Tempe celebrates entrepreneurs: free workshops to help small businesses and startups
Current and aspiring business owners from around the Valley can get some free expert advice as part of PHX East Valley Entrepreneur Week, taking place from Feb. 18-22.
A series of free events happening in Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Maricopa, Apache Junction and Queen Creek will help existing businesses grow and get startups off the ground.
“Our region has always been known as a hub for entrepreneurial ventures,” said Denny Barney, president and CEO of East Valley Partnership. “We want to continue to serve as an incubator for new ideas and help established firms get to the next level.”
Statewide, there are nearly 400,000 small businesses that employ more than 107,000 workers, according to the most recent federal data available.
Arizona and especially PHX East Valley consistently ranks among the best places to start and own a business, Barney said. He pointed to firms such as Infusionsoft and Offerpad, which got their start in the region and have grown into megafirms that are disrupting their billion-dollar industries. Tempe success stories include Insight, Blue Media and more.
Among the reasons the state and region are a magnet for entrepreneurs and small businesses are low operating costs, a stable regulatory environment and a quality labor force.
In the PHX East Valley alone, there are more than 800,000 workers, along with 120,000-plus college students building a talent pipeline for the future.
“We also invest in startups and small businesses with resources such as incubators, co-working spaces and access to capital through programs such as PHX East Valley Angel Investor Initiative,” Barney said. There are nine of these facilities in the East Valley. Tempe has several of these, including MAC6, a conscious capitalism co-working and co-manufacturing space; FABRIC, Tempe's fashion incubator; BRiC, Tempe's small business co-working space at Tempe Public Library; University of Advancing Technology's Perimeter 83 and others.
During PHX East Valley Entrepreneur Week, existing and aspiring business owners can get insights, information, tools and tips on starting and growing a business at a series of free events.
"So many great companies got their start here in Tempe. We want to help other entrepreneurs find the same kind of success as Four Peaks Brewery, Cartel Coffee Lab, Insight and Blue Media," said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. "Our co-working spaces and free business workshops are just a couple ways we are working to support our entrepreneurs and we are working to do even more."
Free Workshop Calendar
PHX East Valley https://phxeastvalley.eventbrite.com/
Please note: Maricopa and Apache Junction have separate registrations. See the link next to the workshop descriptions below.
Tempe’s Business Success Combo: Great People + Great Culture
9 a.m. to noon, Feb. 22
MAC 6, 1430 W. Broadway Road, #201, Tempe
Focus: How the right culture and people can create successful companies. Includes networking breakfast, expert panels, free assessment tools and a powerful keynote on building company cultures.
Mesa’s Creative Economy and Startup Society
8 a.m. to noon, Feb. 19
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa
Focus: Joining the movement in building Mesa’s creative economy.
9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Feb. 20
Copper Sky Recreation Center, 44345 MLK Jr. Blvd., Maricopa
Focus: Empowering and educating female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
Maricopa Event Registration: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=swwgqvbab&oeidk=a07efyc92r3489aeed8
ASU Chandler Innovation Center
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 20
249 E. Chicago St., Chandler
Focus: Activities and resources for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a focus on technology.
The 360-Degree Business Growth
9-11 a.m., Feb. 21
Central Arizona College Superstition Mountain Campus, Apache Junction
Focus: Using the GrowthWheel™ framework, participants will assess their businesses in four key areas and create a plan for development.
Apache Junction Event Registration: https://clients.azsbdc.net/workshop.aspx?ekey=90390001
Queen Creek’s Entrepreneurship Workshop
2-7 p.m., Feb. 21
Queen Creek Library, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road
Focus: Tips and tools for startups, data, demographics and entrepreneur success stories, networking and a visit to Gangplank’s Hack night.
About East Valley Partnership
East Valley Partnership is a coalition comprised of the cities of Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Maricopa, Mesa, Queen Creek and Tempe. The goal of the organization is to foster a healthy economic environment in the East Valley. http://www.phxeastvalley.org.