Over the next few weeks we’ll be chronicling the winners of the 2018 IdeaFunding, where local startups went head-to-head to compete during pitch competitions for over $30,000 in prize money provided by COX Business, Tucson Electric Power (TEP), and the Arizona Commerce Authority.
The day began with 25 Arizona-based companies at various stages of development pitching to a panel of judges for the opportunity to compete at the final event Tuesday night, October 16th. Six companies were chosen from their earlier morning pitch competitions and invited to present at the Startup Showcase at the Tucson Convention Center.
The stages that teams could pitch from were: Idea (early stages of the company’s concept), Growth (have already launched into the marketplace), Bioscience (companies with a focus on medical or bioscience), and Prototype (company has prototypes in the marketplace). As a unique twist, there was an opportunity for one “Wild Card” competitor. The Wild Card competitor was selected from one the early stage competition rooms that would not be eligible for the mainstage ordinarily, but whom the judges unanimously agreed deserved to be on the mainstage, due to their outstanding performance. This year, Rentlab was strongly endorsed by our judges to move from the Prototype Stage to the Mainstage.
The prizes were awarded during the final pitch competition for IdeaFunding, which is a conference celebrating its 23rd year where nearly 400 investors, entrepreneurs, startups and students convene to empower the local startup ecosystem and accelerate entrepreneurship.