IdeaFunding 2014

10-04-2013 01.37.08




IdeaFunding brought together over 280 members of Southern Arizona’s entrepreneurial community on October 23, 2014, from young startups to experienced serial entrepreneurs and investors. Delivering the latest best practices in today’s startup environment, the annual event offered panels, presentations, a keynote speaker, award ceremony, and two competitions.

Based on the 2014 theme “Connections for Growth”, the conference focused on securing both traditional and non-traditional funding sources for companies at different growth stages. IdeaFunding’s panels and presentations included: Using Your Circle of Influence, Grants and Government Funding, Crowdfunding, Later Stage Funding, and Term Sheets 101.

Keynote speaker Ryan George, Founder & CEO of Simpleview, shared his entrepreneurial journey of building an industry leading company.  George’s presentation “From Founder to Flagship: Lessons Learned” focused on investing in your team’s professional growth and collaboration with others to learn best practices.

Regent Rick Myers of Arizona State University was awarded the Lawrence M. Hecker Future of Possibility Award. Myers is committed to building bright futures in the Tucson community.

IdeaFunding’s business competitions provided 30 entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their new innovations.  Pitch competition teams had three minutes to present their venture concepts to a panel of judges. The 2014 winning teams:

1st Place: Grafted Growers
Grafter Growers have designed a system for plants to grow at a higher density and a higher quality than traditional systems. Their high-density, small-footprint system operates at one-tenth the size of a traditional grower and offers up to 55% cost savings to growers in the production of grafted seedlings. The greenhouse tomato market is a $1.4 billion market. (Awarded $2000)

2ndPlace: Codelucida
Solid State Drive (SSD) faces major issues because of technology cost. As reliability is increased, speed is reduced and power usage is increased. Codelucida’s flash memory controller provides greater capacity, reliability, and speed, with lower power usage. They have a utility patent, are filing three more patents this year, and are building a working prototype. They expect to see royalty revenue by the end of 2015. www.codelucida. com (Awarded $1000)

3rd Place: ZonaLabs
Seventy percent of surgeries are minimally invasive procedures that require good surgical training. ZonaLabs incorporates haptic guidance with real-time feedback. Medical robotics and computer-assisted surgery is a $3.3 billion market. They anticipate $40 million in revenue over five years, with a net income of $18 million. The projected revenue includes annual licensing fees and software update purchases. (Awarded $500)

IdeaFunding introduced a new competition this year, a business model poster competition. Teams provided posters using the Lean Canvas model that outlined their business plans. The posters were on display all day and a team of judges selected the winning poster, Páginas. Páginas provides website creation with drag and drop usability. Their initial target market will be business owners in Santiago, Chile. The team was awarded $500.

Editor’s note: event photos are available at and hi-res photos are also available by request.

About Startup Tucson
Startup Tucson is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit committed to transforming Southern Arizona’s economy through innovation and entrepreneurship.  Founded in 2011, Startup Tucson delivers programs to support the launch of and growth of high-impact businesses. Investors in Startup Tucson include the City of Tucson, the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, Holualoa Properties, and the Desert Angels.

Visit for more information.

Media Contact
Justin Williams
Founder, CEO
Startup Tucson



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