This week the Arizona Commerce Authority announced its six Arizona Innovation Challenge winners for spring of 2016.
The ACA hosts its Arizona Innovation Challenge twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Each biannual challenge awards $1.5 million total in award amounts between $100,000 and $250,000 per winning company. Competing businesses must fit into one of seven eligible industries (life sciences, IT hardware, IT software, and a few others), present innovative solutions to market gaps, exist in some capacity in Arizona, and meet other eligibility requirements. Winners of the AIC have obligations to the ACA for a total of five years after the competition; they must allow onsite visits by ACA personnel, facilitate the appropriate documents, report key business metrics, and more.
Competing companies are allowed to request ideal award amounts when they enter the AIC. As such, up to fifteen winners may be chosen if all fifteen request $100,000 from the start. However, as the ACA notes on their website, most companies request $250,000, resulting in six winning companies at the end of the challenge. This was the case with the spring 2016 challenge.
Out of 97 applications from Arizona, California, Colorado, and Switzerland, the ACA picked six AZ winners.
Allbound, a well-known SaaS company from Phoenix, provides platforms for managing sales channel partnerships. Their software allows businesses to properly train new representatives and deliver content via the web.
AniCell BioTech is a bio and life sciences company from Chandler. Veterinarians collect amniotic material from horses and dogs after birth, then use that material to create regenerative treatments for common injuries the animal may experience throughout its natural life.
Clean Router, a Gilbert software business, provides an Internet filtering solution for routers. After connecting with your existing router, Clean Router blocks illicit content from family members’ (or guests’) devices.
MWI (Material-Wave Interactions Laboratories) performs non-destructive materials testing out of Tempe. They use Gaussian beam antenna technology and linearly polarized resonate loop technology to perform material trials at their private lab.
Salutaris Medical Devices offers a minimally-invasive way of treating vision loss. Based out of Tucson, this life sciences company developed a patient-centric ophthalmic technology for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration.
SMART Brain Aging from Phoenix seeks to treat dementia through in-person and virtual memory training. Dubbed “the gym for your brain,” SMART Brain Aging offers two options for those looking to fight memory loss: SMART Memory Program and SMART Brain U.
“It is exciting to see Arizona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem continue to grow and produce impressive startup companies, and the ACA is proud to support them,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO, in a press release after the winners were announced. “Our rigorous selection process ensures that the best and brightest startups thrive in Arizona—and their success continues to showcase Arizona as a leader in innovation. Congratulations to all of the spring 2016 awardees, your success is well-deserved!”
TechAZ congratulates the six winners of the spring 2016 Arizona Innovation Challenge. We can’t wait to see which innovative businesses win the fall challenge!