Press Contact:

Liz Pocock, CEO, Startup Tucson



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Entrepreneurs launch new ideas targeted towards recovery with help from the Startup Fundamentals Series 

A crop of new local entrepreneurs aimed at pivoting and solving challenges arise out of the COVID-informed economic and digital landscape 

TUCSON, ARIZONA - August 22, 2020 -- Ten entrepreneurs completed the Startup Fundamentals series last week, either working to validate their new business ideas or exploring pivots to their existing models to help them continue during the pandemic. These founders are working on projects spanning from digital marketplaces to physical products to concepts that explore solving challenges of environmental sustainability and financial inclusion. 

Leveraging new funding from the City of Tucson’s Workforce Development Small Business Support Program and the Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation, Startup Tucson is proud to bring this brand new pre-seed accelerator program to our community. “The Startup Fundamentals series provides a timely launching pad for microventures, startups, and small businesses that are the backbone of our community. This support is more critical now because many entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs have been hardest hit by the economic downturn,” said Liz Pocock, CEO of Startup Tucson. 

Each series lasts six weeks, with each week covering a critical topic for building a strong business foundation and reducing the risks associated with launching a new venture. It helps take entrepreneurs from idea to launch and culminates with a Pitch Demo Graduation Day where mentors and advisors provide additional feedback for the founders. Stacked alongside the workshops, founders also meet one-to-one with mentors and the Startup Tucson team to set individual goals and connect with other programs and services in the community that can benefit their businesses. 

In the Demo Day for this series, Liz Hernandez from ARTEZONA Art Gallery was selected as the winner and will receive additional support from the Startup Tucson team as she takes her next steps. ARTEZONA is a boutique online art gallery designed to support working artists and offer its customers, with a range of budgets, a way to enjoy the experience of living with art without a significant investment. This is founder Liz Hernandez’ newest venture in the gallery space. With over 25 years of experience as an art curator and physical gallery owner, Liz is now pivoting to curate an online art buying experience for her customers. "I'm thrilled and honored to have participated in this amazing Startup Tucson course with awesome entrepreneurs who are infusing Tucson’s ecosystem with fantastic creative enterprises!" says Liz.

While similar programs in other cities cost upwards of $10,000 per person, thanks to the support of the City and the Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation, Startup Tucson is able to offer this program for less than $100 per founder. "We recognize that Startup Tucson creates a foundation for our emerging entrepreneurs looking to commercialize their technologies, services, and solutions. The City is excited to support this programming to further diversify and strengthen our startup community in Tucson”, shares Barbra Coffee, Director of Economic Initiatives, City of Tucson.  “The Thomas R. Brown Foundations exist because of the success of Burr-Brown Corporation, which was a Tucson start-up in 1956. Tom Brown recognized the opportunity created by revolutionary technology (transistors – they replaced vacuum tubes) and built products that incorporated it. Burr-Brown ultimately grew into an international manufacturing enterprise worth $7.6 billion. Not many startups may grow that big, but the more we nurture entrepreneurial talent, the better chance significant businesses with exciting employment opportunities will emerge”, said Sarah Smallhouse, President of the Foundations. “Startup Tucson’s Fundamentals series is doing just that – guiding founders to avoid mistakes and seize opportunities as they transform their new venture ideas and business seedlings into growing enterprises.”  The series will run multiple times a year to allow entrepreneurs to launch their ideas year-round. The next cohort launches October 13th. To sign up for the next series or for other program updates visit www.startuptucson.com.

Startup Tucson is 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to transform our region’s economy through entrepreneurship and education. Startup Tucson executes this mission by providing education and culture building programs and events to grow a high-impact entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem. You can find information about the organization and upcoming opportunities to engage at www.startuptucson.com. For questions or comments, please reach out to Liz Pocock directly at liz@startuptucson.com.


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