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.