Entrepreneur magazine named Arizona one of the top 10 places to start a business — hailing our startup community, innovation and investment resources. So in case you were wondering, or debating a move, Arizona is the place to be for high-tech businesses.
What they raved about: “The Southwestern state hosts the Arizona Innovation Challenge each year where it gives out $3 million in awards to entrepreneurs. Also, the state encourages investment in small Arizona businesses by granting tax credits through its Angel Investment Program, which it has budgeted $20 million through 2016. Also, Arizona has a Fast Grant Program, giving winning entrepreneurs funding to use to hire expert consultants and test new products. The goal of the program is to help startups transform an innovative new product or idea into a money-making venture.” (Entrepreneur.com)
Local CEOs, incubators and the Arizona Technology Council agreed:
“I love Arizona because there are few regulations, low taxes, great talent, great weather and great universities.” – Pat Sullivan, Former CEO of ACT! & SalesLogix, CEO of Contatta
“Connectivity and collaboration are the two reasons why Arizona is the best place to start a business. Arizona business leadership is engaged, accessible and interested in diversifying the business climate here. The collaborative fiber throughout the startup ecosystem is as strong as we have ever seen it. There are plenty of people wanting to help, roll up their sleeves and launch others’ businesses with no agendas. This is what it will take to continue to fuel our ecosystem.” – Chris Petroff, Co-Founder of SeedSpot.
“With our abundant sunshine, open-door culture, robust innovation ecosystem and affordable living, Arizona is an ideal place for the next generation of innovators and market-leading companies to start new enterprises. The Arizona Technology Council works tirelessly for a technology-based, pro-growth and business-focused agenda that provides sources of capital that encourage entrepreneurship and train and attract the required talent to compete in a global, innovative economy.” – Steven G. Zylstra, president & CEO of the Arizona Technology Council
“I believe municipal governments, particularly in the Valley, have gone out of their way to support the growth of new businesses and industries, particularly technology businesses, by helping to either fund, provide workspace, advertise for new businesses, etc. I also believe that there is a lot of commercial support and collaboration between AZ businesses that I haven’t seen in many other places in the last couple of years. [Also] the cost of doing business here is much lower than doing business in say San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Chicago or New York. Overall, there just seems to be a great focus on taking advantage of the opportunity to grow the area into a great hub for creative new businesses.” – Cleavon J. Blair, Founder & Managing Partner, Blosme Software
“Climate, cost of living and infrastructure have always been our most important economic developers. But the more recent energy among the startup ecosystem has been a true catalyst to Arizona continuing to make headlines for their economic activity. In the last half decade, you’ve seen significant growth and acceptance of startups with mentoring from founders, incubators and co-working spaces, taking the lead to help young companies grow. What’s really exciting is you are starting to see entrepreneurship trickle down to the K-12 level.” – Brandon Clarke, Startup Arizona
What else do local CEOs think of the AZ community? StartUp America recently hosted their Summit at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. As part of their program, a panel of Arizona-based CEOs participated in a discussion about the dark side of entrepreneurship and how the Arizona community helped them grow and gave advice to startups. They helped answer the question, “What does the Arizona startup community need to continue to thrive?” Watch the panel discussion here or below. Thank you to Startup America, Startup AZ and Event Day for providing the video. Read more about Startup America Summit here from AZTB.
The line up: Clate Mask, CEO/Co-Founder, Infusionsoft; Heidi Jannenga, COO/Co-Founder, WebPT; Todd Davis, CEO, Lifelock; Hamid Shojaee, CEO, Axosoft; Justin Talbot-Stern, CEO/Founder, B2GNow; Alan Lobock, Co-Founder, SkyMall, Convrrt. Moderator: Tishin Donkersley, M.A.
What other states were chosen by Entrepreneur.com? Read it here
Photo: Grand Canyon, Yavapai Point, courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.