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Access to a digital investor toolkit, quarterly trainings and an annual investor Conference

Access to a portal of local entrepreneurs

currently seeking capital support

Access to accredited investors as mentors to support you in developing your investment goals and understanding the risk

Introducing the Rising AZ Investor Network 


Entrepreneurs are the fabric of our local economy however access to capital is often one of the biggest gaps preventing business success, especially for diverse founders. The Rising Arizona Investor Network (RAIN) is an initiative of Startup Tucson designed to help individuals learn more about how to invest and support Southern Arizona entrepreneurs and companies using emerging investment tools. By providing education on emerging investment trends and sharing best practices to support diverse founders, the program's goal is to build a local and diverse investor pipeline to support the the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southern Arizona. The program is designed for current investors or those brand-new to the concept of business investment.


The program is designed to provide education for 1) first-time investors about the types of investment tools available to support local entrepreneurs and 2) existing and potential accredited investors about emerging investment trends and national and international best practices. Participants do not have to be a current accredited investor to join the program nor do they need to meet the definition of an accredited investor. The education provided through this program will include investment tools that do not require individuals to be an accredited investors such as equity-based crowdfunding and impact investment. It will also include information on accredited investor tools like angel investment and venture capital. All education will focus on how to make these tools more accessible for diverse founders.


This program ultimately seeks to address some of the challenges faced by Southern Arizona’s early-stage diverse founders in accessing the capital needed to build competitive companies. In working with these founders, we have seen that they face systemic barriers that limit their access to capital and resources, including having the access to funds that others might be able to raise from their friends and family. As such, they are more likely to need to turn to non-traditional early funding tools, such as WeFunder and Start Engine, to raise the capital they need to scale. However, these non-traditional early funding tools need investment from local supports to truly support founders in meeting their capital goals. To continue to build our local economy and recover post COVID-19, Tucson needs to recruit and train more investors, especially emerging and diverse investors, to grow our overall investment community so that we can support more early-stage and diverse founders.


This program focuses on individuals and founders located in the Southern Arizona region. Program events and trainings will be hosted primarily in the Tucson area and online. Founders included in the network portal will be from the Southern Arizona region. 


After a short application, participants can expect to be supported in the following ways:

  • Investor Education

    • Access to a digital investor toolkit​

    • Access to quarterly workshops

    • Ability to participate in an annual investor conference as part of TENWEST

  • Innovation Network Portal

    • Private portal will a list of local entrepreneurs seeking support​

  • 1-1 Mentorship Sessions with experienced investors

  • Access to all of the Startup Tucson Network Membership benefits​

The application will launch in June 2022. Once accepted into the network, participants can expect to receive regular updates about local companies and training opportunities. Trainings will occur Quarterly both online and in-person and the annual investor conference will occue as a part of TENWEST Impact festival in November. Mentoring will be hosted as needed and resources can be accessed 24-7 through the Investor Portal. 


If accepted, there is no cost to participate in RAIN and all trainings and mentorship is free of charge. The annual investment conference may have some small ticketing charges for certain events.

First Steps:

To learn more about RAIN, sign-up below to stay updated on the program and receive a link to the application once it opens. 

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The idea of investing can feel overwhelming and unapproachable, especially for those new to the entrepreneur and startup worlds.


In this first workshop of RAIN, Tony Wilkins, Founder of Standing Oak Ventures, will teach attendees about the first steps to investing. The workshop will introduce the kinds of investments (ie: equity, note, debt, etc), and various investment platforms.


Attendees will leave with more knowledge about ways they can invest into local companies. This workshop is free and will occur over Zoom.


upcoming RAIN workshops 


This program is made possible with funding from the EDA Capital Challenge and all of our amazing local partners.

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Email Keneshia Raymond, Director of Programs & Access to Capital​​