October 10, 2014

AZ Business Magazine

Phoenix Entrepreneurs Launch Global Exchange Program

Phoenix entrepreneurs have teamed with Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela to announce the world’s first coworking and entrepreneur cultural exchange program rooted in pro bono service called CO+EXCHANGES.

The CO+EXCHANGES program, which will operate via the CO+HOOTS Foundation, an Arizona nonprofit, is designed to bring together the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and coworkers in various host cities to share knowledge, build community and collaborate to solve global challenges.

“This program gives entrepreneurs, through global collaboration, the opportunity to solve complex problems that directly impact the community,” said Jenny Poon, founder of CO+HOOTS. “It’s a global program with a powerful local impact.”

Poon and CO+HOOTS Foundation Executive Director Kristin Romaine along with Phoenix entrepreneurs Daniel Valencia and Beth Cochran, and Councilman Valenzuela announced the program at a recent international press conference held in Catania, Italy, one of the cities in the Phoenix Sister Cities program.

“I am thrilled to join CO+HOOTS in announcing the formation of CO+EXCHANGES,” Councilman Valenzuela said. “Our city is on the cusp of being one of the most dynamic cities in the country for entrepreneurs. I am committed to helping to create an environment in Phoenix where start-ups thrive and the creation of this program is another significant step in making that happen.”

Entrepreneurs participating in the CO+EXCHANGES program will have the opportunity to visit a city of their choice, cowork in a chosen coworking space in that city, and be provided with lodging and donated, discounted or subsidized airfare. All “CO+EXCHANGErs” will be asked to collaborate with the hosting space to develop a workshop that utilizes his/her expertise to better a local non-profit, community program or issue in the hosting city.

CO+EXCHANGES is currently building relationships around the world with collaborations already established in eight host cities including: Tucson, Ariz.; Calgary, B.C.; Hermosillo, Mexico; Sao Paulo, Brazil; among others.

Phoenix is expected to host 12-15 national and international entrepreneurs by next year with the support of RED DEVELOPMENT, which has provided CO+HOOTS Foundation with access to a downtown apartment suite at Cityscape Residences.

CO+EXCHANGES is also sponsored by APS, AT&T and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. For more about the program, visit coexchanges.com.