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Tempe creates $500,000 innovation fund to invest in ideas that improve the community

Post Date:12/07/2017 12:00 PM

Tempe, AZ – Want to change Tempe for the better? The city is inviting anyone with an innovative concept for the community good to apply for a share of a $500,000 innovation fund. 

Earlier this year, the Tempe City Council established a one-time innovation fund of $500,000 from a finite pool of revenues that they had reserved from past leases and sales of city land. The funds do not come from sales or property taxes.

Though the fund is not intended to be renewed after it is expended, the Council hopes that the benefits it brings to the community will be long lasting and transformative.

“Tempe leads the way in innovation – we are making waves in the desert,” said Mayor Mark Mitchell. “It is important that we provide the seed money that could help new concepts of all kinds get off the ground. We are looking for truly out-of-the-box ideas, responsible execution and lasting impact.”

Any Tempe employee, community member, business or elected official is eligible to apply. Visit www.tempe.gov/innovationfund for more information and application criteria. Applications should be sent to innovation@tempe.gov

Tempe is nationally and globally known as innovative. Arizona State University ranks as the most innovative university in the country for the third straight year. Governments from around the world have toured Tempe Town Lake to see how they can replicate its success in their locations. From partnering on space missions with NASA to exploring cures for cancer, Tempe residents, workforce members and students are finding solutions to the world’s problems. This fund will give people an opportunity to launch concepts that can help our community and potentially the world.  

Tempe could get applications dealing with sustainability, customer service, technology, nonprofit service and more. Proposed projects could pertain to city operations or external entities.

Other U.S. cities have made similar investments in recent years, including a $1 million innovation fund in Los Angeles. The Tempe City Council will make final decisions about funded projects at public meetings. 


Kris Baxter-Ging
City of Tempe


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