Tag Archives: Boston

89524671

Silicon Valley’s Wasabi Ventures heads to Scottsdale

Wasabi Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, announced today the formal launch of its operations in Arizona. After a nine-month due diligence process, Arizona was selected as the most promising location for a new office by the bi-coastal firm that has existing offices in Silicon Valley, Greater Boston, and Baltimore.

“We see great potential in the Arizona ecosystem,” said Wasabi Ventures General Partner Tom “TK” Kuegler. “The combination of strong universities, visionary government leadership, plus an active and increasingly cohesive ecosystem full of strong talent gives us great confidence that the Silicon Desert is a great place to be. We are committed to be an active contributor to building that ecosystem, and will do that in partnership with some of the leading actors in the space across the state. We plan to start 20 companies in Arizona in the next 24 months, and will run cohorts in Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tucson.” Kuegler participated in Startup Week Phoenix and sponsored Invest Southwest’s Venture Madness, while General Partner Chris Yeh covered Startup Weekend Tucson, as demonstration of the firm’s commitment to the ecosystem.

Wasabi’s principal office will be based in Scottsdale, at Deskhub, an innovative co-working space located at 4900 North Scottsdale Road, suite 400, and run by CEO Jay Chernikoff and Community Manager Gabe Gasca.  Chernikoff said, “Wasabi Ventures’ decision to open up shop in Phoenix is a reflection of the strong and growing tech scene in Phoenix and across Arizona.  We are pleased to host them and look forward to collaborating in offering regular programming to the community. We are delighted to begin this partnership and expand it to San Diego in coming months.”  Wasabi will host a launch party in the valley at Deskhub on Thursday, June 4th, from 5:30-8:30pm, where the firm will be announcing its plans to form a cohort in Phoenix, commencing in July.  Interested applicants are invited to apply now at www.academy.wasabiventures.com

Wasabi Ventures is providing venture acceleration support services to startups selected as part of the Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator program.

Wasabi’s operations in Tucson commenced in early May in partnership with Startup Tucson and Innovate UA.  Justin Williams, CEO of Startup Tucson and Executive Director of Innovate UA, said, “ Wasabi Ventures’ focus on the individual entrepreneur, combined with the extensive free educational offering made available through the Wasabi Ventures Academy, nicely complements our existing offerings and fits the Tucson ecosystem very well.  The fact that they like to play as a co-founder at the very early stage fills an important gap, and makes them an ideal partner to Tucson entrepreneurs.”  One team from this introductory cohort is guaranteed to receive the backing of Wasabi Ventures as a cofounder of its new startup.  Wasabi Ventures will also offer regular programming in Tucson, open to the public, from a base at Startup Tucson’s Co-lab incubator facility.  A launch party in Tucson will take place on Wednesday, June 3rd, at 6:00 pm, at Ermano’s Craft Beer & Wine Bar, in conjunction with Startup Tucson’s June Startup Drinks.

In Northern Arizona, the firm has partnered with the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, which runs programs in Flagstaff, Prescott and Maricopa. CEO Annette Zinky said, “NACET is thrilled to partner with Wasabi Ventures to form a Northern Arizona cohort to participate in their Startup Foundations program, starting in July. This will allow us to focus the direction and increase the momentum of the strong mix of ideas, passion and talent already present in the region. Wasabi Ventures’ decision to offer services here validates what we already knew: that Northern Arizona is a great place for startups.”  Wasabi Ventures will celebrate its launch in Northern Arizona concurrent with the launch of NACET’s new accelerator facility, where from which it will also offer regular programming, on or around July 21st, and the first cohort will run through Startup Weekend Flagstaff, concluding on October 9-11th, 2015.

Startup Foundations is a 13-week education program for entrepreneurs, and is the base course offering of the Wasabi Ventures Academy. Participants learn about the startup world directly from the firm’s general partners and along the way vie for the opportunity to form or join startups in the Wasabi Ventures portfolio.

“Our move into Arizona is just the first step in our strategy to bring Silicon Valley-style VC services to strong secondary markets, beginning in the Southwest,” said Chris Yeh, General Partner of Wasabi Ventures. “Phoenix is just a two-hour flight from Silicon Valley, so if we can bring the right combination of timely, strategic advice and investment to Arizona entrepreneurs, they shouldn’t have to move to Silicon Valley to build their companies. Entrepreneurs are just as smart and hardworking in Arizona as anywhere else, and this strong talent, combined with the lower cost of operations and reduced competition, presents an incredible opportunity for investors. Our strong focus on entrepreneur education and team building, and commitment to being a reliable cofounder, fills a gap in the ecosystem and will provide an important bridge for promising Arizona companies seeking to reach new heights.  We are excited to being operations and demonstrate the value of our model here.”

veterans

B of A launches ‘Express Your Thanks’ Campaign

Bank of America has launched a program to support the needs of military service members and veterans.  Called “Express Your Thanks,” the goal is to donate up to $1 million nationally to Welcome Back Veterans and the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).

Through the campaign, customers, bank employees and other individuals can make simple online expressions of gratitude, each generating a $1 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to the organizations.

The campaign runs through Veteran’s Day, November 11. People can participate by taking a photo, creating a video or writing a message of support and sharing it on www.bankofamerica.com/troopthanks or posting on Twitter with the hash tag #troopthanks.  Selected messages will be highlighted in Times Square beginning in July and expressions of thanks will be shared with military nonprofit organizations.

Funds donated by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will support economic empowerment programs provided by WWP and will help fund Welcome Back Veterans’ national network of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Centers of Excellence created by America’s leading university hospitals.

Ongoing Bank of America employee volunteer activities will continue during the campaign as an opportunity to extend the company’s support of military service members and their families. Last year, employee volunteers donated nearly 23,000 hours of volunteer time and expertise through activities ranging from packing care packages for military serving overseas to providing financial education to returning veterans.

Bank of America in Arizona supports veterans in and out of the company and recently collaborated with Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE) on a Vets Coaching Vets program through which the bank’s veteran’s affinity group mentors previously homeless or incarcerated veterans working with AWEE to put their lives back together.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

Welcome Back Veterans, an initiative of Major League Baseball Charities and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, provides grants to university hospitals throughout the country that provide post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment to veterans and their families in a public/private partnership.  Currently, Welcome Back Veterans is funding programs at Weill Cornell in New York City, The University of Michigan, Rush University Medical Center, Duke University, Emory University, UCLA and the Boston Red Sox’ Home Base Program at Mass General Hospital in Boston. These institutions are developing new programs and strategies to improve the quality, quantity and access to PTSD and TBI treatment for veterans, particularly those returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

veterans

B of A launches 'Express Your Thanks' Campaign

Bank of America has launched a program to support the needs of military service members and veterans.  Called “Express Your Thanks,” the goal is to donate up to $1 million nationally to Welcome Back Veterans and the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).

Through the campaign, customers, bank employees and other individuals can make simple online expressions of gratitude, each generating a $1 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to the organizations.

The campaign runs through Veteran’s Day, November 11. People can participate by taking a photo, creating a video or writing a message of support and sharing it on www.bankofamerica.com/troopthanks or posting on Twitter with the hash tag #troopthanks.  Selected messages will be highlighted in Times Square beginning in July and expressions of thanks will be shared with military nonprofit organizations.

Funds donated by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will support economic empowerment programs provided by WWP and will help fund Welcome Back Veterans’ national network of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Centers of Excellence created by America’s leading university hospitals.

Ongoing Bank of America employee volunteer activities will continue during the campaign as an opportunity to extend the company’s support of military service members and their families. Last year, employee volunteers donated nearly 23,000 hours of volunteer time and expertise through activities ranging from packing care packages for military serving overseas to providing financial education to returning veterans.

Bank of America in Arizona supports veterans in and out of the company and recently collaborated with Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE) on a Vets Coaching Vets program through which the bank’s veteran’s affinity group mentors previously homeless or incarcerated veterans working with AWEE to put their lives back together.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

Welcome Back Veterans, an initiative of Major League Baseball Charities and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, provides grants to university hospitals throughout the country that provide post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment to veterans and their families in a public/private partnership.  Currently, Welcome Back Veterans is funding programs at Weill Cornell in New York City, The University of Michigan, Rush University Medical Center, Duke University, Emory University, UCLA and the Boston Red Sox’ Home Base Program at Mass General Hospital in Boston. These institutions are developing new programs and strategies to improve the quality, quantity and access to PTSD and TBI treatment for veterans, particularly those returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Clifton

Jackson Lewis names new managing partner

Jackson Lewis LLP, one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing workplace law firms, is pleased to announce Gregg E. Clifton has assumed the role of Phoenix office Managing Partner, succeeding Amy J. Gittler.  Ms. Gittler, who has served as Managing Partner since she opened the Phoenix office for the firm in December 2007, will continue her legal practice as a Partner, representing employers in all facets of employment matters.

“During Amy’s tenure as Managing Partner, she did an outstanding job of establishing Jackson Lewis as a ‘go to’ firm in Phoenix,” said Firm Chairman Vincent A. Cino.  “We are confident in Gregg’s ability to step right into his leadership role and continue to strengthen our presence and reputation in the region.  Over the years, he has earned the respect of colleagues and clients alike with his invaluable knowledge of workplace law and the sports industry specifically, and we look forward to seeing how the Phoenix office will continue to flourish under his management.”

“I am excited to assume the role of Managing Partner and work with this team of talented attorneys,” said Clifton.  “I am fortunate to be able to build upon the solid foundation that exists here, and I look forward to our continued success in Phoenix.”
Mr. Clifton, who began his career as an Associate at Jackson Lewis, has advised numerous professional franchises on general labor and employment issues, including Title III ADA regulatory compliance and wage and hour issues.  He serves as lead counsel for several Major League Baseball teams in their salary arbitration matters and has represented NCAA and NAIA collegiate clients regarding rules compliance, investigatory matters and in disciplinary hearings.  In addition, Clifton has worked extensively in the area of agent regulation and enforcement in professional and college sports and regularly provides counsel on matters relating to NCAA and NAIA amateurism issues and athlete eligibility questions.

Clifton also continues to counsel clients in the areas of collective bargaining negotiations, representation cases, arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board matters.  Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, he spent six years as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Team Sports for Gaylord Sports Management.  He also served as President of the Athlete and Entertainment Division for famed sports attorney Bob Woolf’s firm, Woolf Associates, in Boston.

Clifton frequently serves as a guest speaker to law schools, including Harvard University, Boston College, Hofstra University and Arizona State University, and bar associations regarding sports law issues.  He is often cited as an expert source in national news media for his commentary and opinion on legal issues in sports.  Clifton is a graduate of the Hofstra University School of Law and graduated cum laude from Harvard University where he played on the basketball team and was a recipient of the John Harvard Scholarship for Academic Excellence.  He is a member of the Arizona State Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Jackson Lewis’ Phoenix office can be reached by calling (602) 714-7044.

Mayor Rogers-web

Avondale mayor named NLC president

The mayor of Avondale has been named as the leader of the National League of Cities.

The NLC made the announcement Saturday that Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers would be the organization’s president for 2013.

Rogers says she is deeply honored to be elected to the one-year position.

The vote on a new president came at the end of the NLC’s annual Congress of Cities and Exposition in Boston.

The Arizona native grew up picking cotton alongside her parents, who were migrant farm workers. She was a social worker and city councilwoman before being elected mayor in 2006.

Officers in the NLC are charged with directing the organization’s advocacy and membership activities for the coming year.