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Increase the number, quality, and diversity of startups and entrepreneurs progressing in their growth and staying active in the innovation ecosystem in Tucson.
Change the narrative of the Southern Arizona region as one that is seen as supportive and attractive for entrepreneurs, innovators, and startups.
Be recognized as a hub for community-facing entrepreneurship in Tucson with a strong reputation for high-quality execution and collaboration.
Create a sustainable organizational structure that is values and mission driven.
THE HUB OF THE INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM
Startup Tucson was founded in 2012 on the heels of one of the first Startup Weekends in Tucson. Since that time, the innovation community has grown tremendously with more funding, support organizations, accelerators, and incubators popping up every year.
Startup Tucson has continued to serve as an advocate, educator, and connector for entrepreneurs. We serve over 3,000 entrepreneurs each year with over 160 active members in our network membership. Our alumni have brought over 35 million dollars of investment and over 300 new jobs in the short years since our founding.
Startup Tucson is also the founding organization of TENWEST Impact Festival, a ten-day festival celebrating the intersection of innovation, culture, technology, and social impact. The festival grew to 14,000 attendees in 2019 and continues to be a central hub of thought-leadership in Southern Arizona.
In recent years, Startup Tucson has continued to mature as an organization, building customized programs to serve the needs of a wide variety of entrepreneurs, including creative, food, and small businesses. Our positioning at “the front of the funnel” helps us attract entrepreneurs and then connect them to the resources, mentors, or organizations that best fit their needs.
We focus intentionally on creating broad, inclusive services to bring more diversity into the innovation pipeline. We work collaboratively across the innovation ecosystem to lift up and support our partners, with the collective goal of inspiring and elevating entrepreneurs to create and innovate in order to build a more equitable, vibrant, and forward-looking economy.
We are committed to being optimistic about human potential and the future of our region. All people have the capacity to thrive and succeed with the correct support.
We recognize entrepreneurship has a history of exclusion. We commit to changing and fighting against that legacy in every aspect of our organization.
Just as we recommend to entrepreneurs to build, measure, learn, and to remain focused on value for customers, we also must do the same.
We cannot and should not be all things to all people. We seek to elevate our partners and support their efforts so that we all succeed together.
Community building is not strictly transactional -- essential to our work is building authentic relationships and friendships.
We pride ourselves on our quality and level of execution and this is because we leave nothing to chance and are prepared.
Letter From Our Board Chair
Startup Tucson has become the concierge for all things related to launching a business. From networking to connectivity, finding physical space, education, pitch competitions, showcase events or coffee and drinks, the go-to organization is Startup Tucson. Our innovation ecosystem has no heartbeat or library or gathering place or soul without Startup Tucson.
Individually, our board members are big contributors to the success of Tucson's startup environment. Collectively, combined with the wicked smart staff, the people behind Startup Tucson just make things happen.
There is not a group of people more focused on Tucson's ecosystem success than the folks associated with Startup Tucson.
Our board is a combination of longtime Tucson innovation warriors combined with young, optimistic entrepreneurs with a single focus of getting Tucson on an entrepreneur's map and then keeping us there.
Liz, Dre, and a small support staff are the region's wonder women the remainder of the year working tirelessly to support entrepreneurs and, moreover, enhance the region's capabilities to land and keep great ideas.
Startup Tucson has become a great case study on how to execute on an idea and change the world around you. The hustle and stick-to-it attitude of Startup Tucson is contagious, and just plain fun to be around.
Startup Tucson is modeling best practices for economic development and community livelihood for the future of Southern Arizona from both visionary and leadership perspectives.
They use their expertise combined with their willingness to experiment to accomplish extraordinary results. With a keen ability to identify many disparate entrepreneurial initiatives, Startup Tucson adeptly catalyzed these otherwise fragmented efforts, created access, gained scale, increased impact, and improved outcomes.
Their collaborative and inclusive leadership ethos empowers the entrepreneurial community and engenders access.
-- Katina Koller