It shapes your purpose, aids your service impact, and allows you to build a strong connection with the community you serve. Undeniably, it is at the core of every start-up company.
For 17 years, Ideas Collide has been a part of the start-up community even as we have outgrown those parameters ourselves. Why? We know the importance and value of what fresh ideas can build and what the entrepreneurship spirit can do for communities.
‘Innovation with impact’ is a key component of our service model. We are continuously mastering new technologies to expand revenue streams and opportunities for growth. From campaign conceptualization to brand + product management to data attribution + analysis – our suite of services is rooted in building and elevating brands to meet their goals and potential.
Though you’ll see names of major corporations within our partnerships and clientele, many of our relationships are with brands that have local Arizona roots, which we have helped grow and excel in their market.
Here are some of the many start-ups we have aided in their journey and remain strong partners with today:
An instant connection is key for consumers when they interact with a brand. Receiving timely information and answers to their questions can be the deciding factor for whether they purchase, invest, or connect any further. In 2016, Botco.ai founders saw the gap for a modernized solution to chatbots that would provide 24/7, on-demand availability and enable meaningful and intelligent conversations between businesses and their customers. Turning to Ideas Collide, we aided Botco’s growth from inception to today to build a brand identity with impactful design and messaging to awareness with thoughtful media strategy and planning.
Read more on how Botco.ai is changing the marketing scene.
Since the1960s, Danzeisen Dairy has perfected its craft – producing delicious, fresh milk. And in 2014, after decades of serving up quality directly to corporations, they sought to change their legacy with one where they got to tell their story. From that, a beautiful partnership between Ideas Collide and Danzeisen Dairy was born. In search of diversifying and growing its business model, Ideas Collide became the local family-operated business’ full-service marketing partner. Taking a holistic approach to meet these goals, we built a comprehensive brand identity, developed a plan to secure store placement, and executed an innovative digital content strategy. These efforts launched the business into a new realm of brand awareness, media presence, and direct visibility in stores across the valley.
Leading the integration of behavioral health services in modern primary care, evolvedMD puts whole patient care at the forefront of what they do to build a better way to integrate behavioral health for improved patient outcomes. Since 2020, Ideas Collide has worked exclusively with evolvedMD. To support their mission and aid their growth as a behavioral health company, we built and developed their strategic messaging framework for maximum impact. This partnership has grown beyond the client-agency dynamic and has evolved into powerful and impactful experiences within the community.
Read more on how evolvedMD is revolutionizing modern primary care.
Think local. Buy local. Be local. These are the powerful words you’ll see on the Local First Arizona website. The non-profit organization is committed to community and economic development for the state of Arizona. When the organization was looking to put these words to action, Ideas Collide stepped up to collaborate and lead this exciting venture. It included the development of the user experience and user interface to craft the Shop Local First identity while keeping it intact the Local First Arizona brand. Building upon the goal to support local economic growth, the Shop Local First Marketplace was launched to help small businesses from all industries reach greater visibility with new customers and partners.
Read more on the Shop Local First Marketplace launch.
Ideas Collide is a full-suite marketing agency with services that range from CX Marketing, Advertising + Communications, Video + Multimedia, Data Transformation + AI, to Digital Media Strategy. Let us help you take your brand to new heights. Are you ready to get started? Let’s talk!
With millions of Americans starting companies during the last two years, the need to support small businesses and entrepreneurs is at an all-time high which makes events like PHX Startup Week more vital than ever. As a committed member of the Valley’s entrepreneurship ecosystem with board service on Social Venture Partners Arizona, SEED Spot, and the Co+Hoots Foundation, I know firsthand the power that meaningful programming can have on venture success. As a previous speaker and supporter of PHX Startup Week, I decided to elevate my involvement in 2022 knowing that this year is a pivotal point for the Valley where it’s been an eye-opening, insightful, and often-times inspiring journey planning, curating, and promoting the impactful days coming in late April. Recently, Forbes identified the 5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Do To Be More Successful, and as you might imagine, these tips (and more) are all part of the Startup Week agenda. With that, I wanted to share 10 reasons why you should attend, support, and engage with PHX Startup Week 2022, including:
Gatherings Are Back – People are social creatures and if the first few months of Phoenix events in 2022 are any indication of overall sentiment and appetite for being together in-person, the message is clear: many are craving to be back together. With hybrid programming we have something for everyone’s comfort level but if you want to engage shoulder to shoulder, then make sure you join us and gather in person.
Location, Location, Location – This year, in partnership with the Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU, we are hosting Startup Week at 850 PBC located right in the heart of downtown Phoenix. With gorgeous architecture and innovative design, the building itself is a destination and the perfect venue to host like-minded entrepreneurship advocates. To get you excited, check it out here: 850 PBC. To accommodate those who can’t make it downtown, we have also partnered with Co+Hoots, AZ Cowork, Industrious, and Ignite at Better Business Bureau for watch parties – promoting camaraderie city-wide.
Remarkable Speakers – From Valley venture veterans like Heidi Jannenga (WebPT), Rebecca Clyde (Botco.ai), and Chris Ronzio (Trainual) to newcomers like Doris Huang (evolvedMD), Jasmine Mobley (Beauty of the Nile), and Matt Johnson (GitKraken), the caliber of speakers this year is unmatched. Check out all of the amazing individuals involved: 2022 Speakers – PHX Startup Week 2022.
Timely and Actionable Content – With input from entrepreneurs and founders, we have a curated curriculum and developed an agenda with content we believe will be both informative and inspiring. With boundless “how to” sessions on scaling, building an authentic brand, fundraising, and retaining talent – attendees will leave with an actionable toolkit to take back to their ventures. Check out all of the programming here: 2022 Agenda – PHX Startup Week 2022
Diverse Voices – Our most diverse Startup Week yet, we are proud of how intentional and thoughtful we were in selecting and elevating voices from minoritized and underserved communities. Diverse in programming too, we are looking forward to sharing vulnerable stories on pitfalls and failures coupled with successes from SaaS startups to Main Street small businesses.
Showcasing Why AZ is The Place to Be – PHX Startup Week applauds itself for being Arizona’s largest entrepreneurial event and a wonderful opportunity and outlet for Arizona pride. With Phoenix recently named one of the top startup cities in the nation, it’s exciting to both highlight homegrown ventures and welcome entrepreneurs from out of state who have embraced the Valley. Arizona Commerce Authority and StartupAZ will both host panels to give the audience a debrief on why Arizona is the best for business.
Passionate Practitioners Nationwide – Attracting top talent from around the country is something Arizona is known for so it should be no surprise that we have some great speakers streaming in from both coasts and everywhere in between to lend a national perspective to our ever-important local work.
Make Connections – Networking is a powerful way to build credibility, meet champions, and find peer support for new and seasoned entrepreneurs alike. PHX Startup Week is a wonderful avenue to network both in person or online and attendees will make meaningful connections that will undoubtedly drive clarity and community.
Build Community – One of the most engaged entrepreneurial communities in the country, PHX Startup Week is excited to bring together founders, companies, media, and champions to further foster deep relationships to elevate the community at large. Designed to leverage content and connection to provide a world-class experience for everyone, we know that this week will make the ecosystem stronger and better positioned for success. Committed to elevating entrepreneurs and building community, check out this year’s sponsors and supporters: 2022 Sponsors – PHX Startup Week 2022
True Impact on Entrepreneurs – To sum up what this could mean for you, one Valley founder told us: “PHX Startup Week helped guide us in making a crucial decision in our business.” Enough said.
Hopefully you understand how much this week means for Arizona ventures, founders, and champions and will join us by purchasing a ticket for in-person or virtual at phxstartupweek.com.
See you there!
About Sentari Minor
Sentari Minor is most passionate about bringing the best out of individuals and entities. His love languages are strategy, storytelling, and social impact. As Head of Strategy for evolvedMD, Mr. Minor is at the forefront of healthcare innovation with a scope of work that includes strategy, corporate development, growth, branding, culture, and coaching. Prior to evolvedMD, he worked with some of the Nation’s most prominent and curious CEOs and entrepreneurs advising on philanthropy, policy, and everything social good as Regional Director of Alder (formerly Gen Next) [PHX + DAL + SFO] and strengthened social enterprises as Director at venture philanthropy firm, Social Venture Partners.
Over the past year, employers have had to pivot frequently to comply with changing laws and guidance. This blog sets forth some key issues employers should consider with regard to employees in the COVID-19 environment.
Arizona employers are currently required to implement symptom screening for employees prior to the start of their shift to include wellness/symptom checks, including temperature checks, when possible, as employees arrive on premises or before opening. It is recommended that employees wear face masks in businesses where service cannot be provided without physical distancing. Note, different states and cities have different screening and mask requirements for on-site work so you will want to check the specific jurisdiction when developing policies.
On January 29, 2021, the U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released guidance for employers that contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The OSHA guidance encourages employers to implement COVID-19 prevention programs in the workplace to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at work. Four key elements that should be included in a COVID-19 prevention program include:
Identification of where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work by conducting a hazard assessment.
Identification of a combination of measures that will limit the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Instructing workers who are infected or potentially infected to stay home and isolate or quarantine to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Implementing protections from retaliation and setting up an anonymous process for workers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards.
The guidance also discusses return-to-work criteria, social distancing measures, engineering controls, face coverings and personal protective equipment, and sanitization, cleaning, and disinfecting practices.
There are a number of legal considerations involved with the decision to implement COVID-19 testing for employees. When deciding which employees to test and how frequently to test them, employers must tailor their testing program to make sure it aligns with the objective of reducing the direct threat of COVID-19 infection in the workplace.
First, employers must choose a test that provides accurate and reliable results. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) opined that antibody tests should not be used because they are not sufficiently accurate or reliable.
Employers should also avoid using antigen tests. When selecting a virus test, employers need to confirm the test’s reliability before using it to test employees and make employment decisions.
Second, employers should use a HIPAA-compliant authorization form from employees to provide to the testing laboratory when the testing laboratory is subject to HIPAA. If the laboratory is not HIPAA compliant, the authorization form does not need to be HIPAA compliant, but there are benefits in using a HIPAA-compliant laboratory.
Third, once an employer receives COVID-19 test results, the employer should implement safeguards and procedures to maintain the confidentiality of the medical information.
Vaccination requirements implicate a number of federal civil rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and the religious protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).
On December 16, 2020, the EEOC issued guidance to employers related to these federal obligations. While the EEOC guidance did not directly state that mandatory vaccination policies are lawful, the guidance focused on how an employer should respond to requests from employees who cannot or do not wish to obtain a vaccination, suggesting that requiring a vaccination as a condition of returning to the workplace is not per se unlawful provided that certain conditions are met. Specifically, employers that wish to adopt mandatory vaccination policies may be obligated to provide exemptions or accommodations to employees with religious objections, pregnant workers, and employees with disabilities that may prevent them from obtaining a vaccination. Additionally, employers should consider the availability of vaccinations to its workforce when developing vaccination policies.
Some employers are considering providing awards to employees to incentivize vaccinations. If providing incentives, employers need to take into account various laws, including HIPAA, the ADA, Title VII, and wage and hour laws. Specifically, where the award is health-related or tied to the employer’s group health plan, a “wellness plan” may be established.
There are many government regulations that govern wellness plans, with some key regulations within HIPAA and the ADA. Employers may need to have reasonable alternatives available to employees to receive the incentive, depending on the circumstances, so all employees have the opportunity to participate.
With regard to wage and hour laws, employers need to determine whether the time spent receiving a vaccine is compensable time that must be paid. If employers choose to provide a bonus to employees who receive a vaccine, it is unlikely that the incentivizing bonus will be considered “discretionary” under the Fair Labor Standards Act, so it will likely need to be included in the regular rate of pay when calculating overtime for employees.
Wage and hour obligations vary greatly by jurisdiction, so employers will need to evaluate these considerations in each jurisdiction.
On March 6, 2021, the U.S Senate passed its version of President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan.” Key provisions of this bill impacting small business are as follows:
FFCRA Leave: The bill continues to allow employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons. The cost of this leave is fully set off by refundable federal tax credits through September 30, 2021. The bill also expands the leave for which reimbursed leave is permitted (such as obtaining a vaccination).
Paycheck Protection Program: The bill adds an additional $7.25 billion to last year’s Paycheck Protection Program, which provided for fully forgivable loans for certain employers, provided they maintained payroll and headcount.
Gig Company Reporting Requirements: The bill changes current reporting requirements for “third-party network” transactions. Under current law, companies are not required to report certain information about earners who use their platforms unless the amount exceeds $20,000 and is a result of 200 or more transactions. Under the new law, that threshold is reduced to a flat $600, irrespective of the number of transactions.
Arizona employees are also entitled to earned paid sick time. For employers with 15 or more employees, employees are entitled to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. For employers with less than 15 employees, employees are entitled to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 24 hours per year.
Many employees are telecommuting which can raise different legal issues. Employers should keep the following issues in mind when employees are telecommuting – especially if they are relocating to a different jurisdiction:
Whether this affects state and local taxation obligations
Whether the employer is required to register to do business in the new jurisdiction
Whether there are new or additional paid sick leave obligations
Whether there are counting issues that create obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act or similar state laws
Whether there are different minimum wage or salary exemption laws
Whether there are different meal and rest break requirements
Whether there are required job posters, pay data reporting, or hiring notifications
Whether there are wage-theft notice requirements where none previously existed
Whether there are unemployment insurance payment obligations
Whether there is a change in workers’ compensation obligations
For example, if you have an Arizona employee who is working remotely from California, you may be subject to daily overtime obligations and meal and rest break requirements, which are significantly different than obligations under Arizona law.
These are complex issues and jurisdiction specific. Employers need to keep these considerations in mind as their employees work remotely from other locations.
Legal obligations for employers have changed at rapid speed over the past year. Littler Mendelson is a global employment law firm with over 1,600 employment attorneys. The firm has stayed on top of these ever-changing issues. Littler publishes articles on key employment related developments which anyone can subscribe. Littler also provides COVID-19 resources on its website: www.littler.com/covid-19. Please feel free to reach out to Kristy Peters, [email protected] or (602) 474-3639, for assistance with any employment law issues.
Weeklong event expanded full month with Flagstaff, Tucson, Local First Arizona and Arizona Commerce Authority joining.
PHOENIX, ARIZ – (March 16, 2021) – PHX Startup Week, a grassroots event that started in 2014, is expanding even further in 2021 as Arizona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is uniting, growing and overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the month of April, key organizations across the state are teaming up to shine a spotlight on Arizona’s resilient small businesses and entrepreneurial community through the Startup Together AZ partnership. Throughout the month of April, attendees will join thousands of diverse entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors at virtual events to learn, connect, and be inspired by the innovation and creativity of Arizona.
“A vibrant entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem is a critical component in the overall success of Arizona’s economy,” said Sandra Watson, president & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We’re very proud to partner with organizations statewide to present Startup Together AZ as a part of our efforts to support startups and small businesses. This month-long series of events will help participants learn new skills, build valuable connections through networking, and showcase the important resources available in our state.”
Examples of programming offerings include:
Arizona Commerce Authority hosting a Mentor Mania and Small Business Boot Camp
Startup Tucson hosting IdeaFunding
Southern Arizona’s largest pitch competition
Moonshot at NACET in Flagstaff doing a Business of Bio Boot Camp, a biotech and life sciences boot camp for emerging and established entrepreneurs
Local First Arizona hosting a Good Business Summit to focus on small business perseverance, social justice and environmental action.
“We are excited to be teaming up with premiere entrepreneurial organizations across the state to focus on entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses for the full month of April,” said Dre Voelkel, executive vice president, Startup Tucson. “We have coordinated our events to be inclusive of both Main Street businesses and high-growth startups. Startup Tucson is excited for working with state partners to address the pressing concerns of our community in a timely way.”
The month will end with PHX Startup Week, five days of keynote speakers, workshops and tactical learning sessions. The week will culminate with partnership panels and Q&A’s hosted by Golden Seeds, an international women-led investment group, as well as Invest Southwest’s Venture Madness team who will lead a discussion of best practices on how to take advantage of the live-pitch competition planned for October.
“As one of the largest angel investor networks in the United States, Golden Seeds has nearly 300 members whose skills, networks and mentorships offer a unique opportunity to support early-stage entrepreneurs,” said Annie Brooks, managing director, Arizona chapter of Golden Seeds. “Our determination ensures women-led, gender-diverse companies receive the funding they need and have an opportunity to succeed. We invite you to our virtual fireside chat, ‘If you could ask an investor one question,’ an event programmed at PHX Startup Week on April 30, 2021. We are excited to hear from innovative businesses, and continue to support our Arizona entrepreneurs.”
Kate Rogers Sieker, a veteran to PHX Startup Week, is spearheading the volunteer-led event for the third year. To participate in PHX Startup Week, visit www.PHXStartupWeek.com.
In a move to help unify and amplify the community, Sieker is also taking over as lead for #yesphx (www.yesphx.com), a hashtag that has served as a collaborative social media presence to connect the Phoenix entrepreneurial ecosystem for over seven years. This organic community effort is what eventually led to PHX Startup Week, instigated by community leaders such as Jonathan Cottrell, Matt Simpson, Vincent Orleck, and many others. The #yesphx digital connection platform will continue to align, amplify, and connect the entrepreneur community of Greater Phoenix.
Sieker is also leading ThrivePHX (www.ThrivePhx.co), an initiative dedicated to preserving, supporting and growing diversity and inclusion in the state through connection, continuity and community communication.
“Creating unification and support with all these community programs is a natural next step for the momentum our community has generated,” Sieker said. “I am so excited to see what the future holds for our ecosystem.”
PHX Startup Week is a diverse ecosystem of entrepreneurs working together to help PHX thrive. Black entrepreneurs are valuable members of our PHX SUW community. The PHX entrepreneurship ecosystem wouldn’t be the success it is without your knowledge, input, and passion for building a better PHX. We are better together. You make us better.
We mourn with the Black community in Phoenix and around the country and believe Black lives matter. As a community, we are deeply saddened by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dion Johnson and many others killed by police officers in acts of police brutality. The deep, systemic issues in this country which led to their deaths need to change.
PHX Startup Week stands in solidarity with the Black community and all those who are fighting tirelessly to end racism, stop police brutality, and end the historical and institutionalized oppression of Black people in our country.
The need to even make this statement demonstrates just how far we have to go to achieve systemic changes and true equality for the Black community. We will go further together, which is why we are calling on all members of our community to act now to support systemic change and take action to support Black entrepreneurs in PHX and fight for equality in our communities and our country.
1. Education: Learn about the issues and the history of racism in America. Learn why enacting systemic changes are everyone’s responsibility.
2. Conversations + Actions: Start conversations about what you can do in your business or within your company to support diversity and build an inclusive culture. Explore the systems and processes that may be hindering those goals and create action plans to change them and hold yourself and your company accountable.
3. Financial support: Buy from Black-owned businesses. Look outside of your immediate network when hiring individuals, contractors or companies to make sure you are listing potential jobs or opportunities where they are likely to be answered by diverse applicants. Donate money to non-profits doing the work of dismantling oppressive systems.
4. Advocate: Support candidates, initiatives, and organizations that pledge to dismantle racist systems.
5. Keep going: Don’t stop now. Racial discrimination is woven into the fabric of our country. Re-weaving that fabric won’t happen overnight. It will take all of us working together to fight for racial justice and continuing to do the internal and community work long after the hashtag fades.
Did you know that there is a readily available pool of loyal, dedicated, and technically advanced job candidates?
Did you know that there are tax credits available for hiring them?
Yes, it’s true, and if you’re not employing veterans, you’re missing out on these benefits and more.
You hire. You fire. Rinse and repeat. The
ebbs and flows of running a business can make your head spin. Worrying about
having the right people, in the right seats, at the right time used to keep me
up at night. After all, employees are a company’s most significant assets, and a
bad hire can cause major damage.
When I began hiring veterans, those
worries evaporated. Military experience had given these veterans gifts that
translated into significant advantages in the civilian business world. Here are
just a few reasons why it’s in your best interest to hire veterans.
OG techies. Sure, civilians
get excited about new technology, but when I show my veteran friends the latest
advance, they’ve already seen it or something very similar to it. I attended a
panel of IT experts recently, and one of the panelists explained that
technology is released in the following order: nation-states, military, general
population. Veterans have no fear or hesitancy with new technology because
their training has instilled the desire to learn and master anything new or up
and coming. They’ve been there and done that.
Drama-free. Hiring veterans
made my life much easier and less stressful. You won’t have to worry about day-to-day
operational decisions that take you away from growing the business. Any
obstacles or team building necessary to complete the mission is already a part
of their strategic planning. Nothing is going to stop them from completing a
Trusted advisors. Hire people who are
smarter than you. This is a game-changer. Many of the veterans in my circle are
smarter than I am—and I think I’m pretty darn smart. Hiring veterans means you’ll
have employees who are your advisors, who help you see and think differently. No
business owner or visionary disrupts the status quo alone. Being able to
consult with veterans and ask them “What do you think?” is the best feeling in
the world. Veterans have a brother- and sisterhood among them that very few
civilians will ever understand. If you allow them to do their thing, they will
have your back.
Faster, better, cheaper. The veterans I
hired completed tasks at a record pace with flawless execution. This drive
comes from a deep understanding of the goal, stakeholders, and how to get there
while minimizing risk. Veterans have been trained to be fiscally responsible,
so any opportunities for saving money or increasing the return on investment is
in their DNA. Veterans just get it done.
If you’re looking to employ the best and the brightest for your company, hire veterans. Veterans will not only make your company more efficient and productive, but they will also change your culture. Under the influence of veterans’ poise, leadership, and commitment, the people in your company will evolve to excellence.
Erica Scott is the founder and geek at Civilian Connections. She finds the right talent and puts them in the right seats, driving business growth. Erica focuses on translating the skills of our military veterans for the right employer. Matching veterans in their new profession is an achievement like no other as veterans have the opportunity to continue to serve with purpose in their role as a civilian. This is a gift and companies get the benefit of employing talented and loyal employees. Erica believes a key component to innovation in the United States resides in our military population. Veterans change the lives of everyone they encounter because they place service to others above their self-interests. Erica knows this firsthand and has been fortunate to not only work with veterans but is proud to know them because they are people of character. People enjoy working with Erica because she has a knack for uncovering what makes people tick, finding just the right words to express what is in their hearts. Discovering the right words uncovers the potential that helps veterans see their best selves.
When Erica is not working to support veterans, you can find her having fun at Comic-Con festivals, visiting local restaurants to satisfy some foodie interests, and speaking Russian.