The Town of Sahuarita has selected three technology startups to participate in its BizLaunch program, which provides a six-month sponsorship to help grow technology companies in the community.

Economic Development Director Victor Gonzalez said there were eight applicants and those selected were chosen for their connections to the town, the potential benefit of their technology to the community and globe, and innovation.

“This program is geared for that startup which has formalized its technology and has proven their technology in a controlled environment,” Gonzalez said. “The three companies selected fit that category and now the program will help get them to the next stage of proving that technology beyond the control environment with an eye on commercializing that technology.”

The selected startups all receive a six-month sponsorship into the University of Arizona’s Center for Innovation incubation program, a startup incubator network created by the college in 2003. The startups will be able to access resources, facilities, services and guidance to help grow their businesses.

Along with UACI, the Town partnered with Freeport-McMoRan to create the program last year.

Gonzalez said the program is a “grow your own” approach to economic development for Sahuarita.

“It’s very much about growing our own technology culture and industry,” he said. “Sahuarita is home to innovation and we can cultivate these startups and help provide them with the next step to become a major company.”

The three startups, who were selected at the beginning of the month, are Auxilium Technology Group LLC, Sylvan Source and Desertdx, LLC.

ATG Team.png

Auxilium Technology 

Auxilium Technology focuses on new technologies to improve efficiency in mining operations, primarily related to the use of waste materials for new building materials and leaching, an extraction process.

Abraham Jalbout, chief executive officer and director, said they hope their technology could change the mining industry as a whole.

“Basically, our technologies can bring in new sources of revenue through value extraction of tailings in a method which is environmentally friendly,” he said. “Another benefit is that we plan on piloting our processes in Sahuarita which will lead to local opportunities for education, training and potential future employment in the region.”

He said they applied for the program to receive networking opportunities and build long-term relationships in the community.

More information on Auxilium Technology can be found at

Sylvan Source Team.JPG

Sylvan Source 

Sylvan Source is focused on industrial water treatment technology which is cost effective and energy efficient.

Laura Demmons, co-founder and CEO, said she believes their technology could make a big difference for industrial customers on a large scale.

“We believe we are a great fit for power plants and many other industrial applications in the desert Southwest in general and Southern Arizona in particular,” she said. “We can provide cleaner water at a much lower cost to purchase and operate for many industrial customers.”

The startup hopes to grow with BizLaunch and Demmons said they believe employees they hire in the future could come directly from the Sahuarita community.

More information on Sylvan Source can be found

DesertDx Team.JPG


Desertdx is developing new tests for cancer detection which are minimally invasive.

Co-founder Mark Nelson said the liquid biopsy tests they’ve developed are less invasive and expensive than surgical biopsies.

“Our goal is to help doctors get the answers they need to improve the care of people during their cancer journey,” he said. “We imagine a future where routine preventative care includes a blood test for cancer, just as patients are now routinely tested for early stages of heart disease.”

Desertdx also hopes to provide local job opportunities in Sahuarita in the future.

More information on Desertdx is available at

Jamie Verwys | 520-547-9728 


Reporter Jamie Verwys grew up in Sahuarita and graduated from the high school in 2006. She lives in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2018.