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AZ Tech Beat | December 13, 2017

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Arizona Commerce Authority and BioAccel Invest $500K in New Arizona Competition, Furnace

Alix Parker

With several funding competitions popping up in Arizona it is difficult to differentiate one from another. The Arizona Commerce Authority and BioAccel recently announced that they are investing $500K to support the Arizona Furnace Accelerator to develop new startups companies using technology from a variety of organizations including ASU, Northern Arizona University, and Dignity Health Arizona.  Their mission is to have the state come together and support its citizens by giving them the opportunity to develop new companies and ultimately create more jobs.

“AZ Furnace is a game changer in tech transfer and acknowledges that intellectual property generated by our state’s research institutions represents enormous economic value – AZ Furnace unlocks incredible potential,” said Sandra Watson, interim president and CEO for the Arizona Commerce Authority. “The ACA is thrilled to join this collaboration to further foster business creation. Funding this initiative and providing technical assistance to launch and scale startups demonstrates our commitment to strengthen Arizona’s entrepreneurial community.”

If selected, the winners receive at least $25K in direct funding for no equity, and an acceleration period of six months in one of the partner organizations in either Phoenix or Flagstaff. Almost all accelerator competitions require equity for any seed investment, but AZ Furnace does not take any equity or any return for their investment.

“The identification of, and access to, qualified technologies and a robust pipeline is essential to successful commercialization, new company formation and Arizona’s ability to attract venture capital,” said MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel. “BioAccel believes that AZ Furnace can play a critical role in improving our pipeline, which is why we are excited to provide the funding that will be used to support device based technologies that will reside at BioInspire, our new medical device incubator located in the City of Peoria.”

The online application process is now open and will close on September 30th so applicants need to select a technology with their newly formed teams and create a business proposal on how they would best use the technology. The research institutions have agreed to expedite the process for licensing of the chosen technology in order to make the competition feasible in the six-month accelerator period. It will be interesting to see how many new companies will be created from this new type of accelerator.

More about AZ Furnace
Investors: ACA and BioAccel
Current Partners: ASU, NAU, Dignity Heath
Website: http://www.azfurnace.org/
Linkedin Group: Arizona Furnace