It’s been a few weeks now since I have exited the Phoenix Business Journal, ending a long and rewarding run as its publisher.
When I left, the word we used to describe the departure was “retire.” That was accurate. But a better word is “repurpose.” That’s what I’m really up to when it comes to my career. So far it’s brought non-stop activity and a lot of excitement and optimism about the road ahead.
One of the best perks of the publisher job was the deep source of connections and relationships that I built up over many years. When it came down to the business community, people would say to me all the time: “You know everybody.” I didn’t disagree.
After a couple weeks of flying solo, little did I know …
I have met dozens of entrepreneurs in various stages of turning their ideas into business. I won’t say that it’s been surprising to discover their seeming endless supply of energy, creativity, quality of ideas and passion. I knew all along those qualities were here. What I didn’t know was how much fun it was going to be spending time connecting with them.
Even better, it has only reinforced what I already believed about the Phoenix region: we have a strong spirit of entrepreneurship and a steady supply of creative and talented people to keep it alive.
Some examples of people I’ve spent time getting to know:
An entrepreneur who is well along his way in revolutionizing the way people buy groceries, having secured a couple big-time partners, using an online model that soon is likely to be making headlines.
A fledging group of people who are working on ways to build a cybersecurity industry in Arizona – filling it with talent and companies that will take that growing niche and position our community to be a national leader in it.
An inventor who has over 160 registered patents to his name, a majority of them with Arizona partners.
A startup company soon to hit the market with an app that will change the way doctors communicate with their patients before and after their visits.
An algae and aquaculture producer who is setting records in shrimp production with designs on harnessing a technology that among other things could double the world’s food supply. The desert climate is perfect for such an operation.
An entrepreneur who has developed a weighted shirt system that helps improve the training program for anyone looking to build their fitness routines.
A team that has developed technology to secure your possessions via a smartphone app.
All these ideas are in various stages of development but all are well down the road. Will they all become wildly successful? Who knows. This I do know: these are just the tip of the entrepreneurial iceberg. And yes, the iceberg is alive and well even in the blistering heat of Phoenix.