, a platform that provides academic and social information about higher education institutions in one spot. “To be able to go on a site to find investors that can pull together to fund things is amazing.”

Thomas Barr, director of operations for nonprofit Local First Arizona, agreed.

“They’re bridging the gap between funding and getting all the resources and education you need when you’re going to start a business,” he said.

The groups have soft launched the website, and it will officially open at the end of the year.