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ACA Announces Finalists for the 2023 Arizona Innovation Challenge

inBusiness PHX

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) announced 15 finalists have been selected for the 2023 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC). The finalists will advance to the final round of the competition, after which judges will select up to 10 companies as AIC awardees for 2023.

The AIC is designed to advance innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona by helping early-stage ventures scale. Awardees of the 2022 include KeepWOL, which aims to increase employee engagement and retention through AI-powered gamification and learning methodologies, My First Nest Egg, a chore and allowance app that teaches kids financial literacy, and Paxauris, an innovative earplug manufacturer.

“The 2023 Arizona Innovation Challenge finalists represent some of the most exciting and next-generation startups in Arizona,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Congratulations to this year’s finalists for advancing to the final round of the competition. We wish you all the best of luck.”

The 2023 Arizona Innovation Challenge finalists include:

The AIC consists of three judging rounds, during which companies receive constructive feedback on their applications generated from the rigorous online evaluation and scoring process. The 15 finalists will pitch their startups in-person before a panel of investors on November 17.

The judges will choose up to 10 companies as AIC awardees for 2023 in early December. After all judging rounds are complete, participants will have an opportunity to receive a consultation with the ACA to discuss their application and other potential resources available to help improve their business plans.

Up to 10 companies are added to the Arizona Innovation Challenge portfolio following each cycle of the competition. Companies chosen to join the Arizona Innovation Challenge portfolio will participate in the ACA’s Venture Ready Accelerator, connecting companies with serial entrepreneurs, high-level executives, and subject matter experts. Participants will complete a series of panels and workshops within the subsequent 12 months of the award. The Accelerator helps startups refine their business plans, improve go-to-market execution strategies and increase investor readiness.


Register for the Council’s upcoming Phoenix and Tucson tech events and Optics Valley optics + photonics events.


 

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