University of Arizona’s Joins Arizona Furnace, Deadline Extended by Two Weeks

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The UA’s Tech Launch Arizona contributes their hottest technologies to Furnace Accelerator

AZ Furnace encourages the ‘collaborative licensing’ of technologies coming out of Arizona’s various research institutions

The University of Arizona has announced that Tech Launch Arizona will join the Arizona Furnace Accelerator as a university research partner. The UA’s Office of Technology Transfer, under the Tech Launch Arizona umbrella, will present selected technologies and intellectual property for licensing to entrepreneurs, with the intent that these technologies will form the basis for new high-potential startups.

Arizona Furnace offers promising startup ventures a package worth more than $50,000 in cash and services. The package includes at least $25,000 in grant seed funding and six months of incubation space in the ASU SkySong facility, NAU’s accelerator NACET, or any of the UA’s facilities including BIO5 Oro Valley Accelerator, or the UA’s partner incubator, the Arizona Center for Innovation. Arizona Furnace is an intensive, six-month, mentor-led accelerator program, and includes several additional support services. Companies that are accepted into Arizona Furnace must be based in Arizona as a stimulant to regional economic development and job creation.

“We are excited about partnering with ASU to commercialize technologies that we believe could form the basis of innovative new Arizona companies,” said David Allen, executive director of Tech Launch Arizona at the UA. “AZ Furnace provides a nice complement to startup programs that Tech Launch Arizona shall be implementing in the coming year. AZ Furnace encourages the ‘collaborative licensing’ of technologies coming out of Arizona’s various research institutions.”

Tech Launch Arizona has been created to integrate and augment various UA commercialization programs and operations. The UA envisions a much more robust entrepreneurial approach to early-stage technology investment. “Partnership in programs like AZ Furnace provides additional channels for UA technologies,” Allen stated.

“Furnace is now a truly state-wide collaboration to drive economic development through the creation of new high-potential startups,” said Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president for innovation, entrepreneurship and venture acceleration at ASU’s Venture Catalyst. “We are excited to welcome the UA to Furnace. They have some great technologies available for license and we want everyone who is interested in Furnace to have the time to evaluate them carefully, so we have extended the deadline for Furnace applications by two weeks. The competition will now remain open until October 15.”

This unique program will involve a nationwide competition to select and fund new ventures that are based on one or more patents or technologies developed at research institutions in Arizona. In addition to the UA, Northern Arizona University and Dignity Health Systems are also participants in AZ Furnace. The UA’s participation will augment the number of cutting edge innovations available for entrepreneurs who are looking to capitalize on research discoveries to create viable businesses. AZ Furnace now has nearly 225 technologies available for license, from 3D facial recognition and hypertext music software tools to organic solar cells.

“Discoveries provide unfulfilled benefit to society if they remain in a research laboratory,” said Charlie Lewis, vice president of venture development for Arizona Technology Enterprises. “ASU, UA, NAU and Dignity Health are taking a proactive step to ensure that Arizona’s most valuable technologies are given all the assistance they need to realize their full potential here in Arizona. The AZ Furnace is excited to be partnering with these outstanding Arizona-based research institutions.”

The competition is open and has been officially extended by two weeks, now set to close on October 15 at midnight. Interested parties are invited to attend the next Furnace information session at ASU SkySong on Wednesday, September 19 from 6-8:30 pm. Topics covered will include how to apply to Furnace, the licensing process for technologies from research partners and advice and networking opportunities to form founding teams. More information about the event and applying to Furnace can be found at


Media Contact
University of Arizona
David Allen (520-626-4606)

ASU Venture Catalyst
Meagan Garrett

About Tech Launch Arizona
Tech Launch Arizona was designed to consolidate the UA’s efforts related to moving knowledge and inventions from campus to market. Its charter is to facilitate the transfer of discoveries at the University of Arizona into intellectual property, inventions and technology, providing a much more robust entrepreneurial approach to company start-ups and technology investment.

About The University of Arizona’s Office of Technology Transfer (
The UA’s Office of Technology Transfer is the intellectual property management organization for the University. The organization works with faculty, inventors and industry partners to speed the flow of innovation from research laboratory to the marketplace.

About AzCI (
AzCI is a technology innovation center and business incubator located at the UA Tech Park that helps entrepreneurs transform their innovative ideas and discoveries into successful ventures through: business planning; customized training and workshops; events; individual mentoring and expertise; partnerships; plug-and-play office space; and access to high-quality equipment and laboratory facilities. In the Mentored Launch program, participants have the opportunity to explore and apply current business ideas relevant to their new project. The startup companies also receive individual coaching from mentors experienced in technology innovation, product development and business management. AzCI is ideal for any entrepreneur or inventor thinking about starting a new venture or launching a new product, regardless of where they are in their efforts to commercialize.

About BIO5 Oro Valley Accelerator (
BIO5 Oro Valley Accelerator provides space for growing early-stage companies seeking a base of operations in the dynamic Oro Valley bioindustry hub. The accelerator space includes an open lab with bays each offering full chemical fume hoods, chemical and standard storage cabinets, chemical resistant bench tops, with available vacuum and gas lines including air, natural gas, and nitrogen. Other larger spaces are available depending upon tenant needs.

About Venture Catalyst at ASU (
ASUVenture Catalyst equips high potential startups for success. The Catalyst, a joint effort between the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), assists university students, faculty and staff, as well as local and global companies, with launching startups or accelerating existing ventures. Based at ASU SkySong, The Catalyst offers investor connections, technology road maps, go-to-market strategy consulting, mentoring opportunities, and several other programs and services, all designed to identify and develop investment-grade companies.

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Meagan Garrett
ASU SkySong
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