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Phoenix Startup Week Plans Hundreds of Free Events for Entrepreneurs


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By Haley Ringle

Organizers of the inaugural Phoenix Startup Week are inviting all entrepreneurs and community members to attend the more than 130 free events at more than 30 venues around the Phoenix metro area Feb. 23-27.

Phoenix is the fourth city to hold an entire week of startup activities, following Denver, Seattle and Tampa.
The goal is to celebrate entrepreneurship, said Jonathan Cottrell, head of the volunteer organizing team of around 30 people.
“It’s really about rallying and celebrating what has been going on here over the last number of years,” said Cottrell, a serial entrepreneur who is the former co-founder and CEO of User10, current CEO of Storybyte and a former general manager of GoDaddy. “We’re just excited to celebrate as one community.”

The startup events will be held in Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale to include entrepreneurs from all over the Valley. Five main venues will host events, including the kick-off events that Monday at the 111 W. Monroe building, Tuesday at DeskHub, the new Scottsdale co-working space, Wednesday at the Tempe Center for the Arts, Thursday at GoDaddy’s Scottsdale headquarters and Friday in the Biltmore area near 24th Street and Camelback Road at the offices of Hool Coury Law, Aspect Software, and other nearby offices.

Arizona State University’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI) at Gateway Community College, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council and various entrepreneurial leaders in the valley will also be hosting events, tours and presentations.

Some of the highlights of the week include:

Chris Camacho, new Greater Phoenix Economic Council CEO and president, talking about “The Future of Cities” at 9:45 a.m. Feb. 23 at 111 W. Monroe building.

Scott Salkin, Allbound CEO, will give a lunch and learn, “Top 10 things I learned in a Silicon Valley accelerator” 11:30 a.m. Feb. 24 at DeskHub.

A social entrepreneurship talk 3 p.m. Feb. 25 by Courtney Klein, co-founder of Seed Spot, at Tempe Center for the Arts.

“Myths and truths about marketing your startup” talk by Robert Wallace, Tallwave’s executive vice president of marketing, at 3 p.m. Feb. 26 at GoDaddy’s auditorium in Scottsdale.

“How Arizona became a hotbed for startups” with Spotlight Software CEO Don Pierson, 9:45 a.m. Feb. 27 in the first floor meeting room in the building at 2398 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix.

Paige Soucie, another organizer of the startup week, said after working with Startup Weekend last year it became “ever apparent” that the entrepreneurial community is “very disconnected.”

“This is one big week with activities across the valley to really bring people together,” said Soucie, project manager at Coplex, a Tempe-based web development and online marketing agency. “Since we moved our agency to Tempe we’re very passionated about startups. There’s a lot of people passionate about the entrepreneurial startup community, and we wanted to highlight that.”

The plan is to make this into an annual event, and get people connecting and networking from different parts of the valley.
“We want to make it so that people in different parts of the city are aware of what’s happening around them,” Soucie said.

Main sponsors are Chase Bank and UpGlobal, which helps startups and entrepreneurial communities around the world.

For a full list of events, visit the Phoenix Startup Week website.

Organizers are also trying to highlight #YesPhx throughout the week to amplify what’s already happening here.

Lauren McDanell

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