Discovering a New Level of Excitement in Phoenix

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.

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