Tag Archives: SkySong

SkySong III

Online advertising co-op signs lease at SkySong 3

An advertising innovator changing the way companies advertise online will set up shop at SkySong 3 early next year.

The company, adhesive.co, is relocating from east Indian School Road and will begin its five-year lease at SkySong on January 1, 2015. The layout of the space will be in line with the online ad company’s philosophy of a creative and collaborative environment.

The performance display online advertising company—where they like to say “the geeks are in charge”—helps drive incremental business for clients and is regarded as an industry leader with a fresh approach to online advertising. The adhesive team turns pages of code into advertising solutions for advertisers and publishers.

With the leasing agreement, adhesive.co’s presence at SkySong will help enhance its brand and a perfect fit for its collaborative environment.

“The innovative environment at SkySong will become even more dynamic with the addition of adhesive,” said Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, the developer of the project. “They are online ad innovators and model collaborators who represent the best in entrepreneurial striving. We are thrilled they decided to come to SkySong, where their unique view of the world will be welcomed with open arms.”

Chad Little, one of the adhesive.co founders alongside Patrick Schwind, said: “Serial entrepreneurialism needs the right place to grow and prosper. Fortunately for Patrick and I, and our clients, we have found that place—SkySong. It’s the perfect fit for our approach, for who we are and for what adhesive is all about. We can’t wait to move in and meet our new neighbors and potential collaborators.”

The addition of adhesive.co is the latest addition to the growing SkySong project, which recently saw the completion of the SkySong Apartments and is nearing the completion of SkySong 3, the third office building at the property. With the adhesive.co lease, SkySong 3 is now at 88 percent leasing occupancy even before opening its doors. Leasing is currently ongoing for SkySong 4, the next office building at the project, with construction anticipated to begin by the end of 2014.

Mark Seale of Cassidy Turley was the leasing agent handling the transaction for adhesive.co. The Lee & Associates team of Craig Coppola, Andrew Cheney and Gregg Kafka represented the SkySong ownership group.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

• Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
• Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
• Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
• Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 73,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. Its campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contact for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

SkySong 3 Progress, WEB

Theranos leases 20KSF at SkySong 3

A major consumer healthcare innovator shaping the future of lab testing will plant a significant flag at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.

Theranos, based in Palo Alto, Calif., has leased a 20,000-square-foot wing at SkySong 3, making it one of the largest tenants in the entire SkySong project. Beating all expectations, SkySong 3 is now over 80% leased as it nears its opening later this summer.

The move by Theranos means hundreds of jobs will be created at SkySong in the short term, with that figure increasing significantly as the company continues to grow.

Founded in 2003 by Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos is working to shape the future of lab testing and the way health information is collected, analyzed, and communicated. Theranos, in the words of one media outlet, “could turn the diagnostics industry upside down” and has the potential to save Arizona taxpayers $1.3 billion dollars over the next decade. Their service provides Phoenix-area consumers with convenient access to less invasive and more affordable clinician-directed lab testing from blood samples as small as a few drops collected from a tiny finger stick. Theranos has a national partnership with Walgreens and has been rolling out its Wellness Centers inside Walgreens stores across the U.S., including 25 locations and counting in central Arizona.

With its SkySong agreement, Theranos is expanding its footprint in the Valley. The company currently has an office in Kierland, and its signature presence at SkySong is the perfect fit for its rapidly growing entrepreneurial endeavor. CBRE acted as the company’s commercial real estate agent.

Sunny Balwani, President & COO of Theranos, said the company was drawn to SkySong because of its growing reputation as a center of innovation and technology.

“The Phoenix-area community’s reception to our company has been excellent,” Balwani said. “Our commitment to innovation will create hundreds of new jobs and positively impact Arizona over the coming months and years. The SkySong center is an ideal fit for our company, and we are excited to be a part of the project.”

Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, the master developer of the project, said that Theranos is exactly the kind of company that will not only grow and thrive at SkySong, but will further the project’s mission as a home to innovation and entrepreneurship.

“You really could not ask for a better match in terms of innovative culture,” Harper said. “Elizabeth Holmes is the epitome of the word “entrepreneur”. She has a true passion to change the way laboratory testing is done and could change the way we detect and treat disease. We are thrilled to have Theranos become part of the SkySong family and we know that they will feel right at home in our innovative setting.”

With SkySong 3 approaching full occupancy, leasing is now well underway for SkySong 4.  The four-story, 150,000 SF building which will front Scottsdale Road south of SkySong Boulevard, is scheduled to break ground in late 2014.  Along with SkySong 3 and 4, the SkySong development team is now leasing a planned 10,500 square foot retail building to be built on the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and SkySong Boulevard. It’s part of the overall mixed-use vision for SkySong, which will include 1.2 million square feet of development when completed.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

• Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
• Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
• Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
• Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 73,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. Its campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contact for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

Outdoor living room

SkySong creates outdoor work environment

Sometimes, a little fresh air is all it takes to get the creative ideas and innovation flowing.

So, as part of efforts to enhance an already exceptional work environment, SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center has created a new “Outdoor Living Room” work environment where employees working at the project can collaborate and conduct business while enjoying Arizona’s weather and scenic beauty.

The Outdoor Living Room space is the first of its kind in the Valley of the Sun, and includes a combination of stunning furniture and public spaces along with the wifi connectivity and power supply necessary for working in the 21st Century business world.

And the outdoor spaces will be expanded and enhanced in the coming months to prepare for the opening of SkySong 3 and other new features in the project.

The Outdoor Living Room includes comfortable chairs from renowned architect and designer Frank Gehry’s collection as well as high-top seating for meetings and collaboration. Hayes Architecture + Interiors is leading the project from a design standpoint, with the goal of creating a truly unique environment for interactive work and brainstorming.

It’s one of a number of steps being taken at SkySong to enhance the SkySong experience and create more connectivity in the project.

Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, the master developer of SkySong, said the Outdoor Living Room spaces are part of the spirit of collaboration that has defined the project from Day 1.

“We are very proud of the work environment we have created for the companies at SkySong, where they can come together and make the most of technology to grow and enhance their businesses,” she said. “We heard from many people working at SkySong each day that they wanted more opportunities to interact with other professionals in the project, and we thought that creating inviting outdoor amenities was a great way of meeting that need for the companies working there.”

SkySong has already added food trucks on the fourth Thursday of each month as well as a First Friday trolley service into Old Town Scottsdale. These new additions will culminate with the opening of SkySong 3, scheduled to take place this summer.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

  • Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
  • Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
  • Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
  • Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

outdoor-living-room-plansCompanies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 73,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. Its campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contact for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit www.skysongcenter.com or www.facebook.com/skysongcenter.

KPNX TV, Channel 12 - Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

Transaction Creates New Partnership at SkySong

SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center has a new ownership structure after a transaction involving SkySong I and II, a 290,000 square foot, two-building office project located at Scottsdale Road and McDowell Road.

A partnership formed by Holualoa Companies, the ASU Foundation for A New American University, and Plaza Companies has purchased the entirety of the ownership in a transaction that closed on August 26, 2013. Financing for the acquisition was provided by Citigroup.

The same partners will also be starting construction of SkySong III, a third office property in the SkySong project. This new partnership represents a strong and continued collaborative focus on the cohesive technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education platform that positions SkySong tenants with competitive and distinctive advantages for their businesses.

During the period when the transaction was in escrow, leasing activity remained brisk at SkySong I and II, with more than 46,000 square feet of lease renewals and expansions in the past few weeks.

Stanton Shafer, Chief Operating Officer of Holualoa, said the transaction is a sign of the success of the project and the positive impact that SkySong has had on the Scottsdale area and the entire region.

“SkySong has had a tremendous impact on Scottsdale and on the Valley as a whole in aiding and strengthening economic development,” Shafer said. “With this transaction and with the start of construction of SkySong III, the project is truly well-positioned for tenants and companies to advance their business growth and success.”

R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr., CEO of the ASU Foundation, said the transaction is a sign of significant and ongoing investment into SkySong.

“SkySong has been a tremendous success story for Arizona State University and the ASU Foundation in furthering innovation and technology in Arizona,” he said. “We are now seeing a continued investment into SkySong in the form of this transaction and the start of SkySong III, which will have an even stronger impact on the region.”

More than 1,000 employees and 50 companies are already located on the SkySong property. Completion of SkySong III and IV and the 325-unit apartment property currently under construction will bring the total square footage of development at SkySong to almost 1 million square feet, and bring total invested capital at SkySong to almost $150 million.

“We are excited about moving forward with our new partnership and continuing to build one of the biggest success stories our community has seen over the past few years,” said Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies. “Existing tenants and prospective tenants both have come to realize the unique value proposition of SkySong. We offer something special that no other project in Arizona — or the entire country — offers.”

CBRE’s Kevin Shannon and Michael Moore in the firm’s Torrance, Calif., office, along with Bob Young, Steve Brabant, Glenn Smigiel and Rick Abraham of the Phoenix office, represented the selling entity. They were assisted by the Lee and Associates leasing team of Craig Coppola and Andrew Cheney.

The estimated construction cost of SkySong III is $32 million. The construction of SkySong III also includes a significant parking structure that will serve SkySong III and IV, as well as surface parking. Additionally, pre-leasing continues on SkySong IV, which would be located next to SkySong III and face Scottsdale Road. SkySong IV is fully permitted and shovel-ready, and the SkySong team continues to work with prospective anchor tenants.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

• Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
• Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
• Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
• Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 76,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. ASU’s campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contact for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit www.skysongcenter.com or www.facebook.com/skysongcenter.

SkySong_Exterior_001new

Transaction Creates New Partnership at SkySong

SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center has a new ownership structure after a transaction involving SkySong I and II, a 290,000 square foot, two-building office project located at Scottsdale Road and McDowell Road.

A partnership formed by Holualoa Companies, the ASU Foundation for A New American University, and Plaza Companies has purchased the entirety of the ownership in a transaction that closed on August 26, 2013. Financing for the acquisition was provided by Citigroup.

The same partners will also be starting construction of SkySong III, a third office property in the SkySong project. This new partnership represents a strong and continued collaborative focus on the cohesive technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education platform that positions SkySong tenants with competitive and distinctive advantages for their businesses.

During the period when the transaction was in escrow, leasing activity remained brisk at SkySong I and II, with more than 46,000 square feet of lease renewals and expansions in the past few weeks.

Stanton Shafer, Chief Operating Officer of Holualoa, said the transaction is a sign of the success of the project and the positive impact that SkySong has had on the Scottsdale area and the entire region.

“SkySong has had a tremendous impact on Scottsdale and on the Valley as a whole in aiding and strengthening economic development,” Shafer said. “With this transaction and with the start of construction of SkySong III, the project is truly well-positioned for tenants and companies to advance their business growth and success.”

R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr., CEO of the ASU Foundation, said the transaction is a sign of significant and ongoing investment into SkySong.

“SkySong has been a tremendous success story for Arizona State University and the ASU Foundation in furthering innovation and technology in Arizona,” he said. “We are now seeing a continued investment into SkySong in the form of this transaction and the start of SkySong III, which will have an even stronger impact on the region.”

More than 1,000 employees and 50 companies are already located on the SkySong property. Completion of SkySong III and IV and the 325-unit apartment property currently under construction will bring the total square footage of development at SkySong to almost 1 million square feet, and bring total invested capital at SkySong to almost $150 million.

“We are excited about moving forward with our new partnership and continuing to build one of the biggest success stories our community has seen over the past few years,” said Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies. “Existing tenants and prospective tenants both have come to realize the unique value proposition of SkySong. We offer something special that no other project in Arizona — or the entire country — offers.”

CBRE’s Kevin Shannon and Michael Moore in the firm’s Torrance, Calif., office, along with Bob Young, Steve Brabant, Glenn Smigiel and Rick Abraham of the Phoenix office, represented the selling entity. They were assisted by the Lee and Associates leasing team of Craig Coppola and Andrew Cheney.

The estimated construction cost of SkySong III is $32 million. The construction of SkySong III also includes a significant parking structure that will serve SkySong III and IV, as well as surface parking. Additionally, pre-leasing continues on SkySong IV, which would be located next to SkySong III and face Scottsdale Road. SkySong IV is fully permitted and shovel-ready, and the SkySong team continues to work with prospective anchor tenants.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

• Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
• Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
• Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
• Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 76,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. ASU’s campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contact for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit www.skysongcenter.com or www.facebook.com/skysongcenter.

skysong

Construction Set To Begin on 3rd SkySong Building

Construction is set to begin on the third office building at SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, continuing the momentum on one of the most successful commercial development projects in Arizona over the past few years.

With the first two office buildings at SkySong almost fully leased, work will begin on SkySong III on August 19, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for late September.   The 145,000 square foot building will be located along SkySong Boulevard, just southwest of the project’s iconic shade structure.

Arizona State University will lease 1 ½ floors of the four-story building, and current SkySong tenant WebFilings will be expanding their presence in the project by taking a full floor in SkySong III.   Plaza Companies will be taking office space on the first floor.  Combined, the three anchor tenants allow construction to begin with the building already 65 percent leased.

Like the first two buildings, SkySong III will be built to meet LEED Certification standards. The architectural design not only complements the rest of the project and the overall architectural quality of the Scottsdale area, it also includes significant consideration for sustainability. DPR is the General Contractor and Butler Design is the architect for SkySong III.

Plaza Companies continues to be the master developer of the project, in partnership with the Arizona State University Foundation and the City of Scottsdale. The financing for SkySong III is being provided by Alliance Bank of Arizona, and Holualoa Companies of Tucson has partnered with Plaza Companies for this project.

Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, said the start of construction is a significant milestone and an example of the positive impact created by SkySong.

“We are very pleased to continue to build the vision for SkySong as a technology and innovation hub,” Harper said. “SkySong has already had a tremendously positive impact on south Scottsdale and on Arizona’s economic development efforts as a whole. Despite the challenging economic conditions of the past few years, SkySong continued to thrive and attract economic growth.

“Now, with this new building and with the coming completion of the SkySong Apartments, the impact of SkySong on our community will become even more profound and positive.”

Don Couvillion, Vice President of Real Estate for the Arizona State University Foundation, said the growth of the SkySong project has made the vision ASU President Michael Crow had for the project back in the mid-2000s a reality.

“SkySong was built to create a unique location for companies with a focus on innovation and technology, and the project has succeeded in becoming a hub for forward-thinking entrepreneurship,” he said. “The impact that ASU SkySong has had, as part of the overall SkySong vision, on dozens of companies over the past few years has been particularly significant in creating new jobs and economic impact.”

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said that the impact of SkySong on southern Scottsdale has been critical in sparking new economic development in that part of the community.

“It’s just another sign of how that corridor is developing on all lines, with what’s promised, planned and underway,” he said. “SkySong has already made a significant impact in the Scottsdale and McDowell Road corridors in helping bring in new businesses and economic growth.”

The estimated construction cost of SkySong III is $32 million. The construction of SkySong III also includes a significant parking structure that will serve SkySong III and IV, as well as surface parking.

Additionally, pre-leasing continues on SkySong IV, which would be located next to SkySong III and face Scottsdale Road. SkySong IV is fully permitted and shovel-ready, and the SkySong team continues to work with prospective anchor tenants.

More than 1,000 employees and 50 companies are located on the SkySong property. Completion of SkySong III and IV and the apartments would bring the total square footage of development at SkySong to more than 900,000 square feet.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

  • Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
  • Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
  • Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
  • Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 73,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. Its campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contract for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit www.skysongcenter.com or www.facebook.com/skysongcenter.

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Goodyear lands ASU business incubator program

When the new branch of the Maricopa County Library system is completed in Goodyear later this year, it could include expanded space for the business leaders of tomorrow to work and brainstorm through a partnership in an incubator program with Arizona State University.

During the Goodyear City Council work session on July 8, Tracy Lea, venture manager at Arizona State University’s SkySong incubator center unveiled its Alexandria Model, a program that will be inside an approximate 1,000-square-foot room in the new Goodyear branch library to serve as an entrepreneur and innovation center for those pursuing business ideas. The Alexandria concept is derived from a centuries-old library purpose dating as far back as 300 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt, where townspeople came together to discuss issues, solve problems and expand on ideas.

The city council will vote on finalizing the agreement with ASU on the incubator program after it returns from its summer break.

City leaders were excited to see the presentation for the program, which will provide entrepreneurs of all ages the tools, resources and mentors to get on the pathway of development and establish themselves in the community.

“We appreciate SkySong because we know of its successes,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said. “We are so excited about this partnership and look forward to hearing the successes that generate from our local entrepreneurs.”

Having a business “incubator” in Goodyear is one of City Council’s initiatives and the city’s Economic Development Department has been working with SkySong in south Scottsdale to make center a reality in Goodyear.

SkySong’s Tracy Lea said the center also could have a military focus as Luke expects to see $260 million of construction over the next decade.

During the meeting, Lea said, “The Alexandria Concept will create a wonderful pipeline for development. “It’s been extraordinary working with this group of people in this city, and, I believe this is such a rich environment for this to take flight.”

“The West Valley has some amazing growth right now,” Lea added. “Goodyear is creating a terrific growth pattern in and of itself.”

The library, which is budgeted at $1.1 million, will include 9,600-square-feet that will feature a 1,600-square-foot multi-purpose room in addition to the 8,000-square-feet of library space. Design work for the library is on schedule to be completed by the end of July and construction beginning as early as August.

 

SkySong

SkySong hosts part of Innovation Summit

SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center will host one of the largest events in its history on Tuesday night as more than 900 people dine under the project’s iconic shade structure as part of ASU’s Education Innovation Summit.

The dinner at SkySong will feature two prominent speakers:

• “Above the Crowd with Bill Gurley,” a venture capital investor who was responsible for the launch of companies such as Amazon, OpenTable and Uber

• “Play It Smart, A Conversation About Making a Difference” with Former 49er & Super Bowl champ Ronnie Lott

More than 6,000 people visit SkySong every month for special events and to experience the project’s vibrancy and focus on innovation and technology. However, this dinner will be one of the largest events ever hosted at SkySong and the first time a large dinner has been hosted under the shade structure.

The dinner starts at 6 p.m., and is preceded by a reception and several other activities at SkySong related to the conference.

Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, said the event is truly a showcase of how SkySong is having an extraordinary influence in the Valley’s business environment.

“This is an example of how SkySong can showcase the synergy of technology and innovation it provides through a major event celebrating those principles,” Harper said. “SkySong is a true destination for entrepreneurship and advanced thinking when it comes to business, and we are proud to be able to host this exceptional event for the ASU Education Innovation Summit attendees.”

Plaza Companies is the master developer of the project in partnership with the Arizona State University Foundation and the City of Scottsdale.

Along with the vibrant activity by the more than 1,000 employees and 50 companies on the SkySong property, work continues on pre-leasing SkySong III and SkySong IV, the next two office towers to be built at the project. The two buildings would include approximately 300,000 square feet of new development, and combined with SkySong I and II and the apartments, would bring the total square footage of development at SkySong to more than 900,000 square feet.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

•    Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
•    Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
•    Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
•    Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 70,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. Its campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong. More than 16,000 students are pursuing degrees in engineering, science and mathematics fields, and ASU made $343 million in research expenditures in FY10, placing it among the top 20 research universities that do not have a medical school.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contract for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit www.skysongcenter.com or www.facebook.com/skysongcenter.

SS Reendering

SkySong sparks economic revitalization along McDowell Road Corridor

No one would guessed that a catalyst of innovation could rise from the ruins of a vacant shopping mall. And certainly no one could imagine that happening in the middle of a crippling economic downturn that affected the entire world.

But that’s what’s happened in Scottsdale.

“It is hard to think of a business attraction initiative the city has recently used that has not mentioned SkySong as a major attribute,” said Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. “SkySong has a national reputation and as it grows it will continue to elevate Scottsdale’s standing.”

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, opened in 2007 at the location that was once the Los Arcos Mall and has become one of the biggest success stories in the world when it comes to incubator and technology centers.

The vision for SkySong is to create a mixed-use project of 1.2 million square feet that will draw entrepreneurs and innovators into the project, give them the resources they need to grow and thrive, and provide them an exceptional home for when their businesses begin to take off. The vision started with Arizona State University President Michael Crow, who wanted to create the kind of technological and innovation-minded environment that would attract companies and job creation to the metro Phoenix area.

In addition to becoming home to more than 50 companies from 10 countries around the world, SkySong has become the anchor to what economic developers are calling Scottsdale’s McDowell Road Corridor, a community where innovation, technology, business and retailers have converged to create tremendous economic opportunities. Scottsdale economic development officials said more than $200 million of new capital in being invested along the McDowell Road Corridor. And the economic impact of SkySong — which was estimated to be $10 billion over the course of the next 30 years — is only expected to grow with the addition of SkySong 3.

“The targeted opening date for SkySong 3 is in 2014,” said SkySong spokesman Tom Evans. “We anticipate a kick-off in construction activity in the second quarter of 2013. In the meantime, work is continuing on the new residential units that are part of the SkySong project. The $45 million, four-story project will include 325 residential units, and is being built by MT Builders. Todd & Associates is the architecture firm for the project. The first of those units will open for occupancy in October 2013.”

Evans said you can expect to see companies that will mirror the energy of the firms that filled SkySong 1 and 2 when SkySong 3 opens.

“The businesses at SkySong share the spirit of innovation and technology that is so critical to the vision of SkySong,” Evans said. “Companies such as Jobing.com, Channel Intelligence and Adaptive Curriculum will serve as models for the new companies coming into SkySong 3 and for the smaller companies in the ASU SkySong incubator space. The companies at SkySong 3 will also continue the positive impact the project is having on the McDowell Road Corridor, thanks to the success of SkySong 1 and 2 over the past few years.”

boeing-phantom-ray

It takes fuel to win tech race

Many of us can relate to thinking of Arizona’s economy as an automobile race. To win, you need a smooth race course, a fast car, a winning driver and high-powered fuel.
Carrying that analogy into Arizona’s technology sector, it’s clear that a lot of resources have been invested and progress has been made in building a world-class race course.  We’ve made tremendous strides in creating a business climate and technology environment for facilitating both private and public sector support to address the needs of Arizona’s technology businesses.

The Arizona Technology Council has worked collaboratively with many different technology champions to build this course. Technology issues are supported by the Governor’s office, the state’s legislature, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and more.

Technology incubators and shared space facilities such as Gangplank in Chandler, Avondale and Tucson; Hackspace and Venture Catalyst at ASU’s SkySong in Scottsdale; BioInspire in Peoria; Innovation Incubator in Chandler; AzCI in Tucson; and AZ Disruptors in Scottsdale are making sure that today’s innovators are being given the right support, tools and environment to create the next big thing.

Collectively, our wins have included the passage of a tax credit for qualified research and development that is the best in the nation, the creation of the first statewide Arizona SciTech Festival and the birth of the Arizona Innovation Institute, to name a few.
Arizona’s technology industry also has great race cars. These are the technologies and intellectual property that create wealth and jobs driven by both Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs.  Companies such as Intel, Microchip Technologies, Freescale, ON Semiconductor and Avnet can all be found here.  Nearly all of the largest aerospace and defense prime contractors in the nation are located in Arizona, including Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.

The state’s entrepreneurial spirit is reflected in companies such as WebPT, Infusionsoft, Axosoft, iLinc and Go Daddy that were founded in Arizona along with the many innovators that are coming to the table every day with new ideas rich in technology.

These companies large and small are driven by some of the greatest race car drivers the nation has produced.

But when it comes to fuel, Arizona’s economy has always been running close to empty. We lack the vital capital needed to win the race. Having access to angel investors, venture capital and private equity as well as debt instruments is critical to Arizona’s success.
The situation has not been improving on the equity side of the fuel equation. To offer some relief, the Arizona Technology Council is proposing legislation that would create a system of contingent tax credits to incentivize both in-state and out-of-state investors to capitalize Arizona companies.  This program, called the Arizona Fund of Funds, would allow the state to offer $100 million in tax incentives to minimize the risk for those seeking to invest in high-growth companies.  The state government’s role would be to serve as a guarantor through these contingent tax credits in case the investments don’t yield the projected results.  Expect more information on this important piece of legislation as it advances.

On the debt side of the fuel equation, there are encouraging signs that the worst of the credit crunch may be over. Early-stage companies need access to debt instruments, or loans. Capital is needed for equipment and expansion. A line of credit can help early-stage companies through ongoing cash-flow issues. But loan activity is still modest in Arizona for small companies. It remains heavily weighted toward the strongest corporate and consumer borrowers.

Capital goes hand in hand with innovation, high-paying jobs and cutting-edge technology, products and services. Before Arizona’s economy can win the race, we will need to become more self-sufficient at providing the fuel necessary to be a winner.

Steven G. Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

SkySong

Innovation unites Arizona’s economic engines

When Arizona became a state 100 years ago, it was easy to identify its economic engines, those industries, innovators and locations that drove the state’s economy and employment.

They all started with C — copper, cotton, citrus, cattle and climate.
A decade later, it’s not so easy.

“We must find ways to diversify our economy, including investing in bioscience and technology, health science and innovation,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says. “We are coming out of the recession, and we need to move forward in a strategic way.”

Today’s economic engines are doing just that. They innovate, they collaborate, and the only one that starts with C is CityScape, and the only copper you’ll find there is Copper Blues Rock Pub and Kitchen and the cotton is at Urban Outfitters.

But today’s economic engines have to clear vision and direction for driving Arizona’s economy during its second century.

The Biodesign Institute at ASU
What it is: The Biodesign Institute at ASU addresses today’s critical global challenges in healthcare, sustainability and security by developing solutions inspired from natural systems and translating those solutions into commercially viable products and clinical practices.
Economic impact: The Biodesign Institute has met or exceeded all of the business goals set in mid-2003 by attracting more than $300 million in external funding since inception, and generating more than $200 million in proposals advanced in 2011 alone.
Companies it has helped grow: Licensed next-generation respiratory sensor technology to a European medical device developer; executed an exclusive license agreement for DNA sequencing technology to Roche, which includes a sponsored research agreement to develop devices in collaboration with Roche and IBM; and launched two Biodesign Commercial Translation companies.
Latest news: Led by electrical engineer, Nongjian Tao, ASU researchers have formulated a new sensor technology that will allow them to design and create a handheld sensor that can contribute to better diagnosis of asthma.
Michael Birt, director of the Center for Sustainable Health at the Biodesign Institute at ASU: “By establishing biosignatures centers, we hope to build a global network that will provide the scale necessary to overcome scientific limitations while creating a global platform to share methods, results and experiences.”

CityScape
What it is: A highrise mixed-use development in Downtown Phoenix consisting of residential, retail, office, and hotel components. The project covers three downtown Phoenix city blocks and is located between First Avenue and First Street, and between Washington and Jefferson streets.
Economic impact: Officials credit the evolution of Downtown Phoenix — led by CityScape — with helping the Valley land the 2015 Super Bowl, which will bring an economic impact of an estimated $500 million.
Companies it has helped grow: In addition to entertainment venues and top-notch restaurants, business leaders calling CityScape home include Alliance Bank, Cantor Law Group,  Fidelity Title, Gordon Silver, Gust Rosenfeld, Jennings, Strouss and Salmon, PLC, Polsinelli Shughart, RED Development, Squire Sanders and UnitedHealthcare.
Latest news: The 250-room boutique hotel, Hotel Palomar Phoenix by Kimpton, opened in June.
Jeff Moloznik, general manager, CityScape:  “The most progressive and entrepreneurial talent in the Valley have convened at CityScape. The impact our tenants’ businesses have brought to Downtown Phoenix is noticeable and significant. In an area that once lacked a central core, there is now energy, creativity, enterprise and excitement all day, every day in once central location.”

Intel

What it is: Intel is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices.
Economic impact: Since 1996, Intel has invested more than $12 billion in high-tech manufacturing capability in Arizona and spent more than $450 million each year in research and development. Intel is investing another $5 billion in its Chandler site to manufacture its industry-leading, next-generation 14 nanometer technology.
Companies it has helped grow: Intel has been a catalyst for helping to create Chandler’s “tech corridor,” which includes Freescale, Microchip Technology, Orbital Sciences, Avnet, Amkor, and Marvell Technologies.
Latest news: Intel and ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) are developing a customized engineering degree for some of the chip maker’s Arizona-based employees. The program is based on CTI’s modular, project-based curriculum and upon completion will provide a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering degree from ASU, with a focus in materials science.
Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny: Intel likes the partnership it has with Chandler, likes doing business in Arizona, and they’re a very good corporate citizen.”

Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport

What it is: Formerly Williams Gateway Airport (1994–2008) and Williams Air Force Base (1941–1993), it is a commercial airport located in the southeastern area of Mesa.
Economic impact: The airport helped generate $685 million in economic benefits last year, and the airport supports more than 4,000 jobs in the region.
Companies it has helped grow: Able Engineering & Component Services, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, Embraer, CMC Steel, TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc..
Latest news: The Airport Authority’s Board of Directors announced Monday the airport will undergo a $1.4 billion expansion. There is also an effort to privately raise $385 million to build two hotels and office and retail space near the airport.
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith: “Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has gone through tremendous growth and expansion and has truly arrived as a major transportation center in the Valley.”

SkySong

What it is: A 1.2-million-square-feet mixed use space that gives entrepreneurs and innovators the resources they need  to grow and thrive, and provide them an exceptional home for when their businesses begin to take off.
Economic impact: Projected to generate more than $9.3 billion in economic growth over the next 30 years, according to an updated study by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
Companies it has helped grow: Emerge.MD, Channel Intelligence, Adaptive Curriculum, Alaris, Jobing.com/Blogic, webFilings.
Latest news: Jobing, an online company that connects employers and job seekers nationally, relocated its corporate headquarters from Phoenix to SkySong.
Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane: “It is hard to think of a business attraction initiative the city has recently used that has not mentioned SkySong as a major attribute. SkySong has a national reputation and as it grows it will continue to elevate Scottsdale’s standing.”

Talking Stick

What it is: This economic engine encompasses a complex that includes the 497-room Talking Stick Resort, Courtyard Marriott Scottsdale Salt River, Casino Arizona at Talking Stick Resort, Talking Stick Golf Club, and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the spring training home of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Economic impact: Salt Rivers Fields аt Talking Stick accounted fоr 22 percent оf the the attendance for Cactus League baseball, which generates more thаn $300 million а yeаr іn economic impact tо the greater Phoenix metropolitan area economy.
Companies it has helped grow: In 2011, nearby Scottsdale Pavilions — which features 1.1 million square feet of select retail and mixed-use properties — became The Pavilions at Talking Stick. Pavilions has added Hobby Lobby, Mountainside Fitness, Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters.
Latest news: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick will be one of the ballparks selected to host the first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the spring.
David Hielscher, advertising manager, Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort: “Our property’s diverse, entertainment-driven culture and convenient locations allow us limitless opportunities for future expansion and development.”

Translational Genomics Research Institute

What it is: TGen is a non-profit genomics research institute that seeks to employ genetic discoveries to improve disease outcomes by developing smarter diagnostics and targeted therapeutics.
Economic impact: TGen provides Arizona with a total annual economic impact of $137.7 million, according to the results of an independent analysis done by Tripp Umbach, a national leader in economic forecasting.
Companies it has helped grow: TGen researchers have collaborated with Scottsdale Healthcare, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Ascalon International Inc., MCS Biotech Resources LLC, Semafore Pharmaceuticals Inc., Silamed Inc., Stromaceutics Inc., SynDevRx Inc., and Translational Accelerator LLC (TRAC). and many others.
Latest news: When TGen-generated business spin-offs and commercialization are included,  Tripp Umbach predicts that in 2012 TGen will produce $47.06 for every $1 of state investment, support 3,723 jobs, result in $21.1 million in state tax revenues, and have a total annual economic impact of $258.8 million.
Michael Bidwill, president of the Arizona Cardinals: “TGen is one of this state’s premier medical research and economic assets, and is a standard-bearer for promoting everything that is positive and forward-looking about Arizona.”

University of Arizona’s Tech Park

What it is: The University of Arizona Science and Technology Park (UA Tech Park) sits on 1,345 acres in Southeast Tucson. Almost 2 million square feet of space has been developed featuring high tech office, R&D and laboratory facilities.
Economic impact: In 2009, the businesses that call Tech Park home had an economic impact of $2.67 billion in Pima County. This included $1.81 billion in direct economic impacts such as wages paid and supplies and services purchased and $861 million in indirect and induced dollar impacts. In total, the Tech Park and its companies generated 14,322 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced).
Companies it has helped grow: IBM, Raytheon, Canon USA, Citigroup, NP Photonics, and DILAS Diode Laser.
Latest news: A 38.5-acre photovoltaic array is the latest addition to the Solar Zone technology demonstration area at Tech Park. Power generated from the facility will be sold to Tucson Electric Power Co., providing power for  about 1,000 homes.
Bruce Wright, associate vice president for University Research Parks:  “By 2011, the park had recaptured this lost employment (resulting from the recession) with total employment increasing to 6,944. In addition, the number of tenants had expanded from 50 to 52 reflecting the addition of new companies in the Arizona Center for Innovation and the development of the Solar Zone at the Tech Park.”

87526129

Parchment Merges Docufide with Avow Systems

Parchment Inc. announced the acquisition of Avow Systems, Inc., merging two of the leading electronic transcript (e-Transcript) platforms – Docufide serving 30 percent of U.S. secondary schools and Avow Systems serving nearly 100 top postsecondary institutions, including Stanford University, the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Colorado systems. On a combined basis, Parchment is the largest focused e-Transcript provider, with more than 9,000 high schools and colleges in its network, 6 million transactions completed, 115 employees, and $6 million annual investment in research and development.

“Electronic transcripts are part of the Parchment DNA, and Avow shares that passion,” said Parchment CEO Matthew Pittinsky, Ph.D. “Avow’s focus on Secure PDF transcript technology and Parchment’s focus on the creation of a global e-Transcript exchange network will combine to create an unparalleled capacity to innovate in this dynamic, emerging market.”

“Avow Systems’ clients have asked for a more streamlined approach to delivering e-Transcripts to other institutions and corporations. The Parchment receiver network now gives us that ability, in turn providing better and more efficient services to students, alumni, and institutions,” said Avow Systems General Manager Ron Hyman. “With Parchment, we now have the full solution.”

Parchment has traditionally served the K-12 market, and now more than 30 percent of the secondary school market has standardized on delivering transcripts through the Docufide by Parchment™ network, which recently surpassed 4 million transcripts exchanged securely. Avow Systems has traditionally focused on the secure exchange of high-stakes electronic documents among higher education institutions and recently passed the 2 million transcript mark. With the merger, Parchment now services all the key segment leaders in higher education, including seven of the 11 “Ivy Plus” institutions, more than 80 of the largest four-year universities, and hundreds of community and career colleges, including University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Southern California.

“Both Docufide and Avow customers can rest assured knowing we’ll continue to run both platforms for the near future with no disruption of service,” said Pittinsky. “We’ll work closely with the Parchment Advisory Board and the Avow Systems Advisory Council to chart a strategy that creates the best K-20 e-Transcript exchange network.”

Parchment is the leader in electronic transcript (e-Transcript) exchange. More than 9,000 high schools (over 30 percent of the U.S. secondary school market) and postsecondary institutions have exchanged 6 million transcripts using the Docufide by Parchment™ and Avow by Parchment SaaS platforms. Beyond providing the cost and operational efficiencies of e-Transcripts, Parchment works with learners and institutions around the world to unlock the value of transcript and credential data – helping people collect, promote, and share their education credentials in simple and secure ways. At Parchment.com, students can research colleges and discover their chances of admission, see how they compare with peers, get college recommendations, and send official transcripts when they are ready to apply. Founded in 2003, Parchment Inc. is a venture-backed company headquartered in Scottsdale with offices in Roseville, Calif., Washington, D.C., and Denver.

SkySong_Exterior_001new

9 Arizona Inc. 500 Companies to Speak at SkySong Luncheon

The nine Arizona-based Inc. 500 companies will speak to the business community at an educational luncheon event on Thursday, October 18th from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center. These ‘best of Arizona’ company leaders will share insights on their remarkable economic success during challenging economic times.

These 9 local companies were recognized in the September issue of Inc. magazine that highlights the nation’s 500 fastest-growing companies. They hope that executives of other companies in Arizona can learn from their experience and growth techniques.

In aggregate, these nine Arizona companies increased revenues by 1,785 percen, from $4.8 million in 2008 to $90.4 million in 2011. This reflects a 166 percent annual compounded growth rate over this three-year period. What makes this even more remarkable is that this growth was achieved during
severe recessionary economic times as reflected by GDP growth of only 6.1 percent from 2008 to 2011. These companies grew almost 300 times faster than the US economy during this period.

The October 18th lunch event is titled “Arizona Inc. 500: Nine Ways to Grow” and will feature key executives from these nine companies discussing what has worked to achieve their growth.

This special business event will have three moderators: Glenn Hamer, CEO at Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Hank Marshall, Senior Vice President at Arizona Commerce Authority; and Doug Bruhnke, CEO at Growth Nation. Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane will kick off the event. Five of the nine companies are based in Scottsdale. The presentations by company leaders will cover a range of corporate growth and business strategy topics in a panel format.

Arizona’s Inc. 500 Companies: The Joint (national chiropractic clinic franchise); GlobalMed (real-time healthcare delivery systems for telemedicine); Loan Resolution (assists banks in fixing bad loans and selling property); Blue Global Media (operates affiliate Performance Marketing Network); Digital Video Networks (interactive city-directory kiosks and audio video systems); MYTEK Network Solutions (IT services, analytics and help desk support); American Group (freight-shipping services for small and midsized businesses); DreamBrands (natural healthy anti-aging products for 40+ target market); and Citywide Restoration (restores damaged properties and offers related services).

Interested attendees can register by signing up here: http://arizonainc500.eventbrite.com/.

SkySong - Residential

Construction Set To Begin On SkySong Residential

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, is taking the next major step forward toward its eventual buildout, as construction is set to begin on 325 residential units.

The $44M project will mark the next major phase of the project, and will include the first residential units in the mixed-use project. The apartments will be built around the existing parking structure on the southeast portion of the project.

Construction will be done in four phases, with the first 83 units scheduled to open for occupancy in October 2013. All 325 units are scheduled to be built out by April 2014.

The apartments will feature innovative, modern architecture and a variety of floor plans to attract professionals who are employed in the area, as well as those who work on the SkySong campus. It will feature loft designs with private patios or balconies, granite and local stone accents, a large pool and Jacuzzi, an on-site exercise room and many other state-of-the-art features.

MT Builders is the construction firm responsible for the project buildout, and Lincoln Property Company has been selected as the property management firm for the project.

Don Couvillion, Vice President of Real Estate for the ASU Foundation, said the apartments will be highly competitive in the marketplace and serve a key need in the area around SkySong.

“We’re very excited to get this project under construction because we believe it has the potential to be highly successful,” Couvillion said. “The kind of high-quality residential component we are planning will meet a key market niche in the area and provide new residential opportunities for those wanting to live in this dynamic part of the Valley.”

Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, said the residential component is a key part of making the SkySong vision a reality.

“SkySong has always been planned as a mixed-use development that provides an exceptional environment for living and working,” Harper said. “With this residential project underway, we are getting closer than ever to our goal of truly revitalizing this property and making SkySong an ideal destination for the kind of jobs and industries that will have a positive economic impact on our community.”

Plaza Companies is the master developer of the project, and although they are not directly participating in the construction of the apartments, other efforts on the site are underway as well. Plaza is developing the project in partnership with the Arizona State University Foundation and USAA Real Estate Company.

Work also continues on pre-leasing SkySong III and SkySong IV, the next two office towers to be built at the project. The two buildings would include approximately 300,000 SF of new development, and combined with SkySong I and II and the apartments, would bring the total square footage of development at SkySong to approximately 750,000 square feet.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

For more information on SkySong, visit www.skysongcenter.com.

International business - AZ Business Magazine April 2008

International Business Opportunities Increase In Arizona

Arizona leaders are pushing the state’s businesses to the international forefront

When principals from United Kingdom-based txtNation, a technology solutions provider, wanted to spread their global wings they turned to Arizona to set up a U.S. location. Similarly, when the German firm Ubidyne, a wireless technology developer, was looking to establish its first U.S. global footprint, it zeroed in on Scottsdale and SkySong, the Arizona State University Scottsdale Innovation Center, to make an imprint. Ditto for Sebit, a Turkish e-learning company. Somehow, the Grand Canyon State is on the international radar these days.

Obviously, Arizona’s expansive blue skies and mountain vistas are appealing to these international companies. But the strategy behind such international business in Arizona hasn’t occurred by accident — it has been clearly mapped out by statewide economic development officials keen on building Arizona’s economy far beyond tourism, real estate and retirement mainstays.

Today, Arizona is playing on the global business stage and it is not a bit part. In 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Arizona exported $19.18 billion worth of goods to a collection of countries around the globe — up from $18.28 billion in 2006.

The bulk of Arizona’s exports came from the Valley. According to 2006 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the metro Phoenix area logged almost $11 billion in exports, placing it in the top 20 metro areas nationwide. Tucson exported more than $3.2 billion worth of goods in 2006.

Based on the 2006 figures, Arizona’s increase in exports outpaced that of Texas and California. In addition, Arizona’s per capita exports in 2006 were at $2,966, besting Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.

Along with increasing exports, economic leaders’ are also working to bring more international businesses and foreign direct investment to the state.

“We strive to put Arizona on the international map,” says Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and one of a handful of statewide economic experts pushing for Arizona’s global business success, in large part with his role in an economic statewide partnership called the Arizona Global Network (AGN). “Arizona is emerging as an incubator for international firms expanding in the U.S.”

The AGN includes economic brainpower from Flagstaff to Tucson to Yuma and everywhere in between. All have partnered with the goal to put Arizona’s business on the international scene. This stepped-up spotlight can be attributed to a number of factors. But for txtNation Director Michael Whelan, the decision for his firm came down to the fact that Arizona is a state on the ascension in the international business community.

“TxtNation chose Greater Phoenix due to its location, being a West Coast city on the rise,” he says, adding there is a global sense that Arizona is becoming an international “entrepreneurial hotbed” and that it also played a role in the expansion process.

Northern and Southern Exposure

Of course, Arizona has long counted its brother and sister to the North and South — Mexico and Canada — as global business family partners. These efforts continue today.

Glenn Williamson has experienced success in the international business market. He’s founded, sold and run various enterprises, but today he’s gunning for Arizona to build successful partnerships and business relationships with Canada. Much like Canada’s wide-open lands, the opportunities are vast.

“Our primary goal is to push bilateral trade between Canada and Arizona to the $5 billion mark by the end of 2008,” says Williamson, founder and CEO of the Canada Arizona Business Council (CABC). “We are well on our way to achieving that goal.”
Canada is Arizona’s No. 2 global trading partner behind Mexico. In 2006, according to U.S. Department of Commerce numbers, Arizona exported more than $5.3 billion worth of goods to Mexico compared to just more than $1.8 billion to Canada.

Williamson says the CABC has several primary goals. First, besides significantly increasing the trade between the two countries, the CABC is seeking a direct flight between Montreal and Phoenix, while also upgrading the seasonal flights between various Canadian cities and Arizona. Then, there is fostering the huge impact of Canadian residents who are interested in, or already are, doing business in Arizona.

“Gov. Janet Napolitano gets international business, the tourism folks get it, Tucson gets it and the Arizona Department of Commerce gets it,” Williamson says. “Now, we have to convince everyone else.”

Williamson is quick to praise statewide efforts such as AGN and calls statewide leaders, including ASU President Michael Crow, key catalysts to pushing Arizona onto the international business stage.

“ASU is huge in these efforts,” he adds. “We need their brainpower to make this successful. Everything is pointing in the right direction, but we need to put the pedal to the metal.”

International EDU

Besides Crow’s intensity at ASU and the hotbed of activity at SkySong, which Julie Rosen, ASU’s assistant vice president for economic affairs, touts as an atmosphere of “unparalleled opportunity,” other educational institutions in Arizona are aiming for the international business beacon.
Consistently ranking in the top echelon of international business schools, the Thunderbird School of Global Management has operations in Latin America, Asia, Europe and Russia. The school has forged public sector partnerships like those with ASU to better compete in the international education arena. Over the past two years, Thunderbird has pioneered significant relations with ASU, especially ASU’s West campus and the School of Global Management and Leadership (SGML).

In addition, the Arizona Department of Commerce has foreign trade offices in London, Mexico and Japan, as well as investment offices in Ireland, Japan and Hong Kong.

“Broadly, business executives and community leaders recognize that attracting out-of-state and foreign direct investment and business, as well as increasing trade, should receive significantly more emphasis to secure Arizona’s growth and provide good, well-paying jobs,” notes Gary Waissi, dean of the ASU SGML. “There are several organizations with advanced initiatives working aggressively on these areas.”

ASU, GPEC, AGN and others are continually pushing for increased international business opportunities in Arizona. But, as Arizona Department of Commerce Director Jan Lesher points out, while exports and international business opportunities continue to increase in the state, there is a baseline that needs to be established before Arizona can truly “go global” now and into the future.

“Arizona companies need to establish first a solid domestic market, and then consider expanding to national markets,” she says. “International customers can be ideal for Arizona-based businesses; however, this is a decision that needs to be done carefully — international means a company must have the resources, market know-how and commitment to stick with it.”

It’s a point not lost on those who, like Lesher, are continually working to cultivate these relationships.

“It is all about recognizing that in today’s world, business is truly global,” Waissi says. “And at the same time knowing there is a need to strategically diversify in select industries.

For more information visit the following websites:

azcommerce.com
gpec.org
commerce.gov