Arizona Innovation ChallengeAPPLY

Spring 2018 Arizona Innovation Challenge

Twice a year, the Arizona Commerce Authority’s (ACA) Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC) awards $1.5 million to the most innovative companies looking to commercialize new technology to create sustainable and growing businesses in the State of Arizona. Winning companies leverage awards of up to $250,000 to grow their businesses and facilitate the state’s economic development goals.

The AIC is a rigorous, four-month process involving intrepid entrepreneurs as well as a small army of volunteer judges drawn directly from the ecosystem of investors, business executives, successful startup CEOs, and business mentors. The schedule for the Spring 2018 season is as follows:*

Round 1 Application Window – January 29 to February 23, 2018

Round 1 Judging – March 5 to March 30, 2018

Semifinalists Announced – April 4, 2018

Semifinalists Application Window – April 5 - April 27, 2018

Semifinalists Judging – April 30 to May 18, 2018

Finalists Announced – May 24, 2018

Finalists Pitches – May 30, 2018

Winners Announced – Week of June 4, 2018

*Note: All dates are approximate and subject to change.

Application Support & Workshops

To help applicants submit competitive applications, we are offering a series of workshops, which applicants are encouraged to attend:

AIC Information Session & Application Workshop - Phoenix
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 from 8 – 10 AM
Arizona Commerce Authority

located at 118 N 7th Ave, STE 400, Phoenix, AZ 85007

*Please contact Miguel Jardine at to facilitate your entry

Click here for video conferencing 


AIC Information Session & Application Workshop - Phoenix
Thursday, January 25 from 8:30 – 10:30 AM

located at 515 E Grant St., Phoenix, AZ 85004

*Please use this registration page to facilitate your entry to Galvanize.


AIC Information Session & Application Workshop - Tucson
Friday, January 26 from 10 AM – 12 PM
USA Building Room #104/106

220 W 6th St, Tucson, AZ 85071

*Please contact Miguel Jardine at to facilitate your entry


If you are unable to attend any of the workshops to get real-time answers to your questions, you are welcome to view a recording of our application workshop from last season.

Resource Forums

If you applied to the Fall 2017 Arizona Innovation Challenge and were not selected as an awardee, we are offering personalized, 30-minute sessions with an AIC judge. Please contact Miguel Jardine at if you have interest in scheduling a session.


 Phoenix AIC Resource Forum
Thursday, January 18 at 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Arizona Commerce Authority & Online

located at 118 N 7th Ave, STE 400, Phoenix, AZ 85007


Tucson AIC Resource Forum
Friday, January 19 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

USA Building Room #104/106

220 W 6th St, Tucson, AZ 85071



Application Videos

Both videos have the same content, but with different views.

Application Instructions

The application for the AIC is submitted online via our Valid Evaluation system. Applicants should review the Eligibility Requirements and Guidelines, register, complete the online application, and submit it before the application deadlines specified above. After each round of judging, applicants should log back in to Valid Evaluation to view their evaluation results including scoring, relative performance metrics, judges’ comments, and a heatmap outlining your strongest areas. 


Registration will open on January 29, 2018. Until then, please review your eligibility. 

2017 Fall Awardees

Congratulations to the Fall 2017 awardees! 


View Awardees