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Pitch Competition


Main Stage Prize of $25,000
Applications due August 29th (deadline extended)

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A "pitch" is a 5 minute story of a company. It provides all the basics of who, what, why, and how an idea will succeed. IdeaFunding's annual pitch competition provides an opportunity for Arizona companies to share their stories with our community for a chance to win a number of cash prizes including a $25,000 grand prize on the main stage.


To participate, each company must submit an application and participate in the training and "down-rounds". Applicants will advance through multiple rounds as selected by a panel of qualified judges and mentors and will go head to head for a chance to pitch live at the grand finale of IdeaFunding on November 3rd during the TENWEST Impact Festival at the Tucson Convention Center.  

2022 prizes include a main stage cash award of $25,000, multiple $2,500 - 5,000 awards for industry vertical rooms and special prizes, such as the Social Impact Prize, the Adelante Arizona Prize, and the People's Choice Award. 

Join in on the excitement and inspiration of innovation happening in 5 minutes or less and apply today! 

Applications Closed August 29, 2022 at 10:00 pm AZ Time (MT)

Presented by:

Co-Led by:

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Pitch Competition Overview

Eligibility Requirements:

  • IdeaFunding is open to companies of any industry.

  • Applicant must be the owner, principal, or general manager or member of the leadership team of the applying business.

  • Your company must be a primarily Arizona company to participate. 

  • Your company must be an “early stage” company to participate. 

  • You must have a business account and formal entity to receive funding. 

  • At least one founding member of your company must be over the age of 18. 

  • Prior IdeaFunding participants are eligible to compete again with the exception of any main stage prize winners.

Application Requirements:

  • Entries that do not comply with instructions fully will not be accepted. 

  • All questions must be answered in their entirety.

  • Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements.

  • You will be required to describe non-sensitive information about your business plan. This information will be shared with the Startup Tucson and UACI teams in addition to our volunteer mentors and judges. 

  • Applications are due by August 29, 2022 at 10:00 pm AZ Time (MT)

Training & Pitch Expectations:

  • All teams selected to participate are required to attend IdeaFunding Pitch Training & down-selects. You must ensure that you or someone from your team will be available to participate in the following key dates of the competition (full schedule below)

  • The application process involves an initial selection and two additional down-selects. 

  • You will have access to mentors and advisors to assist you in developing your pitch throughout the process.

  • All pitches throughout the training and down-selects will be 3 minutes with 3 minutes QA with the judges. 

  • Pitches on the final day of IdeaFunding may be up to 5 minutes with 3 minutes QA. 

  • External judges will help to select companies for the first and second down-selects and the final day competitions. These judges will use this rubric to guide their decisions.

  • All applicants selected for down-select must have a pitch deck (max 10 pages) by the date of the first down-select and use this deck for all down-selects and the final competition if selected to advance. Pitch decks may be changed throughout the process. 

  • IdeaFunding includes various prize levels. Based on down-selects, not all companies will be eligible for all prizes.

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Training Schedule

August 29th
Applications Close
September 1st
Applicants notified of advancement
September 7th
Pitch Training & Orientation (Required) Location: Zoom Time: 4pm-6pm MT
September 12th
Initial Pitch Decks due by midnight for First Down-Select
September 14th
First Down-Select (Required) Location: Zoom Time: 4pm-6:30pm MT
September 16th
First Down-Select Applicants notified of advancement
Week of September 19th
Office Hours with UACI Mentors/Team (Required) Location: Zoom Time: Flexible booking of Individual Slots
October 5th or 6th*
Second Down-Select and Main Stage Selection (Required) Location: The Refinery Time: 4pm-6:30pm MT *Teams will choose to attend on the 5th or the 6th. Survey to sign-up for date sent after first down-select
October 11th
Finalists notified of advancement
October 12th - November 2nd
Additional Optional Office Hours and Pitch Prep for Finalists as scheduled with Startup Tucson and UACI
November 3rd
IdeaFunding Final Pitch Competition (Required) Location: Tucson Convention Center Time: Various times from 9am - 8pm Includes Main Stage Pitch Competition and Vertical Pitch Rooms

*This Pitch Competition does not constitute “general advertising and general solicitation.” This event is not for offering and selling company securities to qualified investors.  No mention or solicitation of investment funds or equity can be discussed at any time, in compliance with the Securities Act of 1933 and the updated policies of SEC Rule 148. IdeaFunding organizers reserve the right to remove any team from the IdeaFunding Pitch Competition at any time.

Training Schedule

2022 Pitch Prizes

Main Stage

Top companies will compete for $25,000 prize and full year of sponsored incubation at UACI, a total value of $35,000. This pitch will take place on the main stage at IdeaFunding

Industry Verticals 

Applicants will be grouped to compete into similar industry verticals; categories such as Manufacturing, Aerospace, Bio & Life Sciences, Renewable Energy, Consumer Products, Food and Agricultural Value-Added Product etc. Each category has $2,500 prize and will take place the morning of IdeaFunding

Adelante Arizona 

This prize supports diverse founders, such as women-owned and BIPOC-owned companies.  

It is a $5,000 prize that can be awarded to any eligible company who competes in the final down-round.

Social Impact

This prize supports companies with an exceptional social and community impact. 

It is a $5,000 prize that can be awarded to any eligible company who competes in the final down-round.

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We are able to provide high caliber experience at a low cost to entrepreneurs through the generosity of our partners and sponsors. Consider joining us and building your brand by sponsoring a track, a pitch competition, or a prize. We can work creatively for your budget and messaging goals.

Contact for more information. 


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