Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 1.48.10 PM.png


IdeaFunding is Southern Arizona’s largest pitch competition.  We invite early stage companies to compete for cash prizes and professional services.

We feature our region's most innovative companies in a variety of industries. Be inspired and connect with investors, mentors, and entrepreneurs. 

Innovation in 5 Minutes or Less

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.  Each company will submit an application, participate in the training and "down-rounds". Winners will be selected by a panel of qualified judges and investors, and finally announced to at IdeaFunding. The winner of each category-- or industry vertical-- will win $5,000 cash.  

From there, the winner from each industry vertical will go head to head for a chance at an additional $20,000 of cash and prizes in a live pitch competition, the grand finale of IdeaFunding. 

Companies are also eligible to win 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. 




After winning an individual industry vertical, top companies will compete for an additional $10,000 cash prize and full year of sponsored incubation at UACI, a total value of $20,000


Presented By: 

UA Venture Capital 

Also presented by:

UA Center for Innovation



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 $5,000 prize as well as a year of digital incubator services from Moonshot.


Presented By: 

Optics Valley

Also presented by:




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.


Presented By: 

Community Investment Corporation



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.

Screen Shot 2021-02-05 at 7.02.23 PM.png

Presented By: 

United Way 

of Tucson and Southern Arizona

TENWEST 2016 Volunteers.JPG


This is a *new* prize for 2021, to celebrate young entrepreneurs. 

This is a cash prize for founders who are between the ages of

18- 25 years old. 


Presented By: 

UArizona McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship



This prize is nominated by the audience with in-vivo voting. 

It is a $1,000 prize that can be awarded to any eligible company who competes in the final down-round.



Review the full Rules and Regulations and the the evaluation criteria for the down-selects. 

Each team will be placed with other teams in similar sectors and will be pitching against one other for each down-select. These will occur after the first initial pitch training and orientation on February 25th, 2021.

Applications are due by February 22, 2021 at 5:00pm AZ Time (MT)

Entries that do not comply with instructions fully will not be accepted. Please read carefully. You will be required to describe non-sensitive information about your business plan and include a pitch deck (max 10 pages).  The final pitch will be 5 minutes with 3 minutes QA. 

Ensure that you or someone from your team will be available to participate in the following key dates of the competition. All training and down selects will be completed via zoom. You will have access to mentors and advisors to assist you in developing your pitch throughout the process. 

February 25th - Pitch Training & Orientation (Location: Zoom)

Time: 3pm-5pm MT 

March 4th - First Down-Select (Location: Zoom)

Time: 3pm-5pm MT 


March 11th - 2nd Down-Select (Location: Zoom)

Time: 3pm-5pm MT 

March 17th - Final Pitch Competition (Location: Zoom) 

Time: 3pm-5pm MT 

April 14th - Dress Rehearsal 

April 15th- IdeaFunding

Pitch training sponsored by UA Center for Innovation

IdeaFunding Website copy 3.png

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!