Where the startups are: A list of our favorite Phoenix hangouts
Right now, the Phoenix entrepreneurial ecosystem is coalescing with the momentum of a cheetah running in an open field, and every entrepreneur in the region should make it his/her mission to plug in to our growing community. With that in mind, we thought we would share some of the most populated startup hangouts where a lot of magic happens.
4455 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018
It’s pretty cool that this hip restaurant has turned into a de facto coworking space, with leaders in the ecosystem (such as Mario Martinez II, Noah Barrasso and the Arizona Commerce Authority innovation team) spending significant time in its open-seating annex. One can only surmise the amount of handshake deals that have happened at The Henry; plus they have their own coffee bar and full restaurant menu of New American cuisine.
Lux on Central
4402 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012
Ah yes, the oft-recognized coffee shop – a symbol of entrepreneurial activity second only to the stereotypical garage setting. Lux Central is where some of the big players connect and converse. We have personally seen former Infusionsoft-ers Michelle Howard and Kathy Sacks, among other leaders, who have made this cozy spot a home away from home. This is where one can enjoy a meaningful conversation with a startup ally or simply lock in on their latest project.
221 E Indianola Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85012
Very few places inspire creativity like CO+HOOTS, an internationally recognized coworking space in midtown Phoenix. Home to some of the best talent in our state – freelancers, entrepreneurs, small businesses – and frequented by everybody else in the ecosystem at various times, it really is a hot spot. You can pay for a drop-in pass or set up shop with a desk or office, or you can pop in for one of their free workshops and experience the amazing vibe for yourself.
260 S Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225
The OG…before CO+HOOTS and coworking was a local movement, before startups and #yesphx were popular buzzwords around town, there was Gangplank. Part coworking space, part developer/maker hub, part incubator startup program, Gangplank has produced some of the most creative individuals and startup spinouts in our region. The organization has expanded to several locations across greater Phoenix over the years and, with the addition of nearby resources like the TechShop maker space and Arizona State University (both next to its Chandler location), it is now gaining even more exposure to the Valley’s emerging creative scene.
515 E Grant St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Okay, this one may be stretching it a bit given that Galvanize has not even opened their Phoenix campus yet (due fall 2016); however, we just cannot deny the impact of having this organization in our community. Although not easily pigeonholed, Galvanize closely identifies with coworking given the creative community it has built in other cities like Denver, Austin and San Francisco, but it is so much more than that. It further bolsters this highly engaged community with its development and data science courses, cultivating the next generation of skilled developer talent. Add to that the presence of a killer Phoenix company (WebPT), which will share its headquarters within the Galvanize campus in the warehouse district, and you have a recipe for a MAJOR startup hub in Phoenix for years to come.
Invitiation-only online community
Again, not sure if this one counts because it is virtual but we would be remiss if we did not include the single largest access point to Phoenix entrepreneurs, startup supporters, corporate leaders and more. Ryver is the online portal for TeamAZ, a collection of committed ecosystem evangelists, which has developed into an open forum for sharing news and events from around the community. From articles detailing #yesphx wins to the requests for introductions for new hires or co-founders, this is THE place to learn about and engage in the Phoenix startup scene.
Did we miss a place? Tell us where you like to hang out by commenting below!