Four Bold, Informative and Inspiring Talks Every Phoenix Entrepreneur Should See

For most entrepreneurs, there is nothing better than having the opportunity to learn directly from those who have chased a similar path. They are among the few who have the insight, experience and empathy for those innovators launching startup companies. Here are three of our favorites, all from Phoenix entrepreneurs who have been there, done that, and have some nuggets of wisdom to share.

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Success Not a Sure Thing for Startups in Business Incubators or Accelerators

I am aware that this may be seem like an unusual topic for somebody who works for a business incubator, but it actually fits very much in line with our philosophy at CEI of trying to elevate our industry in any way that we can. The fact is incubators and accelerators must evolve as fast as the entrepreneurs they serve in order to maintain relevance, and it is something that many fail to do. And I won’t be repeating the 87% stat - the number of companies still in operation after 5 years removed from an incubation program - from a study that was conducted nearly two decades ago but continues to be cited as a leading indicator of success. Indeed, the real value of these startup support organizations has yet to be definitively proven.

You may now be asking: What does the research suggest? Let me answer that with specifics.

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5 Events you MUST ATTEND after PHX Startup Week is Over

PHX Startup Week brings with it the brightest of spotlights on our ecosystem but - when it is all over and the entrepreneur basecamp has been vacated - it can leave a void that is difficult to fill if you are not well-versed in our little community. You might be surprised to know that there are hundreds of networking events, workshops, and conferences throughout the year that can satisfy your entrepreneurial cravings. Here a few of my favorites, in no particular order.

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Confessions of an Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC) Winner

One of the premier showcases for regional startups is the Arizona Commerce Authority’s bi-annual business plan competition, the Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC). The AIC is self described as a “$3 million reality check” for technology-based companies to advance the development and commercialization of their innovations, with each winner earning up to $250,000 in non-dilutive, milestone-based funding. What does it take to win one of these prized grants?

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What Research Tells Us About Building a Successful SaaS Startup

Technology is truly an amazing thing. We can order our coffee via our smartphones and have it waiting for us at the store, bypassing the drive-thru lines; we can reach anyone anywhere through live streaming applications, connecting us to family members, friends, even business acquaintances all over the world; we can manage every aspect of our financial lives online by simply opening up a browser and with a few clicks of a mouse.

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4 Signs that Your Startup Could Benefit from a Business Incubator

Most entrepreneurs understand the value of joining a business incubator or accelerator. The benefits of mentorship, technological infrastructure and facilities, and investment assistance are wonderful resources for startup companies. However, many founders may not always recognize the signs that their business is ready to align with an incubator. Here are a few signals to look for that indicate the timing may be right.

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A Note to My Startup Friends: Why I Believe in Miracles

For the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to visit New York City in December and experience the iconic landmarks and locales of one of our nation’s most wonderful cities. I even traversed the magical “34th Street” with its fictional history as memorable as any other holiday tale. Indeed, there is something truly surreal about New York in the winter. And it is inspires this message to all my entrepreneur friends out there: celebrate the amazing things that you make possible.

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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.

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Challenges Facing Cleantech Startups (And Resources to Overcome Them)

A dynamic subset of entrepreneurship focuses on the “cleantech” industry, which is a broad term encompassing energy, water, manufacturing and other alternative solutions designed to improve efficiencies, consumption, and more. Regardless of the variety of innovations being created in this sector, cleantech entrepreneurs face unique challenges beyond the traditional startup development lifecycle.

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Legendary Entrepreneur Pat Sullivan (Ryver) Shares Lessons, Wisdom & Startup F*&%ups

CEI client companies had the privilege this week to hear from #yesphx legend, successful entrepreneur and investor Pat Sullivan. During the hour long conversation - part of our business incubator’s monthly client-only meeting - Pat shared some of his biggest lessons (usually learned the "hard" way) to help the next generation of Phoenix entrepreneurs. Here is what he taught us.

 
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Here's How to Better Engage with YOUR Business Incubator or Accelerator Right Now

So your startup has decided joined a business incubator or accelerator. You were sold on the benefits and resources it could provide, and you are excited about taking your company or idea to the next level. Now what? How do you maximize your time in the program to ensure a positive experience? Believe it or not, a lot of entrepreneurs do not know how to best engage with their incubator or accelerator; with that in mind, we present our list of ways to operate inside these valuable entrepreneurial support organizations.

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6 Things you Need to Build a Successful Biotech or Medical Device Startup

Not surprisingly, traditional software-as-a-service (SaaS) or app development companies are dramatically different when compared to a biotech or medical device startup. From goals to challenges to funding, the development and commercialization of bio and medical technologies requires a unique support structure in order to be successful, and these are the six ingredients that repeat across top-notch bio companies.

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What Arizona Entrepreneurs Say about their Business Incubators (Slideshare)

Business incubators have been supporting startup companies for more than half a century, providing mentorship, advisement, and other resources to help them survive and grow. The benefits of joining an incubator have been documented at length, but the best testament to their value often comes from the entrepreneurs themselves. Read what Arizona entrepreneurs have to say about their experiences with incubation programs across the state, from northern Arizona (AZ TechCelerator) to Phoenix (Seed Spot, CEI, Arizona State University Entrepreneurship & Innovation) to Tucson (Tech Launch Arizona / University of Arizona).

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8 Questions to Ask BEFORE Selecting a Business Incubator

Startups should select a business incubator or accelerator with the same diligence that they would choose a co-founder, especially given the fact that they will have to live with them (literally!) for a significant period of time. But with the prevalence of numerous programs - the International Business Innovation Association (INBIA) estimates more than 7,000 worldwide - it can be a tall order differentiating between them. Here are the questions you should ask before making your decision:

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7 Ways to Maximize your Startup Mentor Relationship

Startup success statistics are pretty straightforward on the benefit of business mentorship: small businesses and startups have a greater chance to survive and thrive when they are guided by successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. We all know that building a strong team is crucial to a company’s growth, and these individuals are part of your extended network of support who guide you on important business decisions and help build your resolve with their  motivational inspiration. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your interactions and your mentor's impact.

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Why Synapse Achieved What a Startup Weekend Could Not for Medtech Entrepreneurs

The closing social for MediCoventures’ Synapse Workshop was a resounding testimonial to the progress made by five medical entrepreneurs over the course of just 3 days. The participants raved about the tremendous support they received during the workshop in helping advance their startup aspirations. On paper, Synapse sounded much like a Startup Weekend - helping people derive a business model and product or prototype and ultimately launch a company. But here are the reasons why it accomplished much more than a typical Startup Weekend ever could.

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