Written By Amanda Mollindo


On April 16, 2019, the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI) was recognized as the Technology & Science Incubator of the Year by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) during the 33rd annual International Conference on Business Incubation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tom Schumann, CEI Executive Director, accepting the award in Minneapolis, MN at ICBI33 on April 16, 2019.

Tom Schumann, CEI Executive Director, accepting the award in Minneapolis, MN at ICBI33 on April 16, 2019.

The award commemorates the impact CEI has achieved by serving Arizona entrepreneurs who are commercializing bioscience technologies from the state’s higher education research efforts. CEI clients and alumni are directly responsible for creating 567 new STEM jobs, generating $154 million in sales revenue and raising over $83 million in private equity capital, grant funding and awards.  

This recognition comes at a cumulative moment for the GateWay Community College incubator. Following six effective years of operation, CEI will soon expand to Downtown Phoenix with a new facility located in the forthcoming Wexford Science and Technology Building on the Phoenix Biomedical campus. CEI LabForce is set to launch in 2020 and will be Arizona’s first workforce development center for the life science and biotechnology industries. The Center is also developing a new startup validation program that will offer market research training and services to early-stage startups, inventors and entrepreneurs.

Honoring the Community that Made it Possible

CEI’s recent momentum was made possible through strong support from the Maricopa County Community College District, the City of Phoenix, and other key partnerships throughout the Valley.  “To a large degree, we owe our success to the Phoenix community. Likewise, all of our accomplishments would not be possible without the hard work and sacrifices made by the entrepreneurs who have joined CEI to launch their companies,” said Tom Schumann, CEI Executive Director.

On May 16, 2019, CEI clients, alumni and supporters gathered together to celebrate this exciting win. The incubator was filled with old and new faces who have all devoted their time and energy to supporting entrepreneurship in the Greater Phoenix area. Guest speakers included Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, GateWay Community College President Steven Gonzales, and Russ Yelton.

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About the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation

Located in Central Phoenix, the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI) at GateWay Community College is a full-service business incubator that houses a vibrant community of bioscience, medical device, and high tech entrepreneurs who are working on lifesaving technologies.

About the International Business Innovation Association

InBIA is a global nonprofit with over 1,300 members that lead entrepreneurship centers in 62 countries. For over 30 years, InBIA has provided industry best practices through education while enabling collaboration, mentorship, peer-based learning and the sharing of innovative ideas for entrepreneurs across the globe. InBIA is the premier organization for business incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, and other entrepreneurship centers.

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