The Arizona Commerce Authority has narrowed down the finalists for its 2021 Arizona Innovation Challenge.
The 15 finalists were selected from a group of 26 semifinalists, who themselves were chosen from 110 applicants in the program.
The Innovation Challenge is a program designed to help early stage companies scale by connecting them to mentoring, resources and, for some, the possibility of earning non-dilutive cash awards in the future.
“Selecting this year’s 15 finalists from the cadre of semifinalists was a challenging task,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, in a statement. “Congratulations to all the finalists for advancing to the next round and wish them luck when they pitch to investors this week.”
The finalists will next pitch their startups in person before a panel of investors on Nov. 17, and the judges will select up to 10 of them for awards in early December.
Winners be eligible to join the Venture Ready Accelerator, a 12-month business building program from the ACA. Companies can receive up to $150,000 in funding by hitting standard Venture Ready milestones, according to the ACA website.
Companies going through the three judging rounds are subject to online evaluation and scoring rounds and receive feedback on their applications in the process, the ACA said. All participants will also be able to consult with the ACA on how to improve their business plans once the contest is over.
All of this year’s finalists are from Arizona, and all but one are from the Valley. Applications were taken from across the state as well as from California.
This year just more than 46% of all AIC applications came from IT and software companies, followed by biotech and life science companies which made up 28.2% of the applications.
Among the finalists, six were in IT and software and six others were in biotech and life sciences.
The list includes Better Agency and Bluetail, both of which received funding earlier this year, as well as 2021 Venture Madness winners OZZI and SaiOX. In addition, ReSuture, whose CEO Hanna Eherenfeldt was an Inno Under 25 honoree, made the cut.
Here is the full list of the 15 finalists for 2021:
- Ampcera Inc., Tucson, advanced materials
- Better Agency Inc., Mesa, IT-software
- Bluetail Inc., Phoenix, IT-software
- BMSEED LLC, Phoenix, bio and life sciences
- Dorm Room Movers, Scottsdale, IT-software
- EnKoat LLC, Phoenix, cleantech and renewable energy
- My Little Mascara Club, Tempe, IT-software
- Navi Nurses, Phoenix, bio and life sciences
- Oryx Additive Inc., Tempe, advanced manufacturing
- OZZI, Phoenix, IT-software
- ReSuture, Surprise, bio and life sciences
- SaiOx Inc., Tucson, bio and life sciences
- TapRoot Interventions & Solutions, Phoenix, bio and life sciences
- The Patient Company, Scottsdale, bio and life sciences
- VIVAHR, Phoenix, IT-software
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