PHX Startup Week brings together the PHX entrepreneurship community for six days of education, connection and support. This community-organized and community-run event is focused on bringing diverse voices to the table and cultivating a community, positioning PHX to thrive. PHX Startup Week 2019, Thrive Together, is supported by thousands of entrepreneurs, businesses and service providers in the entrepreneurial ecosystem from across Arizona, empowering the entrepreneurial spirit.

March 4-5

Mesa Center for the Arts

1 E. Main St. in Mesa

Tech Content




Sports Entrepreneurship

Non-Tech Content


Retail & E-Commerce


Food & Wellness

March 6-7

Skaled Sandbox

3838 N. 7th St. in Phoenix

Tech Content




Product & Manufacturing

Non-Tech Content





March 8-9

Park University

92 W. Vaughn Ave in Gilbert

Tech Content




Emerging Tech

Non-Tech Content


Finance & Real Estate


Social Entrepreneurship



Kate Rogers

CoVibe – CEO

I love our community and feel a draw to giving back. PHX Startup Week has always been a platform that felt meaningful, it’s so exciting to see companies evolve and grow year over year, and see entrepreneurs learn and connect. As an ecosystem, we have the opportunity to grow and #ThriveTogether by recognizing strengths, contribution, and commonalities in people, industries, demographics and the like. This will ultimately make us stronger and more unified.

Visit Website

Mike Jones

Resound – CEO

I’m so excited for this year and our theme of Diversity – Thrive Together! The confluence of different experiences, perspectives, ideas, and industries in one place is incredible.

Visit Website


Alayna Thredgold

Tech Data – Project Manager, Supply Chain Transformation

I volunteered with PHX SUW because I believe that the entrepreneurs, startups, and local businesses in our community help define our values today and our vision for tomorrow. I hope to meet many inspiring friends and mentors that can continue to show me how to cultivate a successful mindset and elevate the business reputation of Arizona. I’m ready for us to innovate, collaborate, and thrive together.

Visit Website


Adam Gonzales

Tether Tools – Lead Web Developer

I work for a small business in Phoenix and take pride in the hard work that goes into building something special

Visit Website

Alex Leiphart

Alex and Co. / BrandLoyal – Owner, Art Director, Designer

Being a startup owner myself, I felt it was important to give back to community and help it grow. I hope to meet other like-minded individuals from a wide variety of industries. It’s important as Phoenix grows that we acknowledge the diversity of people, industries, and ideas here.

Visit Website

Amber Pechin

Amplitude Media – Partner

The goal of creating and connecting the diversity that exists in PHX to cultivate a thriving ecosystem is a goal I feel passionate about and am thrilled to contribute to. It’s especially timely given the division that exists in the country in general. I believe that change starts with each of us, in our homes and our communities and I want to be an active part of this change.

Visit Website

Ambra Jordan

American Express – Marketing Analyst

I’m interested in stretching my skills and using them for causes I care about. Innovation drives the world and I love the startup ecosystem.

Anita Oas

Grand Canyon University, Arizona Christian University, and Maricopa Country Community College District – Adjunct Professor

I’ve been an entrepreneur and marketer for a very long time. I really enjoy giving back and helping the next generation grow and innovate.

Visit Website
Visit Website

Austin Martin

C.H. Robinson Global Logistics – Sales Specialist / Consultant

I have a passion for future technologies that will be transforming our society and way of living and I want to contribute to the development of that ecosystem here in Arizona wherever possible. I originally moved to Phoenix to get involved in autonomous vehicle development where I have worked with multiple startups and companies here in the valley. I also have a passion for the developing crypto asset class and learning more about the blockchain tech it encompasses. I hope to gain some experience on the marketing team making PHX SUW the best community driven event possible and I look forward to networking and learning more about the ever-evolving entrepreneurial landscape here in Arizona.

Visit Website

Jack Dorney

Jack & Bean – Managing Partner

I volunteer to ensure PHX SUW continues to be the premiere community event for entrepreneurs, startup founders and independent business owners in the Valley. I had been seeking out the PHX entrepreneurial scene for months when I first attended PHX Startup Week in 2017, and I knew that I had to be a part of making it happen the following year. I enjoy meeting business, marketing, and tech professionals from a variety of different backgrounds, industries, degrees of success and experience, and so I am very excited that the theme of inclusiveness and diversity is our focus for 2019.

Visit Website

Melissa Balkon

Strong Design Studios – Founder + Lead Designer

I’ve volunteered before with Phoenix Design Week, and had such a great time being involved in the community, so I thought maybe it was time to help out with another one of our thriving communities here in the valley—the startup community. I wouldn’t say there is any one kind of person that I’m looking to meet—just to get more involved in the community through putting my design knowledge to work. I think the Thrive Together theme is important because we can do so much more together than apart, so I want to encourage that in our community.

Visit Website

Reid Markel

Amplitude Media – Partner

I wanted to volunteer with PHX SUW because of the amazing community of entrepreneurs we have in the valley. I hope to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs, and increase my understanding of business. PHX SUW 2019 Diversity is important to me because it’s something that is so valuable in business, when groups are diverse they are better.

Visit Website

Rick Tran

General Dynamics – Systems Architect

I love to contribute to this startup community and work with the awesome folks.

Ronald Roberts

Shoot Productions – Owner

Volunteering for PHX SUW was no a brainer. Working with some of the brightest minds our community has to offer is a priceless opportunity. Whether you are serving in a volunteer capacity, or actually attending the event the goal is always to gain information and build relationships. I’m personally looking forward to building relationships with individuals I would not normally come across in my everyday life. There are so many wonderful things happening in the lives of people around us, and PHX SUW serves as a hub for all of us to converge and create an unrivaled experience. Thrive together is our theme this year, and I think it’s so important. Being an entrepreneur myself, I have and still am learning the importance of support. Having a community of people to lean on and that can lean on you, all striving for a common goal…SUCCESS! Thru accomplishments and failures there is so much to learn, and what better way to learn than doing it together.

Visit Website

Savannah Ivanitski

Speed Savvy – Marketing Freelancer

I was excited to volunteer with PHX SUW and to be a part of supporting so many growing businesses in the PHX area. I am looking forward to meeting talented people, and learning all about the different backgrounds and experiences of entrepreneurs in PHX. Thrive Together is so valuable to our community and the timing couldn’t be better. PHX has a great entrepreneurial community, and bringing together all of those backgrounds – we can make great leaps here in PHX.

Visit Website


Alex Quinn

BrightGuest – Marketing

I volunteer for PHX Startup Week because it’s important to support the growth of the local startup ecosystem. I’m part of a tech startup and know how crucial community and mentoring are for startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses. When you’re a small team and time is a limited resource, it can seem counterproductive to take focus away from internal work, but it’s important to get out of the office and get involved. Whether it be volunteering for a nonprofit, taking an external meeting, or supporting a local event, help people out and it usually comes back tenfold. You have to give back to get back.

Visit Website

Brian Rensing

Digital Savage – Principal Consultant

I volunteered for PHX SUW as a way to help connect people from different business, non-profit, and governmental entities in a way that support entrepreneurship in Phoenix. I look forward to meeting people who are passionate about building something new as they make the world a better place. Which is why the “Thrive Together” theme is so important – there are so many people of so many backgrounds that, if given the opportunity to connect and collaborate can make good ideas great and better enable execution.

Ryan Quinn

BrightGuest – Founder & CEO

I joined the PHX Startup Week team fall 2016 to help plan the 2017 event. I had a new startup, didn’t know many people in the community and wanted to get involved. I took over mentoring because as a founder, I know how hard it can be to get a meeting with seasoned entrepreneurs or business leaders. Mentoring gives you the opportunity to learn from people who’ve been in your shoes and have made the mistakes you’re going to make. I wanted to help provide those crucial connections. Helping the local startup community grow is an important part of BrightGuest’s company culture, so I’ve been involved with Startup Week ever since.

Visit Website


Anthony Argenziano

DocSolid – Chief Product & Technology Officer

I volunteered for PHX SUW because I wanted to reconnect with the Phoenix startup community. I’ve worked for startups and other tech companies in the Phoenix metro area for over 20 years, but in recent years have become a little disconnected from the community. I love the Diversity theme! We need more diversity in our community, but more important, we need it in our nation. This is our opportunity to contribute to diversity nationwide by starting in our backyard.

Visit Website

Katie Hurst

Lash Affair – Director of Marketing

I volunteered with PHX SUW because I’m a startup groupie! Other than currently working for a startup, I previously have run coworking spaces focused on helping young companies grow. Plus, I’m a sucker for anything related to operations. The great thing about SUW is you never know who you could meet, so my plan is to walk into every conversation focused on the opportunities and possibilities that exist with each person. One of the reasons I moved back to Arizona after time away in other states is because of the tremendous diversity in backgrounds, cultures, and experiences that exist here. I think startups often don’t reflect that same diversity because of the hurdles to entry. I hope SUW can help reduce or eliminate some of those barriers.

Visit Website

Nai Wang

KP Education Systems – Founder

I attended PHXSUW for the past three years and loved the experience. When I volunteered last year I experienced a little bit of the behind the scenes, fell in love with the people I met and wanted to contribute my expertise, hoping I can help. From day one I met amazing people who have the same passion for the small business and entrepreneurship ecosystem and want to grow the base. PHXSUW gives startups a chance to network and realize you aren’t the only one on an island because others are on the same journey. Being an Asian American, diversity is at the forefront of my mind. I wouldn’t be where I am at without the help of people from diverse backgrounds. Having founded 3 startups, I hope that I can now provide help and guidance to upcoming millennials who have dreams of owning their slice of the pie.

Visit Website

Pearl Filani

Lady Jewel, LLC – Owner

I want to build a cultural of giving back to our community within Lady Jewel so I knew that would have to start me. PHX SUW gives us the opportunity to serve you, our neighbors and colleagues within a space we play in all day. Serving PHX SUW also allows us the opportunity to introduce this conference into the events world here in the valley where it is currently unknown. I’m hoping that we promote true diversity, bringing together groups of various backgrounds, beliefs, life stories to answer some big questions. Without all of us working together to solve our common issues, we will cease to exist. That’s why I know diversity is an important and timely theme.

Visit Website

Ryan Sanford

Kozee Labs Inc – Co-Founder/VP Product Development/Sales

The Phoenix community has helped me thrive as an entrepreneur, want to give back as much as possible. I hope to meet anyone who is excited for what the future holds, and even more excited about making Phoenix stand out in the tech world. Diversity can mean so many things, and we all come from some type of Diverse background. Embracing diversity is key to a brighter future for everyone.

Visit Website
Visit Website

Tim Tiller

MyTek Technology Solutions – President & CEO

I am passionate about building winning solutions through service to others and being a volunteer team member for PHX SUW checked both of these boxes. I am excited to play a role within this grassroots team of diverse individuals who are all focused on one thing – empowering the entrepreneurial spirit. I look forward to being exposed to new ideas while meeting new people who challenge me to expand my perspectives. It is my hope that our community is stronger because of PHXSUW’s impact.

Visit Website

Zachary Schuessler

Davinci Digital – Cofounder

We all benefit as voices are added to a conversation. I’m excited to help promote that idea this year! Let’s thrive and become one, from many.

Visit Website


Ben Johnson

Villicus, Inc – IT Director

I came to find out about it through Mike Jones. I hope to meet like minded people who like to support local business. Local communities are very important to nurture. It is where amazing things happen that cannot occur at the national level.

Lloyd Hopkins

Million Dollar Teacher Project – Executive Director/Founder

I wanted to be a part of expanding the audience that feels welcomed at PHX SUW. I am hoping to meet other visionaries looking to change systems in Phoenix and beyond. The theme of this year is important to me because I think there are talented people in all communities and we need to create forums to hear from them more frequently.

Visit Website

Melissa Ballesteros

The Asian Banker – Head of Global Conferences & Events

Bringing individuals and businesses together in the pursuit of knowledge and progress is a passion of mine. Since my experience attending the event last year, I’ve wanted to be part of the PHX SUW 2019 team! I would like to learn more from the hardworking entrepreneurs, the business leaders, and the new investors that create amazing products and services. They are fighting to put Arizona on the map of innovation and success. Diversity is a part of who I am. I grew up moving back and forth between Arizona and Mexico all the way till my College years in Monterrey. Being a woman of color in an increasingly polarized political environment is not without its ups and downs either. Diversity and coming together to thrive is an ultimate goal of mine with my view on society.

Steven Rose

Everywhere – Entrepreneur

I believe that together we can go farther than we can on our own. In a time when our country feels more divided than ever, I think Thrive Together is the perfect focus for our diverse community. I’m looking forward to connecting with people that I’ve never met, rarely see, as well as those I run into all the time throughout the valley.

Visit Website

Surya Iyer

Student at Arizona State University – Program Associate

Being a student entrepreneur, the PHX environment has helped and supported me in so many ways. I have found my Co-founders, mentors, and supporters in this entrepreneurially buzzing environment. This led me to volunteer for PHX startup week as a way to support the innovation happening around this area and continue this tradition forward by inspiring more people take the entrepreneurial journey. I believe groundbreaking innovation occurs when we have different sets of people come together with a common mission to work on something, irrespective of their background, age, sex etc. Diversity is important to me because it is easy to find a culture fit, however diversity and inclusion brings different people together which adds to the culture, pushes us to think differently and continue to make this world a better place to live in.

Visit Website

Tari Thomas

There’s Room, LLC – Founder

I joined Startup Week to start embedding myself into the Arizona Startup community, which I’ve see grow immensely over the past few years. Its a pleasure to serve this year on the Diversity Thrive Together Programming Team because I feel there is so much benefit in engaging diverse thought and perspectives to creatively innovate and collaborate to win. This is what our diverse team is doing this year, as we strive to showcase local startup businesses and talent, and develop the next wave of leaders, innovators, and founders from the Arizona community.

Visit Website

Sponsorships & Partnerships

Alayna Joseph

Self-employed. Coach Lay Fitness, LLC and Advention, LLC – Sole Proprietor

I was led to be a volunteer with PHX SUW by my love for entrepreneurship and my desire to connect others to the necessary resources to be successful. Through PHX SUW 2019, I am hoping to meet people who are passionate about what they do and who are set on uniting with the community to be the change we all want to see. The 2019 theme, Diversity – Thrive Together, is important to me because it emphasizes the true identity of entrepreneurship and business. Both rely heavily on relationships and, often times, working with others who are not like you. While society has caused much division around this topic, we are choosing to celebrate it. The startup community is constantly growing here in Phoenix and it comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Visit Website
Visit Website

Hillary Kuenn

HiConsulting Services – President & Founder

As an attendee and volunteer of PHX SUW in years past, I knew the mission and vision of this event is something I wanted to become more involved with. I’m a Phoenix native and have seen this community flourish over the last several decades. Diversity is what created the Valley and together we are empowered – making 2019’s theme of Diversity – Thrive Together incredibly timely, and in my opinion, timeless.

Ron Brien

Astro Hire – President, High-tech Recruiting

I volunteered with PHX SUW because I want to be part of something very special – building the PHX entrepreneurial system. I believe PHX is on the launch pad of becoming a great entrepreneurial city like Austin, Denver, San Francisco, NYC and Boston. I wanted to meet ambitous, creative people who care about entrepreneurship and community building. At my core, I believe diversity (not just race), in every form, accelerates innovation , execution and pushes business further.

Visit Website

Ryan Burch

Cybba Inc. – Managing Director

I grew up in Phoenix, and I’ve seen our startup ecosystem explode in the past 5-10 years. PHX Startup Week offers me a chance to give back to our entrepreneurial community.

Visit Website


Debra Palacios

Veridition – CEO

Volunteering with PHX SUW is an opportunity for growth in so many directions. Being surrounded by innovators, motivators and collaborators helps me realize the difference we are making in our community. Diversity is so important to me, it challenging all of us to change perceptions and accept differences to advance our society. I’m looking foward to growing with you this year!

Visit Website

Forbes Shannon

ExO Sprints – VP, Business Development

The Phoenix start up scene was a community I wanted to contribute to, and SUW is the perfect opportunity to actively participate. The connections and friendships from SUW 2018 are the most important takeaways. I look forward to making new friends at SUW 2019. I’m excited that our theme this year will be Diversity-Thrive Together, because it emphasizes improvement as a whole community.

Visit Website

Greg Baynham

SAP – Director

I am interested in seeing the Phoenix business community work together, PHXStartup week does exactly that. Other business leaders in the valley, regardless of the size of their company. I believe diversity improves any organization by bringing totally different view points and experience to solve problems.

Visit Website

Rachel Durkot

NOW CFO – Business Development Manager

I am newer to the area and when I moved to Phoenix, I began asking around to see what types of events my time would be well spent at, and a ton of people suggested PHXSUW, so I decided to get involved! I am hoping to meet a lot of talented, driven individuals looking to develop/grow their businesses and further educate themselves. I am so excited about the theme of diversity, I think it will be great to see how people who have so many ‘differences’ all have commonalities and are going through the same struggles, growth, and successes!

Visit Website