We are giving away over 10,000 of cash and prizes to small businesses to celebrate their stories of resilience in the face of extraordinary challenges. 

Submit Nominations Feb 14th - March 14th 


IdeaFunding is celebrating the exceptional innovation, creativity, and grit that our small businesses have displayed this year in the face of extraordinary challenges.  We want to share your stories of resilience!  Nominate your favorite business (or your own!) for cash prizes! 

How it works: 

When the application cycle opens (Feb 14th) you can select the category, either "Brick and Mortar" or "Artisanal/Maker/Creative"  then select which prize title:

  • Visionary Leadership: Leadership has been especially challenging this year, with many new demands and stressors.  This award is to recognize leaders who have gone above and beyond to maintain and support their staff. This can also recognize business leaders who have tackled the grand challenges of this time with insight, wisdom, and creativity

  • Behind the Scenes Heroes: This can include those “2nd in Command” employees who have stepped up to the plate in ways that are not always visible.  This can also include acts of courage, kindness, and creativity that might not have been visible to all.

  • Innovative Engine: Share a story you feel needs to be told that doesn’t quite fit into either of the Award Types. 

Applications will close March 14th, 2021. Our committee will then announce the semi-finalists, and finally the finalists on April 15th at IdeaFunding. Winners will be awarded cash prizes in recognition of the hard work and community contribution. 

Other Fun Features!

  • To thank you for nominating, all nominators will receive raffle tickets to win prizes throughout the day during IdeaFunding. 

  • All semi-finalists will receive one night staycation, courtesy of our sponsor Hotel McCoy!

Frequently asked questions

Can I nominate myself?

Yes! If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur and you would like to share YOUR own story of resilience, please do!

How are you defining "Brick and Mortar" and "Artisanal/Maker/Creative"?

Brick and Mortar: This can include hospitality, restaurants, and any other small business with a physical location. Artisanal/Maker/Creative: This includes small businesses that focuses on primarily e-commerce or in-vivo sales (ie. markets and event venues) of handmade products or creative products such as music, visual arts, craft etc. If your company does not fit into either of these categories, you might want to check out our Pitch Competition, that includes a variety of other industry verticals.

What are the prizes?

Winners will recieve a $1,500 cash prize. Semi-finalists will win a free one-night staycation at Hotel McCoy. Anyone who submits a nomination will be entered to win prizes during our raffle during IdeaFunding.




Throughout the day during IdeaFunding, we will have intermissions featuring "creative battles". 

Arizona creatives will go head-to-head for a $500 cash prize, with live audiences selecting their favorites. 

Categories include:  

Creative Writing (ex. poetry, song lyrics, storytelling, etc)

Music (ex. singer/songwriters and bands)

Comedy (ex. improv and standup)

Mixology (ex. cocktails and mocktails)


Applications will be  3 minute video submissions. 

Apply between Feb 14- March 14th

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We are still seeking sponsors and contributors to partner with us on IdeaFunding. 

If you or your organization would like to support innovation and resiliency in our community through a tax-deductible contribution, please email 

In-kind, fiscal, and service supports are welcomed!