Arizona Center for Innovation (AzCI)
The Arizona Center for Innovation fosters technology start-ups, emerging and mature companies develop their ideas, inventions and next evolution of product. We serve the University of Arizona's faculty and researchers as well as community entrepreneurs. At the Arizona Center for Innovation, you’ll find the facilities, services and expertise it takes to grow your business. You’ll work side by side with other technology entrepreneurs in a fast-moving, collaborative and creative environment. And you’ll have the advantage of hands-on support from people who have a track record of success.
Founding director of Arizona Forge at Roy Place and Biosphere 2 Enterprise Hub, a full-service incubator formally opening 2019 that will help sustainability (energy, food, water, mining), digital health and artificial intelligence startups get from plan to profit.
Connect Coworking is a community driven shared and private office space located in the heart of downtown Tucson off of Congress Street. With more than 90 different enterprises that office out of Connect, including Fortune 500 companies, remote workers, nonprofits, universities and local-based startups- diversity is flourishing. From fast WiFi, secure 24/7 access and event and meeting space, Connect Coworking is the perfect office solution in thriving downtown Tucson.
The University of Arizona Libraries offers a makerspace for UA students. The iSpace is a multidisciplinary learning community and collaborative makerspace where you can participate in academic inquiry, creative endeavors and lifelong learning. They encourage students to re-envision their research through the use of cutting-edge technologies and by collaborating with interdisciplinary experts.
Xerocraft is a collection of scientists, engineers, tradesmen, artists or any other hobby enthusiast that share one thing in common: curiosity. Xerocraft is a hackerspace where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialize and/or collaborate.
Legal and Commercialization
Building on Arizona Law's strengths in intellectual property law, the Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic (IP Clinic) is a legal clinic that counsels startup and ongoing businesses on securing, maintaining, protecting and enforcing their intellectual property (IP) rights, including rights in patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights. For more information, visit the IP Clinic website.
The University of Arizona is a place of learning, invention and discovery. At Tech Launch Arizona, they help bring those discoveries to the world through commercial pathways. Their primary focus is on ensuring that technologies and innovations originating with UA researchers find meaningful application. For more information, visit the Tech Launch website.
The AZSBDC Network provides one-on-one confidential evaluation and guidance by business advisors with business ownership and management experience to help you fast-track your plans and position your business for success. We also offer affordable workshops and seminars to help you gain the knowledge and skills that you need to succeed.
BioSA Innovation was incorporated in May 2015 in Arizona as a nonprofit affiliate of the Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona (BioSA) and was granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status by the IRS in 2017. BI was created as a community effort to foster the success of new bioscience products resulting from biomedical research performed in Southern Arizona. A primary focus is the development and operation of a business incubator in Oro Valley, Arizona planned for occupancy in Q3 of 2018.
A small group of Tucson-based private investors formed the Desert Angels™ in 2000. Since that time, the Desert Angels has grown to become one of the country’s leading angel investor groups. Today, the organization has more than 80 members, many of whom have invested in a significant portfolio of companies. The primary focus of the Desert Angels is to fund entrepreneurial ventures. To that end, the organization reviews more than 300 applications per year as possible investments. Those companies that excel during the Desert Angels’ rigorous screening process are invited to present to the organization’s general membership at one of its monthly dinner meetings. The Desert Angels hold monthly dinner meetings from September through June. In addition to listening to one or two companies, members often hear from nationally recognized speakers including successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and thought leaders in the angel investment community. As the Desert Angels has grown, its members have become increasingly involved in educational activities in the Tucson community. These activities have included sponsoring the local presentation of the Kauffman Foundation’s “Power of Angel Investing” seminar and assisting the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management and its McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.
Since 1992, Invest Southwest has helped startups raise more than $300 million in capital while being the premier organization that connects investors with the best and brightest ventures in the region. For more than 20 years, it has served the entrepreneurial community primarily through the annual Invest Southwest Capital Conference. That all changed in 2013 when Invest Southwest introduced its signature event, Venture Madness, in partnership with Arizona Commerce Authority. This inaugural event has led to the year-round calendar of events to help strengthen the growing ecosystem. Invest Southwest’s commitment to the region and the startup community is manifest through year-round marketing initiatives that provide valuable insights and education on topics important to the startup ecosystem, as well as opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs to connect during educational seminars and networking events.
UAVenture Capital Fund (UAVC) is a Tucson-based investment fund designed specifically to help finance University of Arizona connected enterprises including the commercialization of faculty led innovation originating at the University of Arizona. The fund provides early stage capital to companies where the science or service array was pioneered by faculty members, students and/or colleagues at the University of Arizona, one of the top research universities in the world. While the University of Arizona was founded in 1885, the commercialization effort was only launched in 2012. The University of Arizona is classified as a Carnegie Foundation RU/VH research institution, the top tier of research designations. In 2016 the University maintained research grants equal to $606,000,000, including the most NASA grants of any university. Since 2012 Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) has launched 45 start-up companies and filed 909 patents. In September 2017, the TLA launched medication management company SinfoníaRx sold to a public company. The founders launched UAVENTURE CAPITAL FUND ONE days after the SinfoniaRx sale closed. The University pipeline has many companies with similar potential, searching for startup and operating capital. The Fund will also invest in University of Arizona connected ventures run by students, alumni, researchers or contractors. Fund investment will also be available to UA leadership to assist in the recruitment of faculty or research talent that has an existing company launch in need of capital.
Our firm is rooted in the Southwest and our experience has shown that there are investment gems likewise hidden in the desert Southwest. There is a dearth of venture capitalists in the region despite strong universities, unique research centers and significant infrastructure. We believe that our management skills, existing deal pipelines and relationships with industry leading advisors and co-investors will enable us to choose companies wisely and in so doing create value for investors.
Startup Tucson is a nonprofit organization working to grow a strong, vibrant startup ecosystem of companies, entrepreneurs and talent in Tucson. We help foster connections between mentors and entrepreneurs to cultivate Tucson’s rich business community. Startup Tucson is building impact in our region through our Idea-to-Impact Pipeline by supporting the growth of entrepreneurs and innovators, creating new programs to fill gaps in resources, and creating regional alignment. The Pipeline integrates our programs with those of strategic partners to help entrepreneurs seamlessly move from idea through innovation, incubation, investment and impact.