This post was contributed by Neel Mehta, co-founder and CSO of EpiFinder
Over the last decade, Phoenix and the surrounding areas have been in the throws of transformation. What was previously seen as primarily a tourist destination has completely shifted its emphasis to become one of the most important, diverse and generous entrepreneurial support systems. Everyone – from students to investors to industry leaders and everyone in between – now correctly sees the area as the premiere destination that it was always meant to be. At the heart of this is PHX Startup Week, which is an event that has a little something to offer nearly every type of person involved in this climate.
What is PHX Startup Week?
At its core, PHX Startup Week was designed to be a week-long event to showcase, celebrate and inspire the larger entrepreneurial community of Arizona. It’s one part educational opportunity and one part networking event intended to not only support the important men and women in and around Arizona who are doing exceptional work on a daily basis, but also to service both current and future entrepreneurs in the area with the types of meaningful industry connections and high quality content that they just won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Success is about Support
Many people fail to realize just how important a particular community is to the development of a startup company. It’s a large part of the reason why many companies tend to flock to one particular area, with Palo Alto, California being a prominent example. In order for everyone to succeed and accomplish their goals, communities need to be less just a collection of like-minded individuals and more a true support system. Everyone involved – from government officials to local businesses to mentors and even educational institutions – need to work hard to not only attract high-quality startups for the benefit of the local infrastructure, but also to create the type of place where nothing is allowed to get in the way of the important work that needs to be done.
Many experts agree that one of the single biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face in the early days of a startup is getting noticed in the first place. Getting attention for not just yourself, but for your company, are of paramount importance. While a full-on marketing assault is definitely a way to do this, it may not be practical for a company that is already light on resources that may or may not have the funding it needs. Community and industry events are one of the most effective ways to announce your presence to the world, communicate your message and get your startup off on the right foot.
Don’t Just Help Yourself – Help Each Other
An old saying tells us that “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it,” which is another one of the reasons why a nurturing community like Phoenix is so important to entrepreneurs. People can get together not just as a company, but as an entire industry – helping to learn from one another’s mistakes and propel themselves forward not in an attempt to “squash the competition” or perform another antiquated notion of what it really means to be a success, but to help entrepreneurs accomplish their goals and to give back to the community that has already given them so much, regardless of which community that happens to be.
Why PHX Startup Week is Worth Paying Attention To
PHX Startup Week is a way to help entrepreneurs not only accomplish these goals for themselves, but to create a safe space where other like-minded individuals can do the exact same thing, year-after-year, for the foreseeable future.