It’s hard to believe that the 100th Thursday Gathering will occur in April this year. 

At the start, taking on the monumental task of hosting the Thursday Gathering every week was daunting. Doubts prevailed: could we genuinely pull it off? Would it flourish? Yet, our vision was clear: foster a space where individuals from diverse backgrounds could converge to spark innovation. We also wanted to highlight Arizona’s existing innovations from all industries, from AI to aerospace. The goal was to make these gatherings more than just networking; they needed to be wellsprings of inspiration, resources, knowledge, and valuable connections.

The first months brought modest attendance, with just 40 people joining us. It was intimate, fun, and quiet, but we wanted more. Through grassroots efforts, a few key “connectors,” and the dedication of our small but impassioned team, attendance began to build. Each week, more faces appeared. It’s been a learning journey for sure, and the success lies with our team, volunteers, and sponsors, who see and believe in the vision.

Today, our gatherings consistently draw over 150 people every week. We’ve created partnerships with other organizations, welcomed international business groups, and every Thursday strive to make sure everyone feels welcome. The success comes from people who are our “regulars” and those who come for the first time to try out a night. Since our March 17, 2022 start date, we have had over 11,000 newcomers and over 450 featured speakers. We think this is a good sign of a strong ripple effect.

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