By: Jeff Saville, Gateway CEI, Phoenix AZ
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The end of February saw the spotlight shine bright on the greater Phoenix area and its burgeoning entrepreneurial scene. Phoenix Startup Week, powered by Chase, was a celebration of local startups, their supporters, and our cities. From Scottsdale to Tempe to downtown Phoenix, the week was filled with presentations from some of the best entrepreneurial talent in the community.
The Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation was one of the stops during the week as CEI showcased a growing subculture within the ecosystem: medical device startups. In partnership with MedicoVentures and Phoenix Analysis Design & Technologies (PADT), the afternoon featured Bret Larsen of eVisit, Kent Dicks of Alere Connect, and Matthew Likens of Ultera, Inc., offering their perspectives on the growth and commercialization process for med tech companies. The event culminated with tours of PADT “Startup Labs” at CEI, which features 3D printing and design opportunities for entrepreneurs throughout Phoenix – with a particular focus on medical devices. (For more info, read AZ Tech Beat’s recap: http://aztechbeat.com/2015/02/3d-printing-cei-gateway-padt-phxstartupweek)
Overall, every startup ecosystem needs defining moments such as these to gain additional support from the general community – particularly the "uninitiated" outsiders – and to generate local and national exposure for its entrepreneurial initiatives. For at least one week, greater Phoenix incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, support organizations, corporate partners, and of course entrepreneurs consciously abstained from “operation in isolation” and joined forces to share their stories and learn about one another’s efforts. And we certainly consider Phoenix Startup Week a huge success as a result.
To reference Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s tweet on the week: “Nearly  registered, [we are] ready to energize our entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Here’s to doing it all over again next year!