Effort Looks To Attract Entrepreneurs To Phoenix

The state of Arizona is ramping its efforts to attract entrepreneurs to the state, saying today that it has officially opened "Innovation Forward", a new entrepreneurial center in downtown Phoenix. The new center was unveiled by the Arizona Commerce Authority and Governor Jan Brewer this week. The ACA also said it has upped its commitment to the Arizona Innovation Challenge, which awards grants to promising companies in the state, to $3M. The group said it is planning to award the first, $1.5M in grants to the most promising technology ventures who submit a proposal by February 6th. The ACA is also helping to run the Arizona Innovation Accelerator Fund, funded by $18.2M from the U.S. Department of Treasury's State Small Business Credit Initiative, which will provide small businesses with funding for working capital, inventory, equipment purchases, workforce expansion and property improvements.