应用. 推进. 奖. 实现.亚利桑那州创新挑战阶段
Each 亚利桑那州创新挑战 competition is highly competitive and takes place in three stages. 获得奖励的公司入学 企业准备加速器在美国，他们可以获得最多15万美元的非稀释性资金.
所有企业必须下载并完成一个 应用程序和财务模型模板 in accordance with guidelines and upload the documents to the Arizona Commerce Authority's Innovation Network (ACA IN). This one-stop shop for Arizona's entrepreneurial ecosystem centralizes education, 指导, 编程, events and resources from across the state and will be used to administer AIC. 申请窗口将保持开放长达四周.
First-round submissions will be screened for eligibility and judged by experts from the Arizona business community. The ACA maintains complete discretion in making final decisions regarding a company’s eligibility or ability to continue in AIC. 法官将在大约一个月的时间内对申请进行评估.
Once all applications have been reviewed, applicants can review the judges’ feedback on the 亚利桑那州创新网络. 不符合资格标准的申请, 或者可能被认为没有足够的竞争力来成功地继续下去, 将会通知.
注意: The ACA aims to respect the time and effort that companies commit to participating in the 亚利桑那州创新挑战. In turn, we expect that applicants respect the time and resources required to host the AIC. 在申请时，申请人应打算完成AIC的所有阶段. 然而, should a company choose not to participate in a subsequent round of the AIC or the 风险准备 accelerator, a company representative should immediately inform the ACA Innovation Team, 让法官有足够的时间考虑更换公司.
Judges will select up to 25 companies to continue to the semifinals of the AIC. Companies selected as semifinalists will have the opportunity to update their first-round application materials based on the feedback received from judges or due to any material changes to the business since their initial submission.
另外, ACA将要求半决赛选手提交额外的申请材料, including a written response to first-round feedback and an investor pitch deck. The ACA will communicate the specificities of the semifinalist application process directly to qualifying companies. Semifinalists will have one to two weeks to submit the requested materials.
Judges will evaluate semifinalists’ submissions over a three-week period and select 15 companies to advance to the final round of the AIC.
在AIC的最后一轮, companies will pitch their startup to a panel of judges from the business community. Each company’s pitch presentations will be followed by an interactive question and answer session to evaluate company and founder potential.
在每位决赛选手完成演讲后, the judges will confer to select up to 10 companies to recommend as awardees to the ACA. Ultimately, the CEO of the ACA will recognize up to ten finalists as AIC 获奖者.
The 亚利桑那州创新挑战 culminates in AIC awardees using their funding to commercialize or scale their solution through the 风险准备 accelerator over a 12-month performance period. Generally, AIC awardees must use their grant funds to advance commercialization objectives. 在这个追求, awardees may use grant funds for activities such as standing up strategic initiatives, 关键员工的招聘, 扩大销售和市场营销的努力, 或者改进公司的财务模式. 获奖者 may not use grant funds for certain administrative and overhead expenses, 他们也不能用它们来补偿现有员工和高管.
在实现和商业化阶段的开始, 每家公司都将与ACA签订法律协议, obligating the awardee to various terms of compliance and outlining the criteria for accessing the funds allocated to AIC awardees throughout the performance period. 表现期将由下列拨款阶段界定:
- 入学考试: An initial tranche of funding will be disbursed upon the execution of the awardee legal agreement and the completion of other necessary administration.
- 性能时期: 在这段时间, Founders will complete a series of standardized program milestones including a two-week founder boot camp, 一系列的pitch“panel”和功能性的“deep diving”. 在每个里程碑成功完成后, 创始人将解锁下一笔拨款，用于支付. Each founder will be paired with an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) to coach them through this performance period.
- 毕业后: A final tranche of funding will be disbursed upon successful graduation from the 企业准备加速器.
注意: The AIC grant amount will not be disbursed in full at the beginning of the 企业准备加速器.
The compliance terms included in the AIC Awardee agreement obligate AIC awardees to report the achievement of key business metrics, 允许ACA人员进行现场访问, 并根据需要向ACA提供额外的文件. 本着正确管理国家资金的精神, the ACA may withhold grant funds from any company that does not graduate from the 企业准备加速器.
表彰受奖人的报告承诺, the ACA aims to assist awardees beyond providing non-dilutive funding and entrance into the 企业准备加速器. 在这个追求, ACA可从事的活动包括, 但不限于, introducing AIC awardees to other state programs to facilitate continued growth, 就商业问题和最佳实践提供咨询, 并将受奖人与外部顾问联系起来, 服务提供者和潜在投资者.
The ACA maintains significant discretion in determining the funding processes and phases during the performance period. Specific milestones and provisions will be finalized in agreements between the ACA and AIC awardees. 另外, clawback clauses will be included in awardee legal agreements to discourage activities by portfolio companies that would be counterproductive to the ACA’s mission. 受触发回调条款约束的活动包括, 但并不局限于, 一家公司将他们的业务转移到州外, 被一家将业务转移到州外的公司收购, 或未能遵守报告义务. Companies that do not successfully graduate from the 虚拟的加速器 will still be designated “AIC 获奖者” and will remain obligated to fulfill the commitments of the awardee agreement.