Innovation Center Receives Grant to Invest in Job Creators

Monday, September 8, 2014
Innovation Center Receives Grant to Invest in Job Creators

Tucson, Arizona – Tech Parks Arizona is pleased to announce that the Arizona Center for Innovation (AzCI) is receiving a $50,000 grant from the US Small Business Administration. 

AzCI won $50,000 from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) for its submission to the Growth Accelerator Fund competition.  The process was extremely competitive with more than 800 applicants and 50 awards nationwide.  The SBA is looking to establish ongoing relationships with the grant awardees as well as the startups they support to advance technology innovation and create jobs.  The Growth Accelerator Fund competition is in its first year and applicants were reviewed by a panel of experts from both the government and the private sector. The competition was created to increase awareness and support for regions in the nation where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

AzCI plans to use the grant to advance technology commercialization by providing specialized support for technology companies.  It will allow AzCI to start building a prototyping center and provide individual education and mentoring to move startups and emerging companies to the next level.  These services will fill a gap in the region between basic group maker spaces and sophisticated exclusive manufacturing capabilities. The ultimate goal is to create more high-tech jobs and wealth for the region. 

AzCI provides business development to entrepreneurs in fields that align with the University of Arizona’s research strengths such as advanced energy; mining technology and chemistry; defense and security; bioscience; intelligent transportation/smart vehicles; and agriculture, arid lands and water.

“We are very extremely pleased to receive this grant. The equipment we’ll acquire and the programs we create will help us build a dynamic environment that accelerates the process from proof-of-concept to prototyping to commercialization,” stated Anita Bell, Acting Director for the Arizona Center for Innovation.

AzCI provides facilities including “plug-and-play” office, wet and dry lab space and a structured business development program called Mentored Launch to assist startup companies through workshops, seminars and networking events.  The companies also receive individual coaching from mentors experienced in technology innovation, product development and business management. For details on how to apply, please visit www.azinnovation.com.

The Arizona Center for Innovation (AzCI) is a business incubator and innovation center that promotes and accelerates technology commercialization, helping entrepreneurs transform their ideas into successful companies.  AzCI has served over 80 companies since inception in 2003.  AzCI is a component of Tech Parks Arizona which is part of Tech Launch Arizona, the unit of the University of Arizona creating an ecosystem of invention, commercialization and impact.

Tech Parks Arizona creates the interactive ground that generates, attracts and retains technology companies and talent in alignment with the research, mission and goals of the University of Arizona.  Tech Parks Arizona directs the UA Tech Park, the UA Tech Park – The Bridges and the Arizona Center for Innovation, placing the highest priority on recruiting companies desiring connectivity to the UA. 

Contacts: 
Paul Tumarkin
520-626-8770