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Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Innovators get boost from Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) has selected 18 recipients for AZ Fast Grant, a highly competitive grant program that provides qualified Arizona-based, early stage technology companies with intensive training and technical assistance to help them commercialize their innovations, grow their businesses and create quality jobs.

“Early stage companies play a key role in developing innovations that fuel our state’s economy,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “The AZ Fast Grant program helps companies with critical training, technical expertise and the ‘know how’ to secure additional funding and commercialization opportunities to propel their businesses.”

Companies may use AZ Fast Grant awards for professional consulting services (that may include an expert review of technology under development); a commercialization feasibility study; or other commercialization assistance such as training to compete more effectively for federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding programs.

More than 50 Arizona small businesses applied for this round of the AZ Fast Grant program and awardees represent a variety of target industries.

AZ Fast Grant Recipients include (Total: $141,000, plus an additional $134,000 in leveraged funds):

* Arbsource, Tempe – Bio & Life Sciences
* Arizona Medical Systems, Peoria – Bio & Life Science
* Elliptical Mobile, Chandler – Advanced Manufacturing
* Engineering Science Analysis Corp., Tempe – Aerospace/Defense
* Grannus, Tucson – Cleantech/Renewable Energy
* Hildeez Enterprises, Peoria – Bio & Life Science
* MediCoventures, Peoria – Bio & Life Science
* Movement Interactive, Laveen – Bio & Life Science
* Kulira, Peoria – Bio & Life Science
* Prime Solutions Group, Goodyear – Aerospace/Defense
* QuantTera, Scottsdale – Advanced Materials
* Saccadous, Scottsdale – Bio & Life Science
* Score Algae, Scottsdale – Cleantech/Renewable Energy
* SiO2 Nanotech, Phoenix – Advanced Materials
* StatTransfers, Flagstaff – IT-Software
* Verve, Peoria – Bio & Life Sciences
* Vicinity Health, Chandler – Bio & Life Sciences
* YourLabs, Tucson – IT-Software

“I can honestly say the AZ Fast Grant really helped us get over the hump,” said Joe Marvin, Founder and President of Prime Solutions Group, a systems engineering and IT services company providing consulting expertise to government and defense contractors. Prime Solutions Group received AZ Fast Grant awards this year and in 2013.

With the help of AZ Fast Grant program support and technical expertise, the company recently secured $1 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Defense for its SBIR/STTR program submission this past fall. “We used our last AZ Fast Grant for commercialization strategy development, and that went directly into our federal proposal,” said Marvin.

bioscience

Arizona bioscience industry producing ‘aha’ moments

AZBio Expo 2014 had “aha moments” at every turn. With over 250 entrepreneurs, innovators, business leaders, legislators, scientists and researchers in attendance, the energy was sizzling and the outlook endless. Here are just a few of the event highlights, appropriately, A to Z:

A – Access to Capital is the key. No money. No honey. Capital fuels innovation and commercialization. In the first panel discussion of the day – Funding Paths for Innovators – AZBio chief Joan Koerber-Walker engaged Mary Ann Guerra (BioAccel), Paul Jackson (Integrus Capital/Worthworm) and Kelly Slone (National Venture Capital Association) in a no-holds barred discussion. “The entire ecosystem has changed,” according to Slone. “After the tech bubble burst, available venture dollars have been virtually cut in half.” Guerra explains that only one in 100 will get angel funding – and then only one in 100 will get venture funding. We need to think of new ways to help our startup entrepreneurs get funding.” Jackson urges innovators to think like investors and offers one solution with his online valuation process, Worthworm.

B – Bridging the Gap with the 21st Century Cures Initiative. “No industry has to face the challenges we face to bring a product to market,” says Koerber-Walker. “We have new hope in the 21st Century Cures Initiative. Google it. Watch the videos, See what they are doing. There is exciting stuff happening and some of it is happening in Arizona.”

C — Cure Corridor. Scottsdale’s Mayor Jim Lane shares his pride and plans for the largest concentration of bioscience businesses in the U.S., the Cure Corridor, bounded on one side by the Scottsdale Airpark on the West, and the Fountain Hills Mayo facility on the East, “a major driver of our economy, with $2½ billion in direct economic impact and $3.5 billion in indirect impact.” According to Lane, “Health and wellness are a part of Scottsdale’s identity. We should never stop asking how we can find new answers alleviate pain, restore health and improve the quality of life.”

D – Discovery. Development. Delivery. Valley Fever Solutions CEO David Larwood shared his company’s formula for achieving success in development and funding – The Five R’s:

Right drug.
Right patient.
Right safety.
Right time. (How long before we can sell it?)
Right reimbursent.

E – Epigenetics and Personalized Medicine. Start-up company INanoBio founder and CEO Bharath Takupalli, explained that the genome sequencing market is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2020. With a unique capability to combine nanotechnology and biomedicine, his company is in the lead for building new solutions now. “We aim to develop a $100 ultrafast nanopore-based desktop sequencer – a point-of-care diagnostic” that will help change the face of healthcare, he explains.

F – Funding needs to be the focus for the future. According to a Flinn Foundation/Batelle report, “Arizona has many bioscience strengths and opportunities, but a substantial increase in private and public investment will be needed over the next decade to realize the [Flinn Foundation’s] Roadmap’s goals.” Last year, Arizona bioscience sector attracted $37 million in venture capital investment, up from $23 million from 2012, but that is only a fraction of the $9.8 billion invested nationally.

The goal is to increase the annual investment up to $40 million for seed capital in emerging companies and up to $125 million in venture capital.

G – Genomic advances hold high hopes for positively disruption. Explaining that healthcare premiums are growing at three times the rate of inflation and wages, Frederic Zenhausern, Ph.D., MBA, president of Whitespace Enterprise, says “The new era of precision healthcare (also called personalized healthcare) will provide more accessibility, transparency and health information to improve – dramatically – quality and lower cost over time.” His start-up company, based in Fountain Hills, develops methods for automating and miniaturizing the workflow processing of biological specimens.

H – Henry Ford.“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done,” said Henry Ford. So does Robert Penny, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of the International Genomics Consortium and founder and CEO of Paradigm. “Phoenix has become the Grand Central Station for all the aggregating and analyzing cancer tissues. We have 10,000 tumors – and the information is publicly available. This will accelerate cancer discovery at a rate faster than ever,” he says. “This is a tidal wave that Arizona has led. Everyone in this room should be grabbing a surfboard and figuring out how to ride it.”

I – IPO: The nation’s top IPO of 2013 is right here in Chandler. With 380 percent growth in shareholder value, Insys Therapeutics, a commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical company, ended the year with a market cap of $800 million. Darryl Baker, the chief financial officer, explained how the company, founded in 2002 by Dr. John Kapoor, was determined to discover better ways to deliver existing medications to patients. A sublingual fentanyl spray technology delivers treatments to opioid-tolerant cancer patients and holds real possibilities for better helping patients with acute pain, major burns and pediatric issues. In the R&D pipeline now is the development of a pharmaceutical cannabinoid, aimed at easing epilepsy, peripheral neuropathy and cocaine addiction.

J – Jobs: 107,000 bioscience jobs – good-paying and growing. Arizona has nearly 107,000 bioscience jobs, based on 2012 industry data, and the sector contributes an estimated $36 billion in revenue to the state’s economy, according to a study by the Ohio-based Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. Hospitals account for 83,000 of those jobs and $22 billion of the revenue. Arizona’s average annual wage in the bioscience sector is $62,775, 39 percent higher than the private-sector average, the report said. Not counting hospital jobs, the average wage for bioscience jobs jumps to $85,571. (2013 data).

K – Kalos Therapeutics is building a promising platform for future drug discovery. Start-up innovator Michael Kozlowski, OD, Ph.D., chief science officer of Kalos Therapeutics, explains that their focus on transforming the atrial natriuretic family of peptides engages a natural biochemical mechanism. This approach holds promise for people with pancreatic cancer because it results in a more complete response, reduced side effects and improved safety and a longer period of effectiveness.

L – Let’s leverage every resource, strength, collaboration and person we’ve got! Arizona’s bioscience industry is aiming to increase research revenue for institutions statewide by 69 percent over the next decade to $782 million and attract additional anchors for the sector.

M – Medtronic models aggressive, needs-focused growth. Keynote speaker Ron Wilson, vice president and general manager of the Medtronic Tempe campus made it clear that passion for people runs through his veins. Locating a small manufacturing facility here in 1973, the company’s facility today covers 30 acres, has 900 employees and generates $17 billion in revenues. How do they do it? We follow our founder’s vision still: We understand what the unmet needs are and we apply our knowledge for the good of people all over the world.”

N – Next Level. “Arizona has made unprecedented progress over the last decade in developing the talent, building research infrastructure, and growing its base. Taking it to the Next Level will require new collaborative partnerships, forward looking leaders, and aggressive investments from both the public and private private sectors to take our place in the top tiers globally,” shared Koerber-Walker. ”Now is our time. Let’s get it done!”

O – Orphans no more. Valley fever, considered an orphan disease, hits about 150,000 people a year – 60 percent live in central Arizona. Current treatments have major shortcomings, with about 60 percent of those treated being unresponsive. The result is 2,000 serious cases and 150 deaths a year. It affects pets in nearly equal proportion. David Larwood, CEO of Valley Fever Solutions, has some answers. His company is developing Nikkomycin Z (NikZ) as a dramatically superior potential cure for Valley Fever. To help raise awareness and prevention, the Arizona Board of Regents created Valley Fever Corridor project, a public health program led by University of Arizona College of Medicine’s John Galgiani, MD, who is also the chief medical officer for Valley Solutions.

P – Policymakers are on board. Gov. Jan Brewer’s time is coming to a close and it’s time to decide which candidate can bring their best to bioscience. Recognizing that the Arizona bioscience sector is growing at four times the rate of the national average, candidates Christine Jones, Doug Ducey, Fred Duval, Ken Bennett and Scott Smith shared their ideas on how to ramp up funding and revenues in 90-second videos. Koerber-Walker says, “The most important thing we can do this summer is vote in the primaries.”

Q – Cues: Here are a few Q’s for success. Some lessons learned, courtesy of Robert Penny:

Make sure you have:

Complementary skills and expertise
Trust
Interpersonal chemistry (It’s better to navigate bumps in the road with people you trust than people you don’t!)

Pick the right projects:

Big enough to be worthy of your efforts
Complex enough to need partnerships
Audacious enough to move the field

R – Remembering Polio: Can Looking Back Catapult Us Forward? How did we cure the world of polio? What did it take to conquer the most feared disease of the 20th Century? What threatens our world today and how can we continue to keep people healthy with the right vaccines, for the right person at the right time? Gaspar Laca, state government affairs director at GlaxoSmithKime, engaged David Larwood, CEO and president of Valley Fever Solutions (and a person who has been directly affected by polio) and Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, executive director of The Arizona Partnership for Immunization, in a rousing discussion of what’s happening in Arizona today, the mounting threats of the ”vaccine exemptors,” and what we need to do now. (See Vaccines.)

S – Shoes. Did you see those shoes? “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world!” Enough said.

T – Tucson’s Critical Path Institute creates new tools. A jewel in the bioscience crown – and located right here in Arizona! The Critical Path Institute (C-Path) is a breakthrough organization, creating a new movement: “consensus science.” Keynoter Martha Brumfield. Ph.D, president and CEO, shared what can be achieved when people come together with the belief that a “rising tide floats all boats.” Working to improve the unacceptable 95 percent failure rate in the testing of new drug therapies, C-Path is improving medical product development efficiencies by identifying pathways that integrate new scientific advances into the regulatory review process. Check out their Alzheimer’s clinical trial simulation tool.

U – United we stand. Mayors Jim Lane (City of Scottsdale) and John Lewis (Town of Gilbert) will join Koerber-Walker and an Arizona bioscience-business contingent next week at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego (June 23-26), the world’s largest biotechnology gathering. They will surely scoop up new ideas, new connections – and with any luck, new investment!

V – Vaccines: Get ‘em! Talk about ‘em. Challenge the myths. Explain the realities. Polio. Measles. And whooping cough today. Without proper vaccinations, whooping cough (pertussis) could be the polio of our time. “As science-minded people, the best thing you can do is activate conversations about the importance of vaccinations. Here’s some help: Why immunize?

W – White Hat event brings in national investors. (Apply by July 15th.) “AZBio’s White Hat Investor’s Conference is the first ever life science specific investor conference to be held in Arizona,” says Koerber-Walker. “Kelly Slone [of the National Venture Capital Association] has been an amazing partner to bring this together along with the state bioscience association leaders from across the Rocky Mountain Southwest Region. Investors and investment firms from across the country will be here, so get involved. Even if you feel like you are not ready yet, take the leap and apply to present. “

X – “X” marks the spot for our next big gathering. Wear your White Hat! The West was won by innovators, investors, and prospectors who understood the value of discovery and accepted the challenge of investing in new frontiers. Meet a new generation of biotech and healthcare pioneers at White Hat Investors 2014, the first annual biotech and healthcare investor conference that showcases the best of the Rocky Mountain & Southwest Region.

Bioindustry Associations from across the Rocky Mountain and Southwest Region are coming together to present an opportunity for Angels, Venture Capitalists and Strategic Investors to connect with the best biotech and healthcare investment opportunities from across the Rocky Mountain & Southwest states at White Hat Investors 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona on September 17 & 18, 2014.

Presenting Companies will be selected from the region’s emerging innovator leaders in the fields of:

Diagnostics
Therapeutics
Medical Devices
Health IT

Y – Young Talent is being cultivated. We got it! With nearly 50 abstracts accepted and student presenters presenting at the Expo, Koerber-Walker got it right when she said, “These young people are going to be working on things that we can’t even begin to imagine!” Arizona’s tremendous mentoring people and organizations are sharing knowledge, support and inspiration. For example University of Arizona student Keeley Brown is destined to help the world crack the code on genetically modified foods and farming. (Her presentation was the “Epigenetic Effects of Transgenic Manipulation in Glycine Max (Soybeans).

Zzzzzzzzz – No one fell asleep at this conference! Catherine Leyen, founder and CEO of start-up RadiUp, says she comes to AZBio to stay abreast of the action, connect with like-minded people and soak up inspiration. Her verdict of AZBIO Expo 2014? Mission accomplished!

kids.money

Arizona Central Credit Union Launches Kids’ Website

ACCU smallArizona Central Credit Union is launching a new initiative to encourage financial literacy among children. Designed for children between the ages of 8 and 12, this program is intended to encourage sound financial habits and further an awareness of positive saving and spending practices.

Molly and Moe are the official mascots of the Monkey Money program, which incorporates an interactive website, children’s savings account and club member benefits. Games, stories, contests, jokes, definitions of financial terms, and information about the special Monkey Money savings program, can all be found on the website. Each month a new article and correlating activity will address a different financial theme. A coloring contest, which began at the launch of the website on June 21, 2014, will be held until July 31, 2014. Children don’t have to be Monkey Money members to enter, but can win cash prizes, and fun monkey items. Coloring sheets and the official rules for the contest can be found on the website.

“Arizona Central Credit Union is passionate about helping the children in our communities reach a higher level of financial literacy. By investing in creative and fun educational methods, we hope to encourage positive lifestyle patterns that will then translate into adulthood,” said Todd Pearson, President and CEO of Arizona Central Credit Union­.

Following the launch of the website on June 21st, Arizona Central Credit Union branches will be hosting a week-long youth event. Free gift basket raffle tickets and refreshments will be available at all branches. Arizona Central Credit Union will contribute a $10 deposit into Monkey Money accounts opened during this celebration week.

Founded in 1939, Arizona Central Credit Union has been serving members for over 75 years at 10 full-service branches, with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale, Chandler, Tempe, Flagstaff and Show Low. Visit www.azcentralcu.org or their Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/azcentralcu for more information.

My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store is coming

My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store grand opening celebration is planned for July.

My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store grand opening celebration is planned for July.

First there was My Sister’s Closet (1991), then My Sister’s Attic (1997) and Well Suited (2001), and now the Valley’s most charitable sisters are at it again — opening My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store in July of 2014.

At approximately 3,200-square-feet, the first location of My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store will be located in Chandler at Fulton Promenade near Alma School and Chandler Heights.

“My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store will offer the best selection and prices of any thrift store in the Valley and the best part is shoppers won’t have to pay sales tax when making a purchase at the thrift store,” said CEO and Founder, Ann Siner.

This past year Siner and her sister, Co-Founder Jenny Siner along with Head Stylist and sister Tess Loo, donated 32-percent of the net profits from the My Sister’s Closet stores to charity.

sisters in the field wiht a bike“There are so many worthy organizations out there to support and we believe focusing on a few areas at once makes the most meaningful impact,” said Ann Siner. “This is why we are very proud and excited to share with you the formation of My Sisters’ Charities foundation, a 501©3 organization. My Sister’s Closet, My Sister’s Attic and Well Suited contribute revenue, manpower and unsold merchandise to the foundation, which in turn help to protect wildlife in peril, heal women leaving abusive relationships and end the euthanasia of unwanted dogs and cats.”

My Sisters’ Charities also held its first fundraiser in April of 2014, at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, to benefit SWCC and Defenders of Wildlife.

A grand opening celebration is planned for July. My Sisters’ Charities Thrift Store is located at 4985 South Alma School Rd. in Chandler, AZ 85248 or you can reach the store by calling (480) 775.5282. To get more information go to mysisterscharities.com.

From left: Stephen R. Lewis, Lieutenant Governor of Gila River Indian Community, David Rousseau, Chairman, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Michael Bidwill, President of the Arizona Cardinals, Gregory Mendoza, Gila River Indian Community Governor, Jay Parry, President & CEO, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and Christopher Mendoza, District 4 Councilman. Also attached is a photo of Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee mascot, SPIKE.

Super Bowl Committee teams up with Gila River Community

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee announced its partnership with the Gila River Indian Community today during a press conference at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa in Chandler, Arizona. In attendance for today’s announcement were Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman David Rousseau, Gila River Indian Community Governor Gregory Mendoza, Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, and Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee mascot, SPIKE.

“We are proud to be partnering with The Gila River Indian Community and to work together to fuel the economic engine of Arizona,” said David Rousseau, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman. “Our partnership will have multiple elements with a major focus on education, health and fitness for the youth of the Gila River Indian Community.”

A key component of the partnership will be working together to promote Arizona as the ideal location for businesses of all industries and sizes and a premier tourism destination well beyond Super Bowl XLIX. As part of the partnership, The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa will be an official team hotel. The partnership will also include various economic and community initiatives to build relationships among all of Arizona’s cultural groups.

“The Gila River Indian Community is thrilled to be a sponsor of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and to have the opportunity to help make the big game and all its associated events a success for Arizona. Our Community emphasizes partnership, economic opportunity and giving back to our neighbors in all we do and with every dollar we invest,” said Gila River Indian Community Governor, Gregory Mendoza. “So do the NFL and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. That’s why we’re committed to joining forces and hosting quality events in association with the Super Bowl.”

To officially kick off the partnership, Arizona Cardinals alumni Kwamie Lassiter and Frank Sanders, along with SPIKE, hosted a football clinic for 25 kids of the Gila River Indian Community. The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee will continue to support the efforts of the Gila River Indian Community to promote education, health, and fitness to its youth.

“The partnership between the Cardinals and Gila River Indian Community dates back to the opening of University of Phoenix Stadium in 2006,” said Cardinals President Michael Bidwill. “Like us, they believed that it would be a game-changer not only for our team but the entire community. Super Bowl XLIX is another critically important event for our state and it’s no surprise that Gila River is stepping up to help provide the considerable community support required to make it a success.”

Future community initiatives and events will be announced leading up to Super Bowl XLIX.

av-air

Av-Air, Inc. corporate headquarters

Developer: Sun State Builders
General contractor: N/A
Architect: Balmer Architectural Group
Location: 6877 W. Frye Rd., Chandler
Size: 162,500 SF
Brokerage Firm: Lee & Associates Arizona
Value: $15M
Start/Completion: Q1 to Q4 2014

The new Av-Air, Inc. buildings will consist of a 92,500 SF building with 20KSF of office space and a 70KSF building storage/distribution building. Both buildings will feature metal deck, steel trusses, 30-foot clear height, grade level and truck well loading doors.

201Rendering_From_South_Ellis-2-cropped

CyrusOne breaks ground on second Phoenix location

Global data center provider CyrusOne announced it is breaking ground on a second data center at its Phoenix Campus in Chandler, Ariz. The groundbreaking ceremony was scheduled for Thursday, May 8, at 8:30 a.m. The second building will have 60,000 square feet of white floor space at full build, with up to 12 megawatts of power to serve customers in the Western region of the United States.

“We are very excited to expand our footprint in the Western region to meet customer demand for space,” said Kevin Timmons, chief technology officer at CyrusOne.

“Demand is so strong that we are moving up our plans to build this second facility by nearly a year. The success of our new CyrusOne Solutions product line, which enables technologically advanced, large-scale deployments, has recently attracted a large technology company to our Phoenix facility—taking 41,000 square feet of space and necessitating the move-up in our build schedule for the second facility.”

The Phoenix data center is well suited for Fortune 1000 companies, particularly West Coast companies, that require robust data center infrastructure for mission-critical applications and that want to locate them in an area that is generally considered one of the safest in the country—free from natural disasters including seismic activity, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

“Arizona is proud of its reputation as one of the most business-friendly data center locations in the country,” said state Rep. Jeff Dial.

“More than just low rates of seismic activity and other natural disasters, we offer CyrusOne and its customers a robust fiber network, competitive electricity rates, low-latency connectivity to West Coast cities, and a highly educated technology workforce.”

The expansion adds to the more than 77,500 square feet of space already commissioned to serve as a Western regional hub for Fortune 1000 enterprise customers. This new building is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014. After completion of the second facility, the entire campus will still have room for seven more data center facilities.

In addition to its presence in the Western region, the company has customers in colocation facilities across the United States, London, and Singapore.

cre

CoreNet Global makes space in a changing workplace

To add value to a corporate end user, you have to learn to think like one.

That starts with realizing a client’s No. 1 business isn’t real estate, says Colliers International’s Bill Littleton. The executive vice president of Colliers’ corporate solution group works with six national and global corporate end users and has 25 years of experience. Yet, he remains an active member of the local chapter of CoreNet Global, an organization that serves the corporate real estate community comprised of members from the brokerage community, end users and support industries. It’s at the monthly meetings and annual summit, he says, that he really learns the needs of his clients.

“To add value, is to get involved in CoreNet Global,” says Littleton, who has been a member for more than a decade. “CoreNet is a think tank for all the trends and issues related to corporate users of space.”

Arizona Commerce Authority’s Hilary Hirsch says economic developers are seeing more companies create an internal real estate division instead of relying on a third-party source.

“This shift is due in large part to the critical value and insight that corporate real estate professionals add to a company’s overall success whether in increasing their bottom line or forecasting trends in the market,” Hirsch says.

This echoes Littleton’s point of thinking like an end user. Bringing the market trends to the table is important for brokers’ clients, but in return corporate executives can share their concerns — efficiency, for example — with brokerages as well as other CoreNet members, such as furniture suppliers.
“Leaders in the corporate real estate industry have evolved from focusing on leases and facilities management to serving as change agents, innovators, facilitators and strategic experts,” contributes Colliers’ Tivon Moffit.

Mark Singerman, Vice President and Regional Director of The Rockefeller Group, has been a CoreNet member for two years as a means of saving money.
“Knowing what issues end users face and providing cost-effective solutions are what the most successful CRE professionals do,” says Singerman, whose company has built for General Mills, Sumitomo and BASF.

Examples of useful information, Singerman says, includes rent and sale comparisons from commercial brokers, build-to-suit buildings for sale or lease to end users, general contractors for renovations and new facilities for end users.

With the big push for office efficiency and “right sizing.” there’s less need for large leasable areas. Though that means less space for Littleton to lease, the value proposition for his clients is the real gain.

“It’s like anything else, if you’re true to your cause and you don’t waiver in it, you’ll be fine,” Littleton says. “The world is changing; either change and add value or get out of the way.”

There’s may be a third option, though, suggests one corporate executive — make your own way.

CENTRAL COMMAND
While the world is changing, it helps to be ahead of the curve. Leo Bauman recalls jotting a note on a napkin 20 years ago that would take years of lobbying and research before it could be realized. Seven of Wells Fargo’s office leases were set to expire and he thought, “Why not consolidate the workforce on a centralized campus environment?” After nearly a decade of preparation, the first 410K SF Wells Fargo campus in Chandler broke ground, making way for a few thousand employees.

Ten years later, history repeated itself and Wells Fargo announced plans to double its existing presence with a 410KSF expansion — and that’s not even the half of it; the master plan calls for three more buildings that will bring the campus to 1.74M SF. Bauman, the vice president and manager at Wells Fargo, heads the Corporate Real Estate Group for Arizona’s fourth-largest non-government, non-education employer in the state. It’s his department’s job to manage the office space and utility for 85 lines of work comprised of 16,192 employees.

Bauman is a long-time member of CoreNet. Though the Wells Fargo Campus wasn’t facilitated through a CoreNet connection, many corporate executives and brokers are working closely to increase efficiency, even if that means rightsizing office space, and to accommodate the changing workplace. One of the greatest challenges, notes a recent white paper and case study published by CoreNet, is determining respective departments’ needs and how to make sure those are met in a space.

REGUS SPACE
At Avnet, Inc., Bob Gracz’s role is to develop strategic positioning and help his company get most efficient use of space. The CoreNet Global Arizona’s President says the key to success in his position is about being an early adopter and having a discerning eye for trends. Gracz spearheaded Avnet’s Arizona transition to a Regus executive workplace that promoted flexible space for remote workers.

“What has evolved in the last 10 years is phenomenal, where we’ve gone from a work state where everybody is sitting in an office to literally where almost everybody is working remotely these days,” Gracz says.

“Think of what that does for productivity of the employee, think of what that does for cost management inside a company and think of what that does for quality of life of an employee.”

Avnet is also finding ways to make its existing office space versatile for different lines of work within the company through the use of technology.

“As the square footages of offices and work stations are generally decreasing, corporate institutions are definitely paying more attention to creating work environments tailored toward flexibility, mobility and associate amenities,” says Holder Construction Company’s Keyvan Ghahreman.
Regardless of innovation, corporate executives are always battling what Gracz calls the “expense scenario.”

“Everybody looks at real estate as an expense, but if you really understand how that expense is looked at in the corporate world, you can better position your strategies to be very valuable to the company,” Gracz says, adding that 70 percent of Avnet’s expenses is personnel-related.
“We only have 30 percent of expenses that are not people-expenses, so we have to manage that very well,” he says.

“We want to keep the people. We want to bring more in. I look forward to the day when it’s 80 percent.”

Gracz’s staff of three manages offices for 8,000 people. They were recently approached by Avnet to advise on increasing real estate efficiency within the company’s other regions. Gracz credits CoreNet Global’s emphasis on understanding financial acumen, among other things, to his success.

“Technology, where and how people work—the space—has changed dramatically and, more than ever, the relationship among commercial real estate, human resources and IT is fundamentally critical,” says GPE’s Michael Brinkley.

Gracz’s first Regus executive office structure five years ago was unsuccessful due to an expensive and cumbersome dynamic between his existing real estate and IT. His current adaptation, he says, is far more successful and will save $2M annually. That’s about 20 percent of the group’s facility expense — and that’s just the beginning.

Hilton Phoenix Chandler receives company’s top two awards

For the second year in a row and for the third time in four years of operation, the Hilton Phoenix Chandler has been recognized by the Hilton brand for delivering exemplary service as a U.S. property with under 500 rooms. Hilton just announced that the Hilton Phoenix Chandler was honored with the 2013 Connie Award and the 2013 Annual Blue Energy Award.

Hilton Phoenix Chandler General Manager J. Green, displaying the Connie Award, named in honor of founder Conrad Hilton.

Hilton Phoenix Chandler General Manager J. Green, displaying the Connie Award, named in honor of founder Conrad Hilton.

According to J. Green, general manager, Hilton Phoenix Chandler, the coveted Connie Award, named in honor of brand founder Conrad Hilton, is awarded to the top performing hotel that excels in four key areas, including quality assurance audits measuring cleanliness and property condition, customer scores rating staff service and guest loyalty. The Connie Award-winning property receives a monetary prize to host a celebratory event for hotel team members and a trophy.

The property also won the 2013 Annual Blue Energy Award which is the brand’s recognition of a property for delivering unparalleled hospitality to guests, team members and communities.

According to Mr. Green, “We couldn’t be more pleased that each and every member of our team here at the hotel has been recognized for their commitment to embodying the Hilton brand promise. There are 286 hotels in the America’s Region with 500 rooms or less and to be selected as the leader in these categories is truly gratifying.”

Lisa Larson, chief operating officer of Texas Western Hospitality, which operates Hilton Phoenix Chandler, adds, “These awards truly exemplify the commitment of our management team and staff who ensure that every guest walking through our doors is completely satisfied with their stay — and that is no small undertaking.”

Located in the heart of the Phoenix high-tech district — near to Intel, Microchip, and Freescale — Hilton Phoenix Chandler also provides easy access to the popular Chandler Fashion Center and Historic Downtown Chandler. The hotel offers 197 guest rooms and suites in addition to many facilities and amenities including an outdoor pool, Bahia poolside bar and grill, Taste | An American Bistro, the R Bar for cocktails and live music, a 24-hour fitness center, and business center. Guest rooms feature signature bedding, a 32-inch flatscreen TV with premium cable channels, high-speed Internet access and a work station with ergonomic desk chair. Additionally, the property features flexible meeting and event space for up to 350 guests. For additional information, call (480) 899-7400 or visit phoenixchandler.hilton.com.

87665813

New East Valley Women’s Professional Group Launches

The Phoenix-metro-based Women of Scottsdale and Central Phoenix Women groups proudly announce the launch of a third, localized chapter, East Valley Women being added to serve women business professionals who live or work in Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler. East Valley Women will meet on the third Tuesday of every month from 7:30am to 9am at the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa in Mesa, Ariz., beginning on Tax Day, Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

The new East Valley Women group is a sister organization of the esteemed Women of Scottsdale, founded in 1998 and Central Phoenix Women, founded in 2006 by Linda Herold. Herold retired in December 2013, and named JoAnn Holland CEO of the groups. It is under her stewardship that the East Valley Women group has launched. The groups endeavor to support women beginning their professional career, business and professional leaders, women in government, women in education and those who have retired to create a deep and long-lasting community of mutual support.

The group has named community alumna Jodi Towns as the Inaugural Director of the new east valley group and she will serve a two-year term; promoting membership and business sponsorship for the new chapter, as well as acting as Master of Ceremonies at monthly meetings. As the new Inaugural Director, Towns intends to further the spirit of community support with a focus on communities east of Phoenix and Scottsdale. She will continue as the Director of Practice Management for LifeScape Premier, a Scottsdale-based concierge medical practice that has been actively involved in supporting and sponsoring Women of Scottsdale and Central Phoenix Women for several years, and is looking forward to launching the nascent East Valley group.

“I’m honored to uphold and extend the tradition and support that these fine groups provide business women in our communities,” says Towns. “With the new group serving the East Valley we’ll be able to reach, serve and bring more fantastic women into the fray.”

The groups’ CEO and founder is equally pleased with the chapter developments. “Jodi has been such a passionate advocate for our existing groups and we’re thrilled to have her leading the charge for the East Valley,” states JoAnn Holland. “We look forward to continued success under her direction with the new East Valley Women chapter.”

For more information about East Valley Women, please like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/eastvalleywomen

To sign up for the breakfast on April 15th please contact JoAnn Holland – CEO and Founder at ceo@eastvalleywomen.org or Anita Welsch – anita@eastvalleywomen.org or 480-567-8131

2700 W. Frye Rd., Chandler

Colliers International Completes $43.1M Sale of 183KSF Office in Chandler Price Corridor

Colliers International in Greater Phoenix recently completed the sale of a 183KSF, Class-A office building in Chandler for $43.1M, or $235.50 a square foot.

W. P. Carey Inc., a global net-lease REIT based in New York City, purchased the building at 2700 W. Frye Rd. in Chandler from Regent Properties of Los Angeles.

Neil Glassmoyer, senior vice president; Tivon Moffitt, vice president; and Peter Bauman, senior associate; all of Colliers International in Greater Phoenix, served as brokers for the buyer and seller.

“The market fundamentals in Chandler’s Price Road Corridor are very strong and the area is poised for continued expansion. The building’s location in the heart of Chandler’s Price Corridor helped attract W. P. Carey,” Moffitt said.

The Chandler submarket features one of the lowest office vacancy rates in Metro Phoenix, as tenants are drawn to the area due to the highly educated workforce, according to Colliers International.

“Price Corridor is Chandler’s premier employment corridor, and continues to attract companies interested in quality and a sense of place,” said Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “It is a central hub for the workforce, infrastructure and amenities that the current marketplace demands.”

W. P. Carey Managing Director and Co-Head of Global Investments, Gino Sabatini, said, “The combination of the desirable location, credit tenant and quality asset made the acquisition an ideal addition to our portfolio. Together with its criticality to the operations of QBE the property meets all our investment criteria and supports our strategy of providing secure, long-term cash flow to our investors.”

QBE Insurance, one of the 20 largest insurance and reinsurance companies in the world, is the building’s only tenant on a long-term lease. This location is QBE’s second largest office building in the country. Overall, QBE is located in 43 countries.

“This acquisition was ideal for W. P. Carey given that the tenant, QBE Insurance, is a strong and stable investment grade tenant,” Bauman added.

Regent Properties completed the building’s construction after purchasing the property in 2011 and then fully leased the building to QBE shortly thereafter.

“Regent Properties had a dynamic vision for this property. They added significant value by completing this class A office asset,” according to Glassmoyer.

“The success of this project is due in large part to the cooperation and aid from the City of Chandler’s economic team, QBE’s desire to be in Chandler and ultimately Neil and Tivon, and the entire Colliers’ team, for connecting Regent Properties with the W. P. Carey team.  This project is emblematic of our proven track record at stabilizing once troubled assets as well as our commitment and belief in the Phoenix market,” according to Eric Fleiss, president of Regent Properties.

red-header-2014

RED AWARDS 2014: Best Redevelopment Project

On Feb. 26, AZRE hosted the 9th Annual RED Awards reception at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix to recognize the most notable commercial real estate projects of 2013 and the construction teams involved. AZRE held an open call for nominations and more than 100 projects were submitted by architects, contractors, developers and brokerage firms in Arizona. Click here to view all 2014 RED Awards Winners.‎


Continuum Science & Technology Park
Developer: Capital Commercial Investments, Inc.
Contractor: RSG Builders
Architect: PHArchitecture
Broker: CBRE
Size: 463,584 SF
Location: 2501 S. Price Rd., Chandler
Completed: January 2013

continuumThis state-of-the-art business and technology campus is part of the foundation for thousands of future jobs in Chandler. Intended to make Chandler and Metro Phoenix competitive on a national and global scale, it is designed to house corporate offices, customer service operations, advanced business services, technology, bioscience, and renewable energies. The City of Chandler endorsed and became an integral partner in the redevelopment process and made joint investments in the park infrastructure and horizontal improvements to further encourage the location of signature companies and high-wage jobs to the park. The former Motorola campus was renovated to include a new three-story atrium lobby, curtain wall glass, upgraded HVAC systems and a high-quality electrical and fiber infrastructure in order to meet Continuum’s proclaimed mantra: “where environment meets progress.”

red-header-2014

RED AWARDS 2014: Best Office

On Feb. 26, AZRE hosted the 9th Annual RED Awards reception at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix to recognize the most notable commercial real estate projects of 2013 and the construction teams involved. AZRE held an open call for nominations and more than 100 projects were submitted by architects, contractors, developers and brokerage firms in Arizona. Click here to view all 2014 RED Awards Winners.‎


CyrusOne Data Center
Developer: CyrusOne Network Company
Contractor: J.E. Dunn Construction
Architect: PHArchitecture/Corgan Associates
Size: 200,293 SF
Location: 2335 S. Ellis St., Chandler
Completed: February 2013

CyrusOne Chandler is one of the first data center developments to target LEED Silver certification or higher. The exterior materials and building colors were chosen for their highly reflective surfaces and resistance to heat transfer. Louvered canopies were built to provide shade and reduce solar exposure. The landscaping consists of a combination of desert pallet plants and trees that are watered with an onsite reclaimed retention pond. This energy efficient building caused complications during construction because of a quick timeline and specific building materials. The design and construction teams were spread across the United States and had to rely on technology meeting tools and streamlined communication.

Continuum Aerial, WEB

Continuum Business Park Sells for $51.75M

Southwest Value Partners has purchased Continuum Business & Technology Park, located at 2501 S. Price Rd. in Chandler, from Capital Commercial Investments. The business park, which currently consists of a ±463,300 SF, Class-A office building on 152 acres, commanded a sale price of $51.75M.

Luke Walker and Dave Carder with CBRE’s Phoenix office were awarded the leasing assignment of Continuum and negotiated the sale with Kevin Miller with Capital Commercial Investments. Cassidy Turley’s Executive Managing Director Jeff Wentworth brought an unsolicited offer to CCI on behalf of Southwest Value Partners. Cassidy Turley’s Wentworth, Mike Beall, Sean Spellman and Chris Walker have been awarded the assignment by SVP to secure tenants and users for the Continuum. The seller was Austin, Texas-based Capital Commercial Investments, Inc. The buyer was Southwest Value Partners of Scottsdale.
“Continuum is one of the preeminent business parks in Arizona and its location is in the heart of the most active office submarket in metro Phoenix,” said Justin Merritt, Senior Investment Professional with SVP.  “We look forwarding to working with the City of Chandler and putting our energy towards driving new development and employers to the project.  Continuum provides our firm with a tremendous opportunity to grow our real estate portfolio by taking advantage of the market recovery in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.  This includes implementing a build-to-suit strategy to develop office buildings on the remaining vacant land parcels.”

SVP also owns an additional 38-acre parcel that is immediately adjacent to the Continuum business park that will effectively expand the size of the business park to nearly 190-acres.  “As a result of our expanded ownership, we can develop buildings ranging from 30,000 to 500,000 square feet,” said Merritt

. “This submarket has seen a profusion of build-to-suit activity recently, with Garmin, General Motors, Shutterfly, GoDaddy and Amkor Technologies,” Wentworth explained. “There is not a more active market in Phoenix right now and the quality of labor, housing and amenities is driving the demand.”
“The sale of Continuum validates the vision, investment and hard work shared by Capital Commercial Investments and the City of Chandler. The successful public-private partnership allowed the former Motorola campus to be completely redeveloped into a world-class business park, attracting several new companies while bringing net new jobs to the City of Chandler. We congratulate everyone involved in the success of bringing Continuum to this exciting milestone,” said CBRE’s Carder.

Continuum currently features an existing, redeveloped, two-story ±463,000-square-foot, class A office building. The building was entirely renovated with a new three-story atrium lobby, curtain wall glass, upgraded HVAC systems and state-of-the-art electrical and fiber infrastructure. These renovations were completed in January of 2013.

Additionally, the redevelopment of the former Motorola campus included the construction of major infrastructure and horizontal improvements across the 152-acre property, including new landscaping, roads, sidewalks, lakes, water features and public gathering spaces. The City of Chandler was an integral partner in the redevelopment process and made joint investments in the park infrastructure and horizontal improvements.

In June of 2013, Continuum Business & Technology Park signed its first major tenant, Nationstar Mortgage. Nationstar, one of the nation’s leading mortgage servicers and lenders, initially placed 1,200 new jobs in 164,000 square feet of space with an option to expand.

Shortly after landing Nationstar, Continuum secured its second major tenant with the signing of a lease with OnTrac, also represented by CBRE’s Carder. The locally based overnight delivery service moved its headquarters from Phoenix to Chandler and into 65,000 square feet of space that was customized for the tenant. OnTrac employs around 300 employees with aggressive plans for growth; the company’s president has been quoted saying OnTrac plans to bring 850 jobs to Chandler over the term of the lease.

Continuum also includes a 10,000-square-foot University of Arizona learning center, where the higher-education institution is able to meet the educational needs of Chandler’s high-tech workforce by offering programs, classes and research, as well as recruiting other educational institutions.

Continuum currently has 81 acres of developable land remaining and businesses and developers have opportunities for unique ground-up development in the form of build-to-suit and spec building options. Depending on densities and product type (industrial vs office), between 2 MSF and 3 MSF can be developed moving forward.
The existing office building at Continuum was built in 1986 by Motorola and was renovated in 2012 by Capital Commercial.  The building is currently 48 percent leased with two tenants, Express Messenger Service (OnTrac) in ±60,000 square feet and Nationstar Mortgage in ±163,000 square feet, leaving ±230,000 square feet of available space for prospective tenants. “The building’s unique design with an on-site cafeteria, large floor plates and high volume ceilings provides office users with the exact environment that today’s office tenants desire to attract the best employees” said Wentworth.

Ice Den Chandler Announces a $3 Million Upgrade

Ice Den Chandler, soon-to-be Arizona’s next premier skating venue, today announced an estimated $3 million repair, renovation and revitalization project to begin this spring at the two-rink facility recently purchased by Coyotes Ice.

During the pre-purchase inspection process, it was determined that the Chandler facility, like the other Polar Ice locations, was in severe disrepair and in need of major reconstruction to bring the facility up to safety code requirements and to meet the professional standards skaters currently experience at Ice Den facility in Scottsdale and elsewhere.  The ice plant and floors in particular were on the verge of an irreversible failure that would have forced closure of the facility during the high usage fall and winter skating seasons.

“This will be a completely new facility when we re-open later this summer,” said Mike O’Hearn, president of Coyotes Ice. “Out of necessity, we are replacing all of the interior equipment, ice plant, lighting, roof work and subfloor which had not been maintained as required for the facility to continue in use.  New concrete floors will replace the current outmoded sand-based design, which will provide flexibility allowing the venue to be utilized in summer months for indoor soccer, lacrosse, day camps and other activities that are already available at the Ice Den’s Scottsdale location.”

O’Hearn added “We will also be adding other amenities that we feel are necessary for a high quality skating experience including a new retail shop for hockey and figure skaters and a fully redesigned café and snack food area.  Additionally, we will aggressively focus on rebuilding the now dormant youth hockey, skating and Learn to Skate programs at the Chandler facility, a process that is already underway. We expect no less than the success we have had at our Scottsdale facility where over 1,000,000 customers annually take advantage of our facility and its unexcelled amenities. On multiple occasions the Ice Den Scottsdale has ranked in the “Top 5” of skating and hockey venues in North America.”

The massive repair and renovation project will cause a temporary closure of the Chandler facility from Monday, April 7th to Monday, August 4th, 2014. During that time skaters are encouraged to continue their skating, training regimens, private lesson instruction and Learn to Skate programs at the Ice Den Scottsdale.  Staff will be available to assist with this scheduling process, including assistingIce Den Chandler figure skating and hockey coaches with their private lesson needs.

“We invite all of those who currently utilize the Chandler facility to visit our Scottsdale location so we can help accommodate your equipment and skating needs, and to show you first-hand what the new facility and your future programing will look like when Ice Den Chandler re-opens,” said Julie Patterson, director of skating and programming for both Ice Den facilities. “This brief closure will also provide our administrative staff the opportunity to prepare and properly train the rink personnel in Chandler so they can meet the high quality standards we expect for our customers.”

“We will endeavor to complete this project on time and with as little disruption as possible for our customers,” said O’Hearn.  “We appreciate your understanding and support, and assure you that when Ice Den Chandler re-opens this summer it will be a venue the community can take great pride in and enjoy for a long time to come.”

“We are thrilled to see the extensive renovations that are planned for the Ice Den Chandler,” said Christine Mackay, Chandler’s director of economic development.  “Not only to be able to keep this tremendous asset available to the community but to see the significant investment the new ownership has planned is truly exciting for us.”

A Grand Re-Opening Celebration is planned for the summer of 2014.

SanTanTechCenter, WEB

CBRE Completes Sale of San Tan Tech Center to ViaWest Group

CBRE represented the seller in the sale of San Tan Tech Center located at 145 S. 79th St. in Chandler. The 129,187 SF, Class-A property building was purchased by leading local, commercial real estate firm, ViaWest Group, for $9.6M.

Barry Gabel and Chris Marchildon of CBRE’s Phoenix office represented the seller, Austin, Texas-based Capital Commercial Investments. ViaWest Group was self-represented.

The city of Chandler currently leases 49 percent, or 63,443 SF, of San Tan Tech Center under a lease expiring in 2024. The city is doing business as Innovations, an incubator designed for innovative entrepreneurs in the life sciences and emerging technology industries. Notable tenants within the Innovations incubator include University of Arizona Center for Applied NanoBioscience & Medicine, HealthTell and Cummings Engineering, as well as other emerging technology companies.

This acquisition is a strong complement to our nearly 1MM SF of assets in the Southeast Valley. With the ability to do 7 parking spaces per 1,000 SF for back-office to high-tech industrial uses, this property is truly unique in the market. Its proximity to the 101 freeway and Chandler Fashion Square provides easy access and great amenities. We believe that with the aesthetic and functional improvements we will immediately make to the property it will be a very desirable space for tenants of 20,000 to 65,000 SF,” said Steven Schwarz with ViaWest Group.

Built in 1981 and renovated in 2010, San Tan Tech Center, a single-story, back-office/flex/high-tech industrial building, is located between McClintock Drive and 79th Street less than one quarter mile south of Chandler Boulevard and one half mile north of the loop 202 freeway. The property offers many amenities, including easy access to numerous regional shopping centers, hotels and dining options. San Tan Tech Center is adjacent to the privately owned, public use Stellar Airpark. Additionally, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is within 15 minutes of the property and two reliever airports – Chandler Municipal Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport – are within seven and 10 miles each, respectively.

Capital Commercial did a fantastic job renovating the property and leasing half of the building to the city of Chandler, which positioned the seller for a positive exit strategy,” said CBRE’s Gabel.

San Tan Tech Center currently has 65,744 SF of vacant, fully air conditioned available space. The unoccupied space is a large contiguous space which includes bullpen areas, private offices, a commercial kitchen, storage and shipping areas, which are dock-high loaded.

iphone

appsFreedom CEO Named 'Best of 2013'

Chandler-based appsFreedom™, a leading provider of enterprise mobility, was named one of the best mobile products of the year in the 2013 Mobile Star Awards™ program hosted annually by the mobile technology news and directory site MobileVillage.com. In addition, Vaidy Iyer, appsFreedom’s founder and CEO, was identified in the 2013 Mobile Star Awards™ as a visionary leader in enterprise mobility.

The Mobile Star Awards honor both industry-leading mobile products and cutting-edge new solutions in nearly 50 categories covering software, mobile devices, and visionary leaders, as chosen by readers of MobileVillage’s bi-weekly newsletter Go Mobile™.

Since 2001, the Mobile Star Awards program has showcased the best products in dozens of categories covering consumer mobile apps, devices, enterprise mobile solutions, and technology visionaries. Winners are chosen by the nearly 11,000 readers of “Go Mobile™”, which is MobileVillage’s bi-weekly newsletter that delivers informative headline summaries and links to the top mobile stories on major mobile tech sites including: CIO, CNET, TechCrunch, Computerworld, The Verge, Engadget, and many others. All categories and winners are listed on MobileVillage.com at http://www.mobilevillage.com/mobilestarawards.

“The Mobile Star Awards is the only competition where today’s most exciting new mobile products and companies can compete against established competitors on a more level playing field,” says Mobile Star Awards director Gary Thayer. “A major part of this is because votes are cast by real users who really love the products – these are the mobile early adopters, mobile IT professionals, and tech journalists who dominate our readership. And after 13 years, the mobile industry recognizes Mobile Star Awards winners and nominees as the star innovators to watch and follow.”

“2013 was truly a break-out year for appsFreedom and receiving the Mobile Star Awards was just icing on the cake for our company. We were thrilled to wrap up with the year with the additional recognition that we are successfully building a world-class enterprise mobility company,” stated Vaidy Iyer, appsFreedom founder and CEO.
The appsFreedom solution includes a multi-channel multi-device platform-as-a-service (Freedom Platform) and pre-built and ready-to-use app templates (Freedom Apps) that help companies accelerate time-to-value and extend the mobility value proposition throughout the organization. The platform simplifies a customer’s ability to design, build, deploy, manage and analyze the adoption of mobile apps.

The appsFreedom Version 3.0 solution consists of:
• Freedom Platform: multi-channel multi-device platform-as-a-service to easily design, collaborate, build, deploy, manage and analyze in-house developed apps and a corporate app store
• Freedom Apps: pre-built ready-to-use app templates that are deployed in a matter of days for key business functions including sales and operations

The appsFreedom solution is offered under a simple per-user subscription based pricing model. The solution has no limitations on the number of apps or transactions, and customers can incrementally add users at any time.

startup

Getting an angel to open the checkbook

Governor Jan Brewer touts her policies and business regulatory climate as the reason Arizona is growing new businesses. That may be a factor, but it’s not the major reason Arizona topped the Kaufman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity in 2012. If it were the case, Arizona would have been on top again in 2013—instead of plummeting to 20th nationally.

“Just because there are a lot of startups,” observes Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, “doesn’t provide a measure of the economic growth in the Valley.” A startup can be someone opening a consultancy, a contractor or the next Apple. Self-employment is a form of startup. The challenge is nurturing a startup so it grows with high value jobs.

Local governments and the Arizona Commerce Authority see major value with growing Arizona startups into enterprises. Chris Mackay, economic development director in Chandler says, “There’s staying power when a business is local. It’s connected to the local community and if the economy falters, the owners are more willing to keep going locally as opposed to closing up shop.” That local staying power is one reason Mackay says Chandler makes big investments in growing future enterprises.

Planting the seeds

Arizona’s new economy needs startups to scale up into enterprises. Those growing small businesses become hiring employers offering high value jobs paying home-buying income. Government policy supporting businesses that can scale up is based on simple economics.

Businesses with more than 20 employees, says the Small Business Administration, generate two of three Arizona paychecks. Those same businesses cut checks for more than 70 percent of Arizona’s private payrolls. The value in 2012 was over $100 billion.

All new businesses are “startups,” but not all startup businesses will be entrepreneurial enterprises. “There is no relation between starting a business and starting a company,” says Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice and founding executive director of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project in Boston. “Ninety percent of companies formed don’t grow high value jobs.”

Isenberg says that the difference between a start-up and enterprise is a matter of scale. He is an international advocate for scaling a business to grow as opposed to opening a business. An entrepreneur, he points out, is a business founder with a large company that just happens to be small right now.

Arizona State University, as the new American university, is at the cutting edge of helping turn ideas into enterprise. Recently, the college joined the elite ranks of schools offering a stand-alone degree in entrepreneurship. It’s on that list with Harvard Business School, Babson, and University of Texas. Its goal is getting new businesses that can grow into the market.

Locally grown

ASU says more than 70 percent of its W.P. Carey School of Business MBA graduates remain in Arizona. Keeping these graduates in state provides the human resources necessary to building new enterprises fueling the future economy.

“Starting a company — as opposed to just starting a business — is hard work,” says Isenberg. “An entrepreneur looks at the business and sees it growing. It’s a time of sleep deprivation, hard work, and endless pitches.” Few startups achieve quality growth—less than ten percent, he believes. “The golden triangle of a growing enterprise,” he continues, “is cash, customers and people.”

“An entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t limited to startups,” Isenberg emphasizes. “University research, family businesses, mature companies, all can be turned into a growing enterprise. Most startups tend to stay small.” The key to the economic contribution of startups in Arizona is scalability. He is adamant about it, “Ambition is not a dirty word. A business founder without ambition does not significantly contribute to overall economic growth.”

“There are a number of entrepreneurial success stories arising from a new direction for an existing, mature business,” Isenberg reports. Sometimes it takes a new owner with a vision; sometimes the existing management team finds a new direction. It can be a license from a university, a new product, or an innovative use of an existing product. Entrepreneurship can occur anywhere in a business’ lifecycle.”

Bringing ideas to market

Arizona colleges are on that licensing bandwagon. Entrepreneurs complain that it takes years to license patents or transfer technology from most universities. In ASU’s Office of Knowledge and Enterprise Development, the Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator — first project of its type in the world — slashes technology transfer time from years to months. The AZ Furnace is a joint venture of ASU, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Dignity Health. Funding partners include the Arizona Commerce Authority, BioAccel, and additional support from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“There are hundreds of patents sitting on shelves at universities that could be in the market earning money for creators, colleges and businesses,” enthuses Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group in OKED. “We started a program to get patents into the market quickly.” The startups selected for incubation in AZ Furnace are either entrepreneurs in search of an idea to market or idea-creators ready to market through a business entity. The fledgling enterprises are capital-ready in 12 months or less.

Enterprise starts with a leader and a vision. The scale of the vision is what makes the difference, says Isenberg. The vast majority of business owners are thinking of a model that gets them to the point that they’re putting money in the bank. He says, “Entrepreneurs are thinking of a model that finds smart people, willing customers and puts the cash to back into the enterprise.”

“Angels invest in businesses they understand or CEOs they respect,” says Broome. “There’s a need for more of that in the Valley. We’re just not seeing the next Apple or Google evolving here.”

Gaining visibility

“The biggest challenge about getting angel and venture money is visibility,” says Brandon Clark, region coordinator for Startup Arizona.  “If you’re a promising digital startup locally, it’s a little harder to get noticed nationally being from a region not known for its digital startups.  That’s starting to slowly shift.” National publications, FastCompany and Entrepreneur Magazine, have eyed Arizona as an emerging technology region.

The development opportunity for the small business is capital. Combine the “Broome Factor”—known businesses; known leaders—with the large number of startups, and there are too many funding requests heading towards too few checkbooks.

What makes early investors open pocketbooks to startup businesses is scalability. Businesses with potential to grow create the greatest return on investment for the angels. “It’s also makes a difference to the local economy,” says Isenberg. “Local policymakers need to change their focus from ‘startup’ to a ‘high value growth business’.”

Cities like helping scalable startups — and provide resources that build success. There’s a loyalty factor when the business grows; it typically remains in the hometown that helped it succeed. This is important to Chandler, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Surprise. These five cities have specifically invested in incubators and accelerators to nurture and graduate businesses achieving market traction. Chandler, Phoenix and Tucson have involvement with collaborative workspaces — Gangplank and Co+Hoots — as well.

While an employee or two in a collaborative workspace works well for a while, the time comes when a move up is needed. Clairvoyant, an enterprise and analytics startup now in Chandler Innovations started with Gangplank. “We grew from four employees in March to 12 in April,” smiles Amber Anderson, a firm partner and its business developer. “We needed a place to meet with clients and work with a growing team.” Still self-funded, the growing entity plans to hit 20 employees by January.

Mackay explains, “We help a company like this grow and hope that as it expands it continues to locate in Chandler.” To that end, the city is working with landlords in its Price Corridor to offer “teenage” space that lets a business move from the heavily subsidized rents and back office support of the incubator into its own place—without too much sticker shock.

Support from cities

The difference by which startup is accepted into a city’s incubator is the ability to scale up from the garage to commercial space; from one employee to more than 20. Chandler and Mesa are looking for businesses with this capacity. Innovations gives lab and office space to businesses that have formed entities — LLCs, corporations, partnerships — and a business plan. Mesa’s new Technology Accelerator is planned with a similar focus, but is looking for businesses at an earlier stage. Surprise’s Arizona TechCelerator wants to shepherd a business to the angel investor stage.

In Surprise, scalability is one of the criteria to be accepted into Arizona’s oldest incubator. The TechCelerator is looking for businesses offering something outside the box or creating a new niche. “The company has to be started before we’ll consider them,” says Julie Neal, the economic development coordinator for the city’s enterprise. “They need a mentor, a plan and have to know where they are going.”

“Scaling up is difficult,” says Isenberg, “but doing it right defines the difference between the successful entrepreneur with a growth business and a startup that just stays small. Marketplaces are competitive. The startup has to acquire customers. That means overcoming inertia or changing buyer behavior. While established companies are cruising on their business platforms, the startup has to hire people, start a company, raise money, and all the while, it’s competing in the marketplace. That’s tough work.”

After incubation, the business must gain market traction. At this phase, the fledgling enterprise has product going out and customers paying for it. The kinks are being smoothed, and it’s time to move up to the next stage and grow. Isenberg says that the high growth criterion is simply 20 percent annual increases in sales or staff for five years.

Getting capital

To make this leap requires high levels of capital — the checks venture capitalists cut. The biggest challenge in Phoenix is that there are few sources for local venture capital. The venturists hang out in places like Silicon Valley, Boston, San Diego and Seattle. “There are even a couple of funds with deep ties to the Valley,” worries Clark, “but they have very little involvement in local startups.”

Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, had to travel out of town for his venture capital. “At one time, I was told that a fund wouldn’t cut a check for a firm in Phoenix because we didn’t have the workforce for success,” he says. “That’s no longer true; venture funds are seeing that there is a real climate for success in the Valley.”

Another resource for a growing business is the Arizona Commerce Authority’s “Growing Your Arizona Business” services. The quasi-public agency provides mentorship, regulatory assistance, access to incentive programs and site selection. It also works as a liaison connecting the growing business with other business resources. The agency mentors businesses in accessing federal procurement and grant opportunities as well as serving as an entrée to international trade.

Overall, the major resource in Arizona for start-up businesses is the universities. Anemic legislative funding for the schools causes their efforts to help to face the same struggles growing businesses face. Their efforts to improve Arizona’s long-term economy are stymied by a declining source of capital.

“ASU is underfunded,” complains Barry Broome. “The school has done an amazing job despite being financially crippled by budget cuts. It’s suffering from a lack of resources to take its programs to scale.” “Scalability” is applicable to the business-development programs at the universities and other public agencies just as it is for growing enterprises.

“Getting money for those programs is the top job for the next governor,” predicts Broome.
Opportunity in Arizona will come from the core of businesses growing today. They will create the jobs for the new economy and drive economic success for the next generation.

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Date Set for Wells Fargo Campus Expansion Ground Breaking

Wells Fargo will conduct a ground breaking ceremony as it formally announces plans to double the size of its current facilities at the Ocotillo Corporate Center.  Wells Fargo will invest approximately $125 million to expand its current facilities by 410,000 SF which will allow the company to further invest in the community and bring more of its area team members to Chandler.

The expansion will add two new four-story buildings, including office space, a meeting and event center, and a full service team member café, bringing total square footage at the campus to approximately 810,000 square feet.  The new buildings will be designed and built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Groundbreaking is on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

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Tibshraeny Named Municipal Leader of the Year

American City & County magazine has selected Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny as its Municipal Leader of the Year.

Mayor Tibshraeny will be featured in the November edition of American City & County, which has been the voice of state and local government since 1909. The magazine serves city, county and state officials who are charged with developing and implementing government policy, programs and projects.

“Mayor Tibshraeny proves that through foresight and endurance, America’s local leaders can help overcome their community’s problems,” said Bill Wolpin, Editor, American City & County Magazine. “His story is worth sharing in the hopes that others will become inspired.”

This honor is in large part due to Mayor Tibshraeny’s role in economic development and specifically, creating, protecting and preserving the Price Corridor.  The Price Corridor is Chandler’s major employment corridor and has been instrumental in attracting high wage technology jobs to the city.

Price Corridor is home to large corporations such as Intel, Bank of America, PayPal, Microchip Technologies, Orbital Sciences, Rogers Corporation and Wells Fargo. In the past year alone, General Motors, Infusionsoft and Nationstar opened in the Price Corridor.

“Chandler is a leader in the region in job creation and today the Price Corridor is home to an impressive roster of companies,” said Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “This success validates our efforts to protect the area from residential encroachment. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the area as Chandler is now recognized as a premier innovation and technology hub throughout the Southwest.”

In addition to his achievements with the Price Corridor, Mayor Tibshraeny is being recognized for a wide variety of accomplishments including; the Four Corner Initiative and Adaptive Reuse Program, creating a healthier community, neighborhood outreach, job creation and University partnerships and transparency through technology.

bank loan

Alliance Breaks Ground on Flagstaff Banking Center

Alliance Bank of Arizona, the state’s largest locally owned and headquartered bank, broke ground Friday on a new multimillion-dollar Flagstaff banking center.  Alliance Bank of Arizona President Ed Zito hosted the groundbreaking event with Executive Vice President Sherri Slayton. The event was also attended by Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours and President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, Julie Pastrick.

“Since we opened our first branch in Flagstaff eight years ago, we have been committed to fueling our local economy,” said Sherri Slayton, EVP and Regional Manager of the bank’s Northern Arizona division. “As a long-time resident and banker in this area, I am especially excited to see Flagstaff businesses rebound and flourish. Our Flagstaff team, with experienced local bankers who know this region, is proud to serve the people who make Flagstaff the extraordinary community we call home.”

“Today’s groundbreaking is testimony to the strength of the Flagstaff Alliance Bank team,” said Julie Pastrick, President and CEO of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce.  “Under the leadership of Sherri Slayton, they have consistently demonstrated a high level of financial acumen and community outreach that allows for this large investment in our local Flagstaff community.”

The 6,000-square-foot center marks the bank’s significant expansion in the area and the region. The facility is an extension of Alliance Bank’s growth in key business markets as home to a large number of commercial and industrial businesses, enabling the bank to better serve Flagstaff customers.  It is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014.

Alliance Bank, which started with a single office and 20 employees in 2003, is now the largest locally owned and headquartered bank in the state with $3.3 billion in assets. A leading business lender, it has built a reputation for its responsiveness, local expertise and reliability as a lending resource.

Alliance Bank of Arizona is a division of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank.

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

Alliance Bank Breaks Ground on Chandler Office

Alliance Bank of Arizona, the largest locally owned and headquartered bank in the state, announced groundbreaking this morning for its new Chandler office which will be located on Ray Road and the Loop 101 Price Freeway.  Victor Napolitano, Senior Vice President of Alliance Bank, hosted the event and introduced Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and Jim Lundy, Alliance Bank CEO, for comments.

This will mark the 12th location for Alliance Bank, which was started just over a decade ago. The bank also broke ground for a new facility in Flagstaff today which will expand its existing Northern Arizona regional office space by three  times.

The Chandler facility is scheduled to open in the Summer 2014 and is an extension of Alliance Bank’s growth in key business markets, including Chandler, where it already banks a large number of commercial, industrial and professional businesses.   The new, two story 28,000 square foot office will house commercial and retail banking facilities as well as a number of support functions and will enable the bank to better serve its growing southeast valley customer base.

“Since we began over 10 years ago, we have been dedicated to being a strong lending resource for local businesses.  We are excited about the prospect of working with the rapidly growing number of commercial and industrial businesses that call Chandler home. We are committed to being a thoughtful and consistent financial resource to help businesses grow. That commitment allows both the bank and its customers to succeed and in turn give back to the community,” said Jim Lundy, CEO, Alliance Bank of Arizona.

Alliance Bank of Arizona’s focus is to deliver a broader product array and larger credit capacity than a traditional community bank, and to offer relationship-based, personalized service, and lending capabilities to meet the needs of virtually any Arizona business. It is a division of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bank.

Pictured above from left to right: Tony Grinstead, Maintenance and Engineering Senior Resource, Pepsi Beverage Company; Tom Schaefer, Director of Resource Conservation, Pepsi Beverage Company; Curt Hilliker, VP Commercial Division, Sun Valley Solar Solutions; Jeff Rutkowski, Maintenance and Engineering Senior Manager, Pepsi Beverage Company.

Chandler-Based Solar Company Wins Bid for Gatorade Bottling Facility

Sun Valley Solar Solutions has been awarded a 1.7MW solar PV project for the Gatorade bottling and packaging facility in Tolleson, Arizona.

The project attracted interest from six leading solar energy companies from across the U.S. Chandler-based Sun Valley Solar Solutions assembled the winning bid that includes all engineering, procurement, and installation services.

“We really wanted to find a team that could deliver the complete package-from design and installation, to ongoing support,” explained Tom Schaefer, Director of Resource Conservation for PepsiCo. “While there were several very solid contenders, Sun Valley Solar Solutions delivered on all the key metrics required for a project this size. I’m confident that we’ve selected a great partner for this job, and thrilled that the project went to a local team.”

Sun Valley Solar Solutions begins construction at the Tolleson plant this month. The project, which will be fully constructed by the end of 2013, is expected to provide over 3 million kWh of energy annually.

System components include more than 5,000 Canadian Solar modules, along with top-grade stainless steel racking from Michigan-based Applied Energy Technologies(AET), and 3 Advanced Energy inverters.

“Gatorade understands the positive impact that clean energy can bring to the bottom line as well as to the community around them,” commented Curt Hilliker, VP of the Commercial Division at Sun Valley Solar Solutions. “Their leadership plays an important role in driving the acceptance of commercial-scale solar energy, and we’re tremendously excited to partner with them on such an important initiative.”

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GPEC honors Valley mayors for contributions

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) last night honored Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord at its annual dinner, which celebrates GPEC’s successes over the past year and looks ahead to upcoming initiatives. This year’s dinner sold out with an all-time high attendance of approximately 650.

Mayor Tibshraeny was presented GPEC’s Outstanding Regional Contribution award for his exceptional leadership, which has helped increase Greater Phoenix’s economic competitiveness and create a more diversified regional economy. His assistance in the successful recruitment of General Motors, Continuum Nationstar Mortgage and many other organizations has resulted in more than 4,800 jobs for the Chandler area and propelled economic prosperity for the surrounding region.

“Mayor Tibshraeny has expanded the region’s technology sector with his steadfast leadership and business savvy,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Chandler’s innovative approach to economic development, and the entrepreneurial talent it recruits, is helping to make the Greater Phoenix region this country’s next high-technology hub.”

Mayor Lord received the Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in spearheading GPEC’s official protest against the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) proposed tariff on Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic panels. While the tariff was ultimately still imposed, Mayor Lord’s eloquently represented both Goodyear and the region on a national stage during a formal hearing at the ITC in Washington. She also expertly led GPEC’s Ambassador Steering Committee for three years, taking it from 130 participants to more than 1,200.

“Mayor Lord’s dedication to her community, its citizens and its employers are second to none,” Broome said. “Her leadership on the solar tariff issue greatly advanced the reputation of both Goodyear and the Greater Phoenix region, particularly abroad. As a result, she’s also shown the world’s businesses and entrepreneurs that the region supports, and advocates for, free trade.”

During the ceremony, GPEC showed videos highlighting each mayor’s successes. Those videos can be viewed at the following links:

Mayor Tibshraeny: https://vimeo.com/76570245
Mayor Lord: https://vimeo.com/76573543