What happened in Arizona tech in June? Find out here

Arizona tech

June was another big month for tech in Arizona — everything from partnerships and grants to business milestones and expansions.

Arizona Technology Council praises AZ’s 2022 fiscal year budget proposal

The Council’s president and CEO Steven G. Zylstra said the proposal includes funding to keep Arizona competitive in tech. The proposed budget includes many of the Council’s key priorities.

Footprint debuts on CNBC Disruptor 50 list

The Gilbert-based company debuted at no. 45. Footprint strives to eliminate single-use and short-term use plastics by developing and manufacturing plant-based Fiber Technology products. 

SoulSpark and Biometrica partner

The Arizona-based companies partnered to protect at-risk youth victims of trauma and tragic events. Biometrica created a criminal background checking software that SoulSpark will use to protect the survivors it works with.

UArizona receives $2 million to support its space programs

The university said $1.5 million will be used to purchase a nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometer that will be used to study samples from the solar system. The other $500,000 will support UArizona’s role in the Giant Magellan Telescope project.

Carvana debuts on Fortune 500

The Tempe-based e-commerce platform for buying and selling used cars debuted on the Fortune 500 in early June, at No. 483. The fast-growing tech company is one of the youngest companies to make the Fortune 500 this year. 

Tech Launch Arizona funds five student startup ideas

Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) awarded funding to five start-up teams to develop software or mobile apps that will have a real societal impact. TLA collaborated with the University of Arizona Research, Innovation and Impact and Arizona FORGE to host the Impact Software/App Challenge, which sought to engage students in proposing solutions to real-world problems.

Arizona organizations join tech apprenticeship initiative

ARIZONA@WORK and the Arizona Department of Economic Security are the first in Arizona to join a new national tech apprenticeship initiative, led by CompTIA and Maher & Maher. The partnership launched to expand and diversify the tech workforce in Arizona, and across the U.S.

Picmonic acquired by TrueLearn

Picmonic, a Tempe-based audiovisual learning platform, was acquired by TrueLearn, a healthcare education platform that optimizes learning outcomes for students in the medical community.

Qwick planning to hire this year

Qwick, the Phoenix-based on-demand staffing platform for the food and beverage industry, will add more than 100 new employees this year — further evidence that Arizona continues to stand out as an up and coming tech ecosystem coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fireline Science awarded competitive grant

Startups in science and technology can receive up to $2 million to support research and development from the National Science Foundation. Fireline Science will use the funds for research and development on a new technical framework for a learning management system that will work in completely offline or suboptimal online student environments.

CP Technologies opens new facility in Prescott

The new 50,000 square foot facility will expand the company’s manufacturing capabilities and gives CP Technologies the space to add 200 new employees over the next three years.

Mosaic to streamline homebuilding in the Phoenix area

The housing market in Arizona is on fire as demand for new housing is at record-breaking levels, but Phoenix-based startup Mosaic hopes to help builders keep up. Mosaic is a construction technology company that uses software as a general contractor to manage construction on behalf of builders, which allows them to build more homes more efficiently.

Phantom Space names new VP

This hire coincides with the company’s new 32,000 square foot facility in Tucson, which will be Phantom’s first rocket factory. These expansion plans are largely made possible thanks to the $5 million in seed investments it raised earlier this year. 

Tech Talent Tour spotlighted Phoenix

On June 22-24, attendees had access to a virtual career fair, expert tips on how to present your resume and prepare for your interview, conversations with local leaders on what it’s like to live, work and play in dozens of cities, and the opportunity to talk with startups who are actively hiring.

Thinkzilla expands to Scottsdale to support minority-owned businesses

The consulting firm said it will hire 25 employees in the first six months. Female and minority-owned Thinkzilla chose Scottsdale because of the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem here. Company leaders were specifically interested in the diverse demographic and talent base and the city’s leadership in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. 

Arizona commercial real estate broker buys CRE technology, plans to move HQ to Scottsdale

The technology behind CRE Simple, a real estate technology startup from Oakland, was purchased by an Arizona real estate broker. Craig Coppola, a founding principal at Lee & Associates Arizona, a commercial real estate brokerage, and his newly-formed Habanero CRE Simple LLC purchased the proprietary source code for CRE Simple’s platform earlier this month.

The latest on EV in AZ

There’s so much going on with major EV companies here, including Lucid Motor Company, Nikola and Atlis Motor Vehicles, that it’s hard to keep up. Thankfully, we’ve done the work so you can get up to date.  

Biopharma company wins startup pitch competition

Scottsdale-based Systems Oncology, a biopharma startup, won the biopharma track of the Pitch Perfect competition held at the MedCity INVEST Conference. Systems Oncology was founded in 2015 with the desire to develop therapies that can overcome cancer’s resistance to some drugs and offer patients long-lasting treatment. 

Simply Noted hits business milestone

Simply Noted, an automated handwritten note company based in Tucson, just produced its one millionth note after just two and a half years in business. 

Offerpad announces expansion to four new markets

Offerpad, the Chandler-based home selling and buying platform, announced a plan to expand its digital platform and Real Estate Solutions Center to four more markets: Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; St. Louis; and Columbia, South Carolina.

Scottsdale-based Lessen raises $35 million in Series A round

The Series A was led by Fifth Wall, the largest VC focused on technology for the global real estate industry. Khosla VenturesGeneral Catalyst and Navitas Capital, who invested in Lessen’s seed round, participated again in the Series A. Funding from this round will be used to fund new technology products, support new field operations teams, and facilitate market expansion.

Poland-based Comarch plans expansion to Arizona

Comarch, a global software house headquartered in Poland, has announced plans to build its $22 million, 32,000-square-foot, North American Data Center in Mesa. 

Founder Institute’s Colorado chapter launches pitch contest for Mountain West

The Colorado chapter of the Founder Institute (FI), the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, launched Elevation Pitch, an online elevator pitch contest that is open to those in Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Idaho and Nevada. The pitch competition is for applicants who have an idea or startup with less than $10,000 in revenue or investment. Applicants must submit a short public video by today!

OnePointOne expands to Avondale

The Silicon Valley-based agriculture technology startup, is expanding its corporate and vertical farming production facilities to Avondale, which will create more than 70 jobs. OnePointOne is building a technologically-advanced cultivation platform that uses innovations in automation, AI and plant science. Last year, the company launched Willo, a personalized vertical farming platform that’s designed to amplify human health. 

Arizona Technology Council publishes Tech Industry Impact report

The report shows an increase in tech companies, wages and jobs, a continuation from 2020, but also highlights the lack of diversity in the tech ecosystem in Arizona.

Coconino County partnership with SpaceX

Since early May, 45 rural households in Coconino County have used internet access brought to them by state-of-the-art satellites made by SpaceX. Coconino County began conversations with Elon Musk’s company in 2019. This meeting resulted in the county securing SpaceX beta technology, which was created to make the internet more accessible to rural areas. 

Trainual raises $27 million in Series B round

The round was backed by some big names in the VC world. Scottsdale-based Trainual has become one of Arizona’s most successful startups, seeing $7 million in revenue last year. The company saw huge growth during 2020 as the pandemic forced a surge in remote work. 

ASU PhD student receives NASA grant

Kevin Trinh, a PhD student at Arizona State University, was awarded the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) grant earlier this month, which provides him $135,000 over three years. Trinh’s research focuses more specifically on the structural and thermal evolution of Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.


The importance of focusing your business

Greg Head, the founder of Scaling Point and creator of Gregslist, was kind enough to appear on the AZ Tech Podcast. He shared so many good nuggets that Hamid said we’d need to charge for the episode. Of course, we didn’t do that, but Greg dropped all the advice founders need to hear about how to focus your business.