BizTucson: Entrepreneurs Tout Benefits of Startup Tucson

Entrepreneurs Tout Benefits of Startup Tucson

By Tiffany Kjos


Startup Tucson has had a tremendous impact on entrepreneurs here who credit the organization with guiding them to success by linking them with resources they otherwise wouldn’t know about. Here are a few of their stories.


RentLab

Founded by Jacqui Bauer in July 2017

Q. At what stage of the business did you start working with Startup Tucson?

A. I had incorporated as a social benefit corporation (a for-profit but social-mission driven form of corporation) just before moving to Tucson in early 2018, so I was pretty early on in my effort to get my first customer. Startup Tucson popped up quickly as a potential local resource, and I started attending their events almost immediately, including the March 2018 Thryve weekend. That event was a turning point for me, when I really started receiving formal coaching and mentoring, culminating in wins at both IdeaFunding and the Social Impact pitch competitions in the fall of 2018.


Q. What did Startup Tucson do for you and your business?

A. Startup Tucson connected me with mentors and entrepreneurs working on similar challenges, helped me articulate my mission and strategies, and in general helped me transition to thinking of myself as an entrepreneur. The pitch competition funding was a fantastic boost to my confidence and to my ongoing effort to build a clientele. But more than anything, they connected me to the Tucson entrepreneurial community – and that keeps me going.


Q. Would you recommend Startup Tucson to other entrepreneurs?

A. Absolutely! Startup Tucson has been an incredible source of practical, financial and even emotional support. Their collaborative, community-oriented approach to entrepreneurship – as opposed to a competitive, cut-throat approach – completely resonates with me.



SGNT

Founded by CEO Emil Tremblay and COO Tommy Rompel in fall of 2017

Q. At what stage of the business did you start working with Startup Tucson?

A. While Tommy Rompel was born and raised in Tucson, Emil

Tremblay moved here from Canada in 2017. Tremblay explained for the first six months of our company, Tommy and I worked on SGNT (pronounced sig-net) in “stealth” mode. In April 2018 we decided it was time to start reaching out to the Tucson community and quickly came across Startup Tucson. We began by attending Startup Coffee and Startup Drinks and shortly thereafter Liz Pocock (CEO of Startup Tucson) joined us for an introductory coffee-shop meeting. We shared with her what we were working on and the kind of people, resources and connections we required.


Q. What did Startup Tucson do for you and your business?

A. Liz connected us with many key people in the Tucson ecosystem, some of whom are now SGNT employees or advisers. Our team has grown tremendously (to about 10 employees and 10 advisers). The ability to grow this quickly and with such incredible talent would not have been possible without the network of talent that Startup Tucson has assembled.


Q. Would you recommend Startup Tucson to other entrepreneurs?

A. I always recommend Startup Tucson to the people I meet and readily brag to my friends in other cities how fortunate we are in Tucson to have such an incredible organization as the hub of innovation and startups in Tucson.



Hivemetric

Co-founded by Charlie Maxwell and Bryce Horner, incorporated in February 2017

Q. At what stage of the business did you start working with Startup Tucson?

A. Pre-revenue. Charlie Maxwell started his career in software development working for a small development and marketing agency in the space that was CoLab in 2014. In his own words: "The community around the startup ecosystem and the space that Startup Tucson fostered is what drew me in and allowed me to stumble backwards into what would grow into my career path. Just being around the energy and spirit that flowed through that space and community led me to my first venture, which led me to my second, making the connections along the way necessary to arrive at my third, which is where I am now, Hivemetric."


Q. What did Startup Tucson do for you and your business?

A. The feedback, opportunities and experiences that Startup Tucson provided our company were absolutely fundamental in our growth. However, hands down the most valuable thing that Startup Tucson provides is community. Everyone is there because they are passionate about the same things, share in the same struggles and truly wish for your success. It’s one of the few places in the world of business where when someone says “I wish the best for you,” they mean it.


Q. Would you recommend Startup Tucson to other entrepreneurs?

A. I would without a doubt recommend Startup Tucson to any entrepreneur. To be fair, “entrepreneur” should be a loose term here – because Startup Tucson is beyond the organization, and beyond the companies. At its core it’s just good people.


Read the whole article on the BizTucson website here.

2019 Winner Best Nonprofit 

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