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AZ Tech Beat | July 27, 2017

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AZ Furnace: An Innovative Startup Accelerator Founded By The State’s Premiere Research Institutions

AZ Furnace: An Innovative Startup Accelerator Founded By The State’s Premiere Research Institutions
Reid Simpson

The trend towards startup incubation is heating up in the Valley. AZ Furnace is the newest player to hit the scene, and they bring some heavy-hitting talent and resources. They are founded by local industry mentors and bring the likes of Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and Dignity Health alongside. These research partners will license certain technologies and intellectual property to incubated AZ Furnace entrepreneurs in hopes of injecting the local tech scene with new successful startups.

The concept is, why have innovative technology and high-tech gadgets only laying around in educational and health laboratories? Skilled researchers and technicians spend hundreds of hours creating these products, only for them to be utilized by a small fraction of the population. The fix that AZ Furnace is proposing is as follows: incubate local entrepreneurs, license the technology and IP to these startup companies, and have the startup grow to be a successful locally-based firm.

For a more eloquent description of the rationale behind the launch of AZ Furnace, here is a quote from Charlie Lewis, the Vice President of Venture Development for AzTE:

“High-value technologies provide no benefit to society if they remain in research laboratories across the country . . . ASU, NAU and Dignity Health are taking a proactive step to ensure that Arizona’s most valuable technologies are given all the assistance they need to realize their full potential here at home. We are excited to be partnering with these outstanding Arizona-based research institutions on the Furnace Accelerator and anticipate some very promising companies being launched as a result.”

Incubation certainly makes sense for the entrepreneurs. Participants invited into AZ Furnace will be placed on a rigorous six month journey of acceleration. They will also enjoy the benefits of free office space, equipment, furniture, internet, admin support, mentors, researchers, and even cash to get the project off the ground.

So, are you ready to get started?

Not so fast . . . you may be in for some stiff competition. But that has never stopped you before, so give it your best shot by sending in an application. Here’s how:

Select a technology, form a team, create a business proposal, then apply here between August 28th and September 30th. Winners can look forward to settling into their coworking spaces at the ASU SkySong Building or the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology in the fall.

Best of luck to all participants from the team here at AZ Tech Beat!