TENWEST Impact Festival 2022 Comes to a Close, IdeaFunding Awards over $55,000

The TENWEST Impact Festival co-led by Startup Tucson and the University of Arizona Center for Innovation and presented by the Arizona Commerce Authority took place November 1-5, 2022. The conference kicked off with remarks from Mayor Regina Romero at the Tucson Museum of Art and wrapped up with the first TENWEST Street Fest that included over 100 local vendors and brought together a few thousand Tucson community members. Other highlights from the conference include the Desert Angels investment dinner, a keynote presentation from Meow Wolf creative director Chadney Everett, a sustainable fashion show and nightly "TENWESTx" after parties hosted in various locations around downtown Tucson.

The 25th Anniversary of IdeaFunding brought 25 startups center stage for the pitch competition on day three of the TENWEST conference. In the first half of the day, 20 startups pitched in four focused rooms: consumer, bioscience/health, impact and technology. In each room one winner was selected and announced on the Main Stage. That night the remaining five startups competed in the Main Stage competition for the grand prize of $25,000. In total, more that $55,000 was awarded to startups and small innovative businesses throughout IdeaFunding.


November TREND Report

The November 2022 TREND Report is all about "The Big Small: What Makes Startups Important" and features an article highlighting what role the UA Center for Innovation (UACI) plays in Tucson's innovation ecosystem as well as the 77 startups in the UACI program at the time of publication. Also featured in the report are articles about four specific startups participating in the UACI incubation programs and their stories: Ambr Grading, Revolute Robotics, Reglagene and Metfora. Revolute Robotics and Reglagene are also part of the Tech Launch Arizona program, while Metfora is part of the UACI, Tech Launch Arizona and Arizona FORGE programs.


Governor's Celebration of Innovation Awardee

At the 2022 Governor's Celebration of Innovation hosted by the Arizona Technology Council (AZTC), Tucson represented in the award winner category. Among the winners was UA Center for Innovation company, Sylvan Source who brought home the Innovator of the Year - Small Company award. The award was presented to a company or business unit in technology industry that has achieved significant business success (including profitability), and technical innovation or scientific achievement in the past calendar year and met all other AZTC requirements. Congratulations, Laura Demmons and the Sylvan Source team!


CarbeniumTec AZ Public Media Video Feature

Thanks to the University of Arizona Center for Innovation and Tech Launch Arizona, Tucson is rapidly becoming a hub for technology startups. One example of this thriving business environment is CarbeniumTec, founded by UArizona chemistry professor Thomas Gianetti and doctoral student Jules Moutet. The company is developing a battery for long-term energy storage. Arizona Public Media created a short video, documentary via Arizona Illustrated about CarbeniumTec's product, their journey through the Tucson innovation ecosystem and where the company is headed.


Public Relations Awards of Excellence

UA Center for Innovation (UACI) team members celebrated the hard work and achievements of the public relations, marketing, communications and advertising community at the Southern Arizona Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) IMPACT Awards. UACI and Tech Parks Arizona received two Awards of Excellence, one for the UA Tech Park brochure developed in partnership with the UArizona Office of Research, Innovation & Impact and another for the UACI video "An Entrepreneur's Journey" made in collaboration with the Caliber Group. Additionally the Grand Opening Celebration for the UACI outpost at Biosphere 2 earned a Certificate of Excellence.


UA Center for Innovation Awarded $20,000 Grant

The UA Center for Innovation (UACI) was awarded a $20,000 grant from Wells Fargo. With this award, UACI will be able to continue to grow the internship program with a focus on hiring female-identifying and BIPOC STEM students who work on foundational commercialization and connecting them to women-led businesses in the incubator.


Startup Spotlight:


Did you see MindReady CEO & Co-founder Jeremy Wolf pitch on the TENWEST main stage for the 25th anniversary of IdeaFunding? The startup was one of five competing for the $25,000 grand prize. MindReady is providing sport psychology coaching and education with the goal to help athletes worldwide find success and happiness on and off the field.


Happy Thanksgiving!

From the UA Center for Innovation family to yours, we are wishing you a happy holiday season. No matter where and how you are celebrating we hope you spend time with friends and family, reflect on the journey and find reasons to be grateful as we are grateful to be serving you!

University Land Acknowledgement Statement: We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O'odham and Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.

November 22

U.S. Department of Energy Funding Opportunity

Looking for funding? The Federal funding program Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), provide over $2.2 billion to cutting-edge technologies developed by small businesses each year. The program provides non-dilutive funding to foster the commercialization workshops and mentorship to help applicants prepare a successful submission. You can read more about the workshops we are offering as well as register by visiting our SBIR/STTR Program event page. If you have any questions please reach out to Amanda Buchanan, UACI Program Manager at


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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.