Now the fifth largest city in the U.S., Phoenix has become a nationally-known hotspot for entrepreneurs and expanding companies. Due to a vibrant economy, major universities, and the growing number of coworking spaces, the valley is gaining more and more attention from successful startups that are causing various funding sources within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
We’ve compiled a list of must-have resources for coming entrepreneurs in Phoenix. There are plenty of great local resources that make Phoenix the perfect city to launch a business. Interested in the world of entrepreneurship? Here are eight great resources for you.
Sure it’s a hashtag; but it’s also a movement. It’s both an open community and an essential resource for any Phoenix-focused entrepreneur. #yesphx started as a simple six-letter hashtag intended to “amplify, unify, and clarify” the vision of Phoenix becoming “the most generous community of entrepreneurs.” What started as a conversation with a group of friends—one of them being Jonathan Cotrell, a long-time Department Coworking member—has grown to become likely the best way for entrepreneurs and startups to connect in the local business scene.
Cool Factor: The events! Get plugged in here.
2. PHX Core
PHX Core is the name for the City of Phoenix’s Innovation District located in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Encompassing the east side of downtown and the historic warehouse district, this area of Phoenix is home to hundreds of startups and boasts easy-access to public transit, a diverse (and growing) talent pool, and hundreds of eateries and watering holes. (Cheers to that!) The daily population of Phoenix’s urban center is 24-times more dense than the rest of Phoenix, and PHX Core exists to help those businesses here in the Innovation District connect and thrive.
Cool Factor: Anchor institutions include Arizona State University’s downtown campus, the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Oh, and it’s home to The Department Coworking, too.
3. SEED Spot
For socially-minded entrepreneurs looking to make a difference in their communities, SEED Spot is a tremendous resources. This nonprofit organization provides support for entrepreneurs by offering programs that educate, accelerate, and invest in entrepreneurs who are innovating and developing solutions to problems they’ve seen in their local communities .
Cool factor: 557 entrepreneurs served and 1,499 job created (and counting!).
The Arizona Commerce Authority is the leading economic development organization with a board comprised of both public servants and private business experts. The AZ Commerce Authority’s goal is to grow business in the state. In fact, their Arizona Innovation Challenge awards $3 million (the largest monetary prize for technology challenge in the U.S.!) to the most promising technology ventures. So if you’re just getting a business started here in the area, visit their site for some helpful resources including tax incentives, grants and investment opportunities, and tons of economic reporting and industry-specific data.
Cool Factor: #1 in the nation for entrepreneurial activity.
The Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation is an incubator built for startups and entrepreneurs and located in central Phoenix. CEI is mostly focused on early-stage tech companies and provides services, space, and support to help these start-ups build long-lasting businesses and make a positive impact in the local economy.
Cool Factor: CEI clients have created 567 jobs with an average salary of $56,000.
Startup Grind is a community of startups and companies that spans the globe. The Phoenix chapter alone has 4,400 members. It’s focused on growing the local entrepreneurial community through face-to-face meet-ups and networking events.
Cool Factor: A global community across 125+ countries and partnered with Google for Startups.
Arizona State University offers a plethora of business-building possibilities for startups including mentorship opportunities, local events, and funding networks. It’s also a great space to connect, share and collaborate.
Cool Factor: ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation is one of 12 organizations to win the Kauffman Inclusion Challenge. (Go Devils!)
Invest Southwest is a nonprofit investment group that connects entrepreneurs with mentors, investors, and the public—all while helping them sharpen their marketing and pitch skills. With events, networking, advertising, and public relations opportunities, they are a tremendous asset for local startups looking for investors. Just ask The Department Coworking members from Digitile who won in the 2019 SAAS category.
Cool Factor: Their signature event, Venture Madness, is a one-of-a-kind competition event where the region’s most promising early-stage firms compete in a live pitch-style event.
Entrepreneurship in Phoenix is busy with activity—as well as some awesome resources to support it.
Looking for a place to connect here in the heart of Phoenix’s Innovation District? We have a space for you at The Department Coworking that is professional and cool, intentionally designed to help you run and grow your business alongside other growth-minded entrepreneurs and businesses. Stop by today!