Tag Archives: Silicon Valley

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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.”

TJ Miller

TJ Miller headlines House of Comedy grand opening

A new joint is hitting High Street. Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy will celebrate its grand opening on September 4. Comedian T.J. Miller, who currently stars in HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and co-stars in “Transformers 4,” will be bringing the funny opening weekend along with one of his co-stars from “The Transformers,” the Rally Fighter “Scary Car” – courtesy of Chandler’s own Local Motors.

Located at 5350 E. High Street, The House of Comedy is scheduled to showcase some of the touring circuit’s top acts — from “Something about Mary” star Harland Williams to this season’s “Last Comic Standing” stars Jimmy Shubert, Lachlan Patterson, Rocky Laporte and Monroe Martin and NBC’s “Undateable” Brent Morin.

“We will be showcasing the biggest, best and brightest stars in stand-up comedy whose credits include appearances on Fallon, Letterman, Conan, Kimmel, Last Comic Standing, SNL, Mad TV, Comedy Central and other popular shows,” stated Tammy MacPherson, CFO and House of Comedy booker.

Owner, comedian and former Travel Channel host Rick Bronson said, “We are thrilled to be opening on High Street, undoubtedly the North Valley’s next great entertainment, dining and party district. With tenants like Toby Keith’s – I Love This Bar & Grill, Blue Martini, Kona Grill – and many more soon to come, High Street reminds me of some of America’s coolest streets. It won’t be long before High Street rivals famed areas such as San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, South Beach’s Lincoln Road Mall and Austin’s 6th Street.”

The adjoining Heckler Lounge, featuring the North Valley’s best new outdoor patio, offers up unique cocktails and dining delights. The menu features a signature Bloody Mary prepared with the choice of a horseradish infused vodka or a roasted red pepper infused vodka.

The dining menu showcases signature dishes such as the Canadian inspired delicacy – Poutine. It features Waffle Cut Fries covered in Cheese Curds and smothered in a Hot Beef Gravy. The State Fare (a share platter featuring State Fair cuisine) like Mac n Cheese Bites, Mini Corn Dogs, Deep Fried Cheese Curds, Corn on the Cob, Buffalo Bites and Mini Donuts. (I know… Yum!) But it’s not just fried food. The menu features a plethora of fabulous flatbreads, brilliant burgers, signature salads and absolutely appealing appetizers.

The House of Comedy will operate Tuesday to Sunday with additional performances on Fridays and Saturdays. The Heckler opens for happy hour daily.

IP

Lewis Roca Rothgerber’s IP Team earns No. 1 ranking

Lewis Roca Rothgerber’s Intellectual Property Group received more mentions by Fortune 500 companies for IP litigation than any other firm in the United States, according to Corporate Counsel Magazine’s 2013 survey, “Who Represents America’s Biggest Companies.”  The survey also recognized the firm’s patent prosecution practice.

Michael McCue, Co-Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice, said, “The survey is a testament to our practical, cost-effective representation.”  “We are focused on client service and value, not billable hours and maximizing our own profits to the detriment of our clients.”  The firm’s IP practice has been built by hiring laterals from top firms and offering flexible and creative pricing customized to clients’ needs.  The firm’s IP group serves clients across the U.S. from offices in Silicon Valley, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver and Tucson.

IP

Lewis Roca Rothgerber's IP Team earns No. 1 ranking

Lewis Roca Rothgerber’s Intellectual Property Group received more mentions by Fortune 500 companies for IP litigation than any other firm in the United States, according to Corporate Counsel Magazine’s 2013 survey, “Who Represents America’s Biggest Companies.”  The survey also recognized the firm’s patent prosecution practice.

Michael McCue, Co-Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice, said, “The survey is a testament to our practical, cost-effective representation.”  “We are focused on client service and value, not billable hours and maximizing our own profits to the detriment of our clients.”  The firm’s IP practice has been built by hiring laterals from top firms and offering flexible and creative pricing customized to clients’ needs.  The firm’s IP group serves clients across the U.S. from offices in Silicon Valley, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver and Tucson.

Sheryl Hildebrand - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Sheryl Hildebrand – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Sheryl Hildebrand – Partner, Deloitte

Hildebrand is Deloitte’s Phoenix leader for its Enterprise Risk Advisory Services practice. She previously held similar roles in Silicon Valley and Seattle. Hildebrand leads a team of 40 professionals providing internal audit, IT auditing, enterprise risk management and finance process improvement services.

Surprising fact: “On sunny weekends, you can find me on the back seat of a Harley — in desert mountain ranges near Phoenix or forested highways of Washington state, traveling with the wind in my hair.”

Biggest challenge: “Being asked to uproot and move my family and my practice two times to take on business growth and leadership responsibilities in new locations. Network, network, network.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

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Stanton pitches Phoenix to Silicon Valley businesses

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wants businesses in Silicon Valley to relocate to Arizona.

Stanton traveled to California this week to sell Phoenix as a prime location for technology and manufacturing jobs.

Stanton says Phoenix needs to proactively attract employers.

Stanton’s office would not say what companies he is approaching in California because the meetings are confidential.

Stanton has traveled to Silicon Valley in the past to persuade companies there to relocate or open new branches in Phoenix.

He also has made several recent trips to Mexico to promote international trade.

Stanton was elected mayor in 2011.

Stealth Software CEO Gerard Warrens.

Software firm picks Valley as U.S. HQ

Stealth Software CEO Gerard Warrens announced Tuesday that the Netherlands-based company will locate its United States headquarters in Arizona, which the company selected over Austin, New York and Silicon Valley.

The software development and marketing company based in Luxembourg announced plans to open its U.S. headquarters and hire 200 people in metropolitan Phoenix.

Warrens said Tuesday that the privately owned company will pick a city within two to four weeks where it will locate its new office.

Warrens says the company considered Austin, New York and Silicon Valley, but picked Arizona because it offered a competitive business environment and a skilled workforce.

The firm is looking to hire software developers, sales people and others.

It also wants to do work in the bioscience, aerospace and defense sectors and collaborate in research projects with universities across Arizona.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says the announcement is a sign that Arizona’s business environment is becoming more competitive.

Startup Hubs - Infographic Featured

Surprising Startup Hubs Across the U.S.

Typically, when people hear the word “startup” they envision the hi-tech hub of Silicon Valley. However, there are many surprising regions across the U.S. that are experiencing a boom in entrepreneurial growth and expansion. Venture 51, a seed-and early-stage fund built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs based in Phoenix, put together this infographic that takes a look at where startups are flourishing and where they are fizzling.

Have you noticed entrepreneurial expansion in your state?

Startup Hubs - Infographic

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Infographic Credits, courtesy of Venture 51:

Source: Venture 51
Designed by: Column Five Media

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