Tucson’s TENWEST is back with a party, biz pitches and more

The TENWEST Impact Festival will return to downtown Tucson in-person from Nov. 1-5, including the 25th annual IdeaFunding business-pitch competition on Nov. 3.

Presented by Startup Tucson and the University of Arizona Center for Innovation, TENWEST is part conference, part party and is returning in-person after a two-year break prompted by the pandemic.

TENWEST will feature more than 60 sessions on subjects spanning creative arts, entrepreneurship, business and sustainable ecosystems, as well as evening and weekend entertainment and events, including the first TENWEST Street Festival to cap things off on Saturday, Nov. 5.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing the festival back in person and with the great line-up we have for 2022 of events, panels and experiences,” said Liz Pocock, CEO of Startup Tucson. “The energy and excitement has been really strong and we are expecting attendance similar to that of 2019.”

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General admission and all-inclusive conference passes are now on sale for $50 and $350, respectively.

For more info and to purchase passes go to tenwest.com.

Idea Funding marks 25

Twenty startup companies have been selected as finalists, with five teams selected to compete on the mainstage the night of IdeaFunding on Nov. 3.

Startups that advanced to the final phase of IdeaFunding, including many with links to the University of Arizona, have completed extensive business-pitch training to prepare them to present in front of a live audience during the TENWEST Festival.

The main-stage startups are: Divine Hair Goods, specializing in salon products including a cap that cuts drying time; Fraqtals Innovations, which has developed a patent-pending, modular screen-printing system; Imanyco, advancing a real-time transcription app to help people who are deaf with group conversations; MindReady, which provides sports coaching psychology and education for athletes; and Orgo, which is developing technology to enable disparate groups of people to better connect and share information across system boundaries.

To celebrate IdeaFunding’s 25th anniversary, 25 startups will be competing for over $50,000 in prize money in four vertical industry stages for technology, consumer products, bioscience and life sciences, and social impact. Finalist companies will compete for $2,500 in cash prizes awarded in each vertical.

Those competitors by category are:

  • Tech: Desert Saber, Revolute Robotics, Paramium, EarthEn and CarbeniumTec;
  • Consumer: Iwona Ash, Ambr Grading, Better Than Provisions, Luna y Sol and Cero;
  • Bio/life sciences: Metfora, iCalQ, Le Cactus, POCUS Pro and uPetsia;
  • Impact: RentLab, AZ Luminaria, Kids Chemical, Nopalito Network and Earnest House.

Contact senior reporter David Wichner at [email protected] or 520-573-4181. On Twitter: @dwichner. On Facebook: Facebook.com/DailyStarBiz


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