TLA Impact Software/App Challenge

2021 Software App Challenge

Thank you to all who participated in the $150,000 TLA Impact Software/App Challenge!

The application deadline was April 26, 2021. Proposals are no longer being accepted.

Read about the projects that our panel of judges selected for funding in this news story:

Software/App Challenge Winning Projects Announced, Receiving Funding for Development

Presented in collaboration with:


Arizona Forge


Do you know of a problem that can be solved with software? Do you have a great idea for a mobile app but don’t know where to start? Want help – and funding – to bring your solution to life?

The TLA IMPACT Software/App Challenge, organized by Tech Launch Arizona with the support of Arizona FORGE, is an idea-stage competitive challenge open to UArizona teams to propose and develop solutions to real-world problems. The program is an opportunity to partner with the university to take novel ideas to the next level where they can create real-world impact.

While teams may include undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers and staff, each team MUST include at least one student.

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Get Started.

Working individually or in teams, identify a problem and conceptualize your software or mobile application solution. Students are encouraged to include faculty, researchers and staff on their teams. You will then propose both the perceived challenge and the potential solution to address the unmet need in one of the Award Categories.

TLA will partner with selected teams, awarding a total of up to $150,000 to be divided up between projects with the most promising ideas. Awards per project will be based on the funding requests and the discretion of TLA to maximize the number of ideas or projects funded.  

Following completion of the project, Awardees will present their final solution at a pitch competition hosted by TLA for the university and local Tucson ecosystem for an opportunity to win prizes. Additionally, all stakeholders will meet to discuss outcomes, ensure a thorough understanding of the commercialization factors and, if appropriate, identify next steps, including additional resources to prepare the technology for commercialization. 

Award Categories

Proposals should address at least one of the following categories. If they address multiple categories, all the better!






How Projects Are Evaluated

  • Projects will be evaluated by a panel include experts from TLA, FORGE and industry.
  • Project teams must include an undergraduate or graduate student.
  • Must meet all eligibility, terms and conditions.
  • Results should be completed and funds spent within six (6) months.
  • Project must address a clear challenge.
  • Solution should result in a minimal viable product.
  • Funds may be used for prototype design and outsourcing of services. Other uses will be considered.

How to Enter

To enter the TLA Impact Software/App Challenge, complete the proposal document. Considerations include:

  • A description of the perceived problem, proposed solution and desired outcomes.
  • Potential markets and projected customers.
  • Explicit differentiation from existing solutions.
  • Approximate cost and timeline to develop a solution. 


Eligibility, Terms & Conditions

  • Application must be submitted by April 26, 2021 at 5:00 PM MST.
  • All UArizona full-time, part-time, and online undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. Students graduating in May 2021 are eligible to participate.
  • Individual(s) or team(s) may apply. Team submissions are encouraged. There is no limit on team size. Along with students, teams may include, but are not required to include, UArizona staff, researchers, faculty and staff.
  • Proposal should address one of the categories of focus.
  • Proposal idea/invention is not yet licensed or otherwise obligated to a third party.
  • Award may be divided into milestones with incremental funding awarded as milestones are met or otherwise adjusted based on reviewing feedback and at TLA discretion.
  • Assessing projects for awards involves bringing technologies to TLA's team of professionals and domain experts (internal, community and industry), identifying the opportunities as well as pitfalls.
  • Following assessment of projects, some project teams may receive feedback to help formulate the scope of work and may require revisions at TLA’s discretion.
  • Projects must be completed and funds spent within six (6) months.
  • Awardees will be invited to compete for additional prizes at a pitch event hosted by TLA.
  • Eligibility, Terms & Conditions are subject to change.

Dates & Deadlines

April 26, 2021

Proposals due

May 3 - 15, 2021

Proposal judging proceeds

May 18, 2021

Awardees announced, projects begin

December 31, 2021

Deadline to spend all project award funds

January 1, 2022

Process begins for scheduling team presentations to compete for additional prizes