Software cos. win big at ACA Innovation Challenge

There’s no secret that software companies are bubbling up in the Valley and making headway in the Arizona tech space. Today, software companies from around the state dominated the ACA Innovation Challenge winner circle.
Today, the Arizona Commerce Authority announced its six winning companies in the Fall 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC) awarding each $250,000 to build their business in Arizona.
The winners are:
ACA innovation fall 2014
Iron Horse Diagnostics – a molecular diagnostic company that seeks to relieve human suffering for some of the most challenging health disorders. They are focused on the development and commercialization of novel tests to support the diagnosis and management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other neurological diseases.
IRIS PR Management – is a comprehensive PR software that has been thoughtfully developed by PR pros to help PR teams large and small consolidate, manage, share and track their most important data. Founder Aly Saxe was recently a panelist at AZTB Women in Tech event discussing PR strategies. They were also listed as one of the 32 startups in the Venture Madness competition.
NuvOX Pharma – a bio-tech company that develop a platform of dodecafluoropentane (DDFP)-based oxygen therapeutics to treat a host of human conditions such as radiation-resistant cancer, hemorrhagic shock, traumatic brain injury, myocardial infarction, retinopathy and stroke. Last year they received a $1Million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support research studies on biomarker imaging methods for studying tumor re-oxygenation using their drug NVX-108 in treatment of glioblastoma.
ParkGenius – an app that lets you pay the meter through your smartphone. They recently expanded their service into Texas. They were also listed as one of the 32 startups in the Venture Madness competition.
Pure Chat – a live chat and support software. Last week they released their new personal chat page where sales people can customize their instant messaging page and build a personal connection with their customers; since their release, over 6,000 users have created their personal chat page. They were also listed as one of the 32 startups in the Venture Madness competition.
Spotlight Software – a performance management software platform for virtual and geographically-dispersed sales teams. Their software also provides unique insights and personal development tools that aim to help sales professionals become more successful and efficient. They were also listed as one of the 32 startups in the Venture Madness competition.
Founder Pure Chat Hamid Shojaee comments on the win and their plans with the cash, “As far as how it feels, it’s more validation for Pure Chat’s business. We plan to hire more awesome people with the money (please apply!).”
Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC), is a bi-annual business plan competition that awards the most money in the country for a technology commercialization challenge. The ACA awards $3 million annually — $1.5 million in the spring and $1.5 million in the fall — to the most qualified, innovative startups and early stage companies to help them grow their businesses, advancing innovation and technology commercialization opportunities in Arizona.
For those interested in applying for the Challenge, Shojaee says, “…my advice to those who want to enter the next challenge is not to put it off. The experience of going through the process of applying will teach you a great deal about your business.”
Read more about the past winners of ACA Challenge at AZTB.
*The founder of Pure Chat is also the founder of AZTB

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