IdeaFunding is Arizona's second largest pitch competition, giving over $100,000 of non-dilutive funds and services to Arizona startup teams each year.  



IdeaFunding is Southern Arizona’s premier entrepreneurship conference and home to the second-largest pitch competition in Arizona. Established over 20 years ago, each October the event draws up to 500 investors, entrepreneurs, and startups from 10 states and Mexico. 


As part of the event, up-and-coming startup companies have the opportunity to pitch for over $50,000 in cash & service prize packages, with a $25,000 grand cash grand prize being awarded on our Main Stage. 


Startups and founders with less than $500,000 in investment to date are invited to apply. After submitting an application, those selected to advance will be invited to participate in a mandatory pitch training. The pitch training process will determine the final teams selected for the Main Stage Prize of $25,000. Other teams will still have the chance to be selected to pitch in Vertical Pitch Rooms with prizes valued at $5,000. 

Additionally, qualifying teams have the opportunity to apply for two bonus prizes called the Adelante Arizona Prize and the United Way of Southern Arizona's Social Impact Prize.


Startup Tucson has launched the Adelante Arizona prize in IdeaFunding during TENWEST

IdeaFunding is made possible through the continued support of:



What Makes IdeaFunding Pitch Competition Unique? 

IdeaFunding ultimately aims to provide lasting value for the companies pitching in the competition because we are entrepreneur-centered


Our measure of success is that every company involved in IdeaFunding-- from the first application to Main Stage winning team -- becomes stronger, more connected, and has a higher likelihood of building a robust company here in Arizona.


As part of this mission: 

  • We provide high-quality pitch training as core element of the process. 

  • Participating teams have access to tools that will increase their companies visibility and pitch capacity significantly such as speech coaching, graphic design support, video and social marketing campaigns and related PR/media interviews 

  • We ensure that startups are exposed to the highest number of investors, mentors, and entrepreneurial support organizations possible through this event, by embedding the event in TENWEST Impact Festival.  

  • Prize packages are comprised of more than just capital -- winning teams are able to access mentors, goods and services, and critical connections and introductions. 

Pitch training sponsored by UA Center for Innovation


Main Stage Pitch Competition

Presented by UA Venture Capital

The Main Stage Pitch Competition is a platform for up to five investment-ready startups to battle it out for $25,000 of non-dilutive capital in front of a panel of the western-region’s most distinguished investors and founders.

The Vertical Pitch Rooms

The Vertical Pitch Rooms allow up to 20 up and coming companies the opportunity for a community pitch and investor feedback. These companies are separated by verticals such as Biotech, SaaS, Consumer Product, Food Entrepreneurship, Retail/Fashion (additional verticals may be identified in the application process). Cash and services prizes awarded up to $5,000.  


Presented by United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona


United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is a local, 501c(3) non-profit committed to building a thriving community by uniting people, ideas and resources. United Way convenes people and organizations to find innovative solutions that impact more than 155,000 lives in Southern Arizona each year. In line with their mission of fostering innovation to make significant social impacts, United Way is presenting the $5,000 Social Impact Award within IdeaFunding, a part of TENWEST. This prize aims to to bring attention to the ways in which business, technology, and entrepreneurship can address the grand challenges facing our world today. 

Adelante Arizona Prize

Currently in the US, investments in women and minority owned companies are 80 percent lower than the median investment in businesses overall. This means that women and minority owned companies face more hurdles in growing and building their companies. Through the Adelante Prize at IdeaFunding, TENWEST wants to bring attention to this issue and highlight the incredibly talented women and minority founders contributing to the vibrant startup ecosystem in Arizona. In addition to a cash prize, the winning team will receive mentoring, goods and services, and connections and introductions to help accelerate the growth of their company valuing up to $5,000.

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 Liz Pocock for more details  

(520) 47- START  

P.O. Box 1214, Tucson Arizona, 85702 

Startup Tucson is a 501(c)3 

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