A Year of Transformation and Big Wins for CEI in 2015
2015 has been a transformational year for the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation. In the spring, we crossed the threshold of two years supporting young startup companies in various tech-based industries, but we were still looking to solidify our niche in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Phoenix. To that end, we added new team members, tweaked our program, and rolled up our sleeves with our clients; and consequently, we were able to add a slew of new wins - both for our companies as well as our business incubator - under our belt. Here are a few of our favorites.
VisionGate Graduates from CEI Program (October)
Biotechnology firm VisionGate took a huge step in its evolution as a company when it graduated from the CEI business incubation program in October and opened its new clinical laboratory and headquarters in south Phoenix. The 18,000+ square foot space will advance the company’s commercialization of its LuCED early lung cancer detection test, and the company has plans to hire dozens more employees over the next 1-2 years.
gLOVE Treat Finds Spot in Oprah Magazine (December)
Paraffin International LLC reached new heights in December with the inclusion of its product, gLOVE Treat, in Oprah Magazine’s “O-List” for January 2016. gLOVE Treat is a safer, more sanitary and effective paraffin wax treatment for cosmetic and medical industries, and has already seen more than 100% increase in sales as a result of the promotional boost from the entertainment visionary.
New Entrepreneur-in-Residence Signals Shift in CEI Program (January)
In January, CEI was thrilled to add an entrepreneur-in-residence to its staff: Nate Curran. Previously of GoDaddy fame, Nate allowed CEI to do more for its client companies than ever before. No longer were we solely a business incubator for “early-stage” companies, but we could now support growth stage businesses as well. In addition, we constructed a revamped onboarding process that would yield a comprehensive strategic plan for new clients entering the program. This would form the center of their experience and strategy while in CEI.
PADT StartUpLabs Opens for Business (April)
CEI partnered with Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies (PADT) to launch StartUpLabs, an onsite center that offers affordable 3D printing and design services with PADT engineers. CEI clients earn discounted services through the lab, but it is publicly available to entrepreneurs in the community. The longstanding vision of PADT co-founder Mark Johnson - who sadly passed away in fall 2014 - and CEI Executive Director Jeff Saville came to life in April in front of nearly 200 community members and entrepreneurial leaders at a grand opening for the lab.
We could not have accomplished all that we did this year without the tremendous support of our clients, our partners, our mentors, and our friends. If you, at one time or another, stepped into CEI this past year, you became part of our family, and we appreciate your contribution to our program.
What else happened in 2015? Check out our "Year-in-Review" on Slideshare!