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The Tucson Innovation Partnership is an informal group of individuals and organizations seeking to serve the entrepreneurship and innovation communities. 

Purpose of TIP
  • To help each other provide better services to our respective constituents within the startup community

  • To coordinate activities among the member organizations at a strategic level, not at the individual case level

  • To better represent the collective interests of entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses to the economic development community

How to Join: 

Membership is voluntary and open to anyone whose interests are aligned with TIP’s purpose and who finds value in participating in the monthly meetings. TIP membership will not be marketed publicly but members may invite guests to join. 

For further inquiries please feel free to reach out to

Organizational Structure:

No formal organization, however members should remain active attending and participating in the monthly meetings. 


The group will meet monthly to update each other on relevant programs and initiatives and discuss issues relevant to the purpose of the group. Specific needs or initiatives aligned with TIP’s purpose may be brought to the group, and interested members can form a committee to address them beyond the general monthly meetings.

Meeting Structure: 
  • Meets Second Wednesday of the Month from 3:00-4:00pm. 

  • Standing agenda: Intro to the purpose of TIP and of the meeting, Round robin updates (2-5 minutes depending on the number of attendees, keep it to what’s new and relevant), any specific topics of the month

Rules of Play: 

 As a participant you agree to:

  • Come to the table with your first priority being how to better serve the needs of startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses

  • Contribute positively to the discussion or not at all

  • No criticism or opinions, only suggestions as to how to improve

  • Stay on topic and limit lengthier discussions for follow-up meetings

Current Members 

Amanda Bruno

City of Tucson

Anna Darian

Arizona FORGE 

Bruce Burgess

Tech Launch Arizona

Deseret Romero

Pima County Economic Development

Eric Smith

University of Arizona Center for Innovation

Francisca Villegas-Braker

YWCA Women's Business Center 

Jim Jindrick

University of Arizona

John Dennis 

Optics Valley

Kara Festa

Kara Diane Coaching and Consulting

Katina Koller 

La Suprema Works + Events

Liz Pocock 

Startup Tucson 

Michael Peel 

Local First 

Peter Mantas

300 Mentors

Stephanie Bermúdez

Startup Unidos

Victor Gonzalez 


Amanda Holbert

Fierce Female, LLC.

Barbara Coffee 

City of Tucson 

Carol Stewart 

Tech Parks Arizona

Doug Hockstad

University of Arizona

Felipe Garcia 

Visit Tucson

Gina Catalano

Barrio Co 

Joann MacMaster

Desert Angels

John Moffatt 

Pima County Economic Development 

Karla Morales

Arizona Tech Council

Kevin Burke

City of Tucson

Michael Guymon 

Tucson Metro Chamber 

Paul Melcher

Town of Oro Valley

Rick Yngve 

Caterpillar Inc.

Ted Maxwell

Southern Arizona Leadership Council

Zach Yentzer

Tucson Young Professionals

Anita Bell

Arizona Center for Innovation

Brian Ellerman 

Arizona FORGE

Danny Knee

Community Investment Corporation

Dre Thompson

Startup Tucson

Fletcher McCusker

University of Arizona Venture Capital

Ian Roark 

Pima Community College

Julie Katsel

University of Arizona 

Juan Padres


Kathy Prather

Pima JTED 

Krista McGarvey

Arizona Commerce Authority 

Michael Jansen

Town of Sahuarita

Patrick Cavanaugh 

Pima County Economic Development 

Shane Reiser

For the World

Tracy Bibeau

Tech Parks Arizona 

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