McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship to host Social Impact Summit on Oct. 16 during TENWEST festival

Oct. 5, 2017

The social innovation event features workshops, panels, roundtable discussions and an evening pitch competition with $30,000 in prizes from sponsors Microsoft, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, and more.


TUCSON, Ariz. – October 2, 2017 – Companies and nonprofits that are dedicated to corporate citizenship are more likely to retain customers and employees. That’s one reason the University of Arizona Eller College’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship is hosting its inaugural Social Impact Summit on Monday, October 16 as part of the week-long TENWEST arts, entrepreneurship and technology festival in downtown Tucson.

“This is a must-attend event for community leaders, entrepreneurs, business managers, nonprofit executives, students and others interested in social innovation. Join us for a dynamic day of shared ideas, inspiring discussions and thought leadership,” said Remy Arteaga, director of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.

Arteaga said globally, leaders are seeking innovative ways to drive social impact efforts.

“Not only are more consumers willing to pay extra to purchase products and services from brands that are committed to social impact, employees, including 80 percent of millennials, report finding their jobs to be more fulfilling when they have an opportunity to make a positive impact,” he said.

The McGuire Center’s Social Impact Summit will feature expert panelists from Arizona and from as far away as Uganda and Colombia. Registration and networking will begin at 8 a.m. at the university’s Student Union South Ballroom. Keynote speaker Tom Bracy of Conn-Selmer, a division of Steinway Musical Instruments, will speak at 9 a.m. about collaboration and collective social impact, citing examples from around the country where organizations are coming together to create market and product innovations for youth in arts and music education.

Heather Hiscox, co-founder and co-director of Nonprofit & Social Impact Programs at Moves the Needle, will follow Bracy with an innovation workshop, “Using Lean Innovation to Solve Local and Global Problems.”

The afternoon will be jam-packed with more than 20 timely, interactive roundtable discussions, with topics ranging from corporate social responsibility, cross-sector partnerships, entrepreneurship development among veterans, Native Americans, women, Latin Americans and youth to sustainability, innovation in healthcare, nonprofit board development, collaboration on research, innovation in STEM programs, building a vibrant arts community, innovation in education technology, rural entrepreneurship and other social impact topics.

The Social Impact Summit will culminate at 6:30 p.m. with an exciting Social Impact Pitch Competition featuring $30,000 in awards from Microsoft, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and The University of Arizona Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice. Six finalist teams will be judged on their startup’s scalability, sustainability and capacity to solve a need. Winners will take home $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 cash prizes to help launch their social impact program or service. 

Advance tickets for the TENWEST festival start at $35 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets purchased on October 16 will cost $50 for adults and $20 for students. Festival passes allow access to most events during the week-long event. Tickets can be purchased at