IdeaFunding has played a significant role in the entrepreneurial landscape for 25 years and is Southern Arizona’s largest and longest entrepreneurial conference and pitch competition. Over the past two months, early-stage startup companies from all over Arizona have participated in several rounds of company pitch presentations at IdeaFunding, which is part of the TENWEST Festival co-led by Startup Tucson and the University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI).
A total of twenty startup companies have been selected as finalists with five teams selected to compete on the mainstage the night of IdeaFunding on November 3, 2022. Startups that advanced to the final phase of IdeaFunding have completed robust pitch training to prepare them to present in front of a live audience during the TENWEST Festival. By competing in two rounds, participants have polished their pitch through rigorous training and mentorship which was provided by UACI and Startup Tucson.
To celebrate IdeaFunding’s 25th anniversary milestone, 25 startups will be competing for over $50,000 in prize money. Companies selected as finalists are divided into four vertical industry stages within the industries of technology, consumer products, bio/life sciences, and social impact. The innovations showcased on the final stage come from across the Southern Arizona community with some inventions stemming from the University of Arizona. Finalist companies will compete for $2,500 in cash prizes awarded in each vertical. The following companies are competing in industry vertical rooms:
Tech Consumer Bio/Life Sciences Impact
Desert Saber Iwona Ash Metfora RentLab
Revolute Robotics Ambr Grading iCalQ AZLuminaria
Paramium Better Than Provisions Le Cactus Kids Chemical
EarthEn Luna y Sol POCUS Pro Nopalito Network
CarbeNiumTec Cero uPetsia Earnest House
Five companies were also selected to pitch on the mainstage of IdeaFunding and will be competing for a grand prize of $25,000 and second place prize of $5,000 in cash and a year of incubation programming and space at UACI valued at an additional $10,000.
The five main stage finalists include:
- Divine Hair Goods
Divine Hair Goods specialize in salon products that make the salon experience better for the client and the stylist. Their flagship product, the Speedee Cap, cuts drying time in half, and allows the stylist to increase the capacity of their salon.
- Fraqtals Innovations
Fraqtals is the iPhone of screen-printing machines. It’s an innovation to the world’s most commonly used apparel printing process. Fraqtals sells speed, simplicity and efficiency to brand makers, print shops and crafters.
Imanyco is a real-time transcription app to help deaf people with group conversations. This app transcribes and separates multiple speakers’ voices in real-time. The same audio file allows a deaf person to easily follow along with the natural flow of speech during conversations.
MindReady provides sport psychology coaching and education for athletes. By combining the world's best coaches with athletes, parents, practitioners, and sports industry leaders, we're creating a better environment for developing young athletes
Orgo is developing technology to enable disparate groups of people to rapidly unite, share information across system boundaries, and work together to solve common problems.
Companies selected to advance as finalists during the IdeaFunding semifinals on October 5 and 6 were selected based on merit by local community leaders who served as unbiased judges. The judges include:
- Gina Catalano, Founder, Venture Solutions
- Ashley La Russa, Founder, Roux Events
- Joann MacMaster, CEO, Desert Angels
- Andrew More, Director, BlueStone Ventures
Tucson is invited to watch the finalists pitch their businesses on November 3, 2022 as part of IdeaFunding 2022, which is day three of TENWEST. For more information and to purchase tickets to attend TENWEST and IdeaFunding visit: www.tenwest.com.
About Startup Tucson
Startup Tucson is 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to transform our region’s economy through entrepreneurship and education. Startup Tucson executes this mission by providing education and culture building programs and events to grow a high-impact entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem. You can find information about the organization and upcoming opportunities to engage at www.startuptucson.com. For questions or comments, please reach out to Liz Pocock directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the UA Center for Innovation
The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is a startup incubator network with outposts across the Southern Arizona region. For nearly two decades, the program has directly served over 200 companies and impacted thousands of entrepreneurs. This is done by providing access to people, programming, and places that help entrepreneurs take their companies from idea to market. UACI is part of Tech Parks Arizona, which brings together university, industry, and community, creating an “interactive ground” to advance technology innovation.