JULY 2023

UACI Special Section in BizTucson Summer 2023

The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is proud to celebrate two decades of fueling the startup ecosystem in Arizona! To mark this significant milestone, UACI partnered with BizTucson, resulting in the development of a special section that shares stories highlighting the leadership, startups, outposts and programming that has built a thriving Tucson entrepreneurial ecosystem. With a focus on providing resources, mentorship, and a supportive community, UACI has become a hub for aspiring entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into successful businesses. 

Special thanks to everyone who has contributed to bringing this piece together. Cheers to even more innovation, larger impact and more startup stories to tell over the next 20 years! 


UACI Startup Showcase

As part of UACI’s 20-year celebration, we’re hosting a Startup Showcase! Join us on August 24, 2023 from 4-6pm at The Refinery in the UA Tech Park at The Bridges where five startups will take the stage to pitch their companies. Following the showcase, there will be a happy hour with networking opportunities and refreshments.


Big Bucks & Big Ideas

UACI is highlighted in the latest edition of Desert Leaf Magazine, showcasing our journey over the last 20 years. The piece features interviews with Oleg Sheremeta from current UACI company, SorbiForce, and Abe Jalbout from alumni startup, Auxilium Technology Group. Both discuss their experiences in the various UACI programs and how support from the incubator positioned the startups to achieve greater success.


U.S. Department of Energy Solar Prizes

The UA Center for Innovation (UACI) supports solar innovators as a Power Connector for the American-Made Network. The Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energies Technology Offices (SETO) has announced two new funding opportunities.

Solar Prize Round 7 is a $4.2 million prize competition designed to energize U.S. solar innovation.

The Silicon Solar Manufacturing Dual Use Photovoltaics Incubator opportunity will award $45 million to enable continued solar cost reductions.


SARSEF Camp Innovation

This summer, Southern Arizona Research, Science, and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF) brings university level research to rural classrooms across Arizona for free! The UA Center for Innovation was excited to host one of the summer camps where students became innovators and problem solvers alongside some of the biggest startups at the UA Tech Park while working on hands-on STEM projects. KGUN9’s Brooke Chau reported on how Tech Parks Arizona and UACI foster an environment where the next generation of leaders can see firsthand the possibilities of innovation. 


Desert Pearl Mushrooms Featured in Tucson Foodie

UACI startup, Desert Pearl Mushrooms, was featured in Tucson Foodie showcasing how they have transformed Tucson’s urban farm scene with fungi. Co-founders Kris Savage and John De Lorenzo tell the story of Desert Pearl Mushrooms' start, the growing process and the various mushroom products sold including DIY grow kits.


Startup Spotlight:

Dimensional Energy

Dimensional Energy gives carbon dioxide new life as a cost-effective building block for industrial fuels and consumer products traditionally made from fossil carbon. With Dimensional Energy’s carbon utilization platform, carbon-intensive industries can chart a course to carbon neutral or zero emissions operations.

August 24

UACI Startup Showcase

Join the UACI Startup Showcase as part of the incubator's 20-year celebration! On August 24, 2023 from 4-6pm at The Refinery in the UA Tech Park at The Bridges, five startups will take the stage to pitch their companies followed by a happy hour with networking and refreshments.

September 22

Copper Cactus Awards

Tucson Metro Chamber will host the annual Copper Cactus Awards September 22, 2023. Celebrate those making an impact in our community in a variety of segments, including the Tech Parks Arizona Startup of the Year. We’re looking forward to celebrating entrepreneurship, leadership and determination alongside other Tucson trendsetters. 

October 19

UACI 20th Anniversary Community Celebration

There’s no secret, UACI is commemorating 20 years of driving innovation forward! Save the date, October 19, 2023, for the big 20th Anniversary Community Celebration. The event will be held from 5:30-7:30pm at UACI's headquarters at the UA Tech Park. Join us for a fun night reminiscing on milestones and looking ahead with food and drink. The celebration is open and free to all, but advanced registration is required.

November 4-10

TENWEST Impact Festival & IdeaFunding

TENWEST Impact Festival is a celebration of the growing innovation, creative and entrepreneurial ecosystems in Southern Arizona. Unique in its cross-industry approach, TENWEST showcases the connectivity between technology, entrepreneurship, creativity, culture and impact for a weeklong event that welcomes thousands of diverse attendees to participate in a multi-day conference, Street Fest and much more.

IdeaFunding, Southern Arizona's longest running pitch competition, will take place on November 9, 2023 as part of the TENWEST activities. This year's early-stage company pitch competition will present more than $70,000 in prizes, with the mainstage winner being awarded a $25,000 cash prize and a sponsored year of incubation at UACI, a prized valued at $10,000. Be on the lookout, applications for IdeaFunding will be opening soon. Time to get those pitches ready!


STAY CONNECTED WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA and gain insight about the entrepreneurial ecosystem and meet our incredible startups!

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LEARN MORE about our startup opportunities and mentorship programs below.


The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is a key component of Tech Parks Arizona which brings together university, industry and community to advance technology innovation. UACI is the University of Arizona's startup incubator network with outposts across the Southern Arizona region with a mission to grow scalable startup ventures that fuel the Arizona ecosystem.