PHOENIX, October 6, 2015 — Bound by a common commitment to spur innovation and assist startups, the Arizona Technology Council, the Arizona Business Incubation Association (AZBIA) and Startup Mexico (SUM) today announced they have signed a cooperation agreement designed to strengthen the economic diversity of their respective regions by fostering knowledge-based businesses.
The three organizations have committed to sharing best practices with one another, ensuring that innovators and technology entrepreneurs across Arizona and Mexico enjoy the best possible support. As part of the agreement, each organization will also work to facilitate contact between startups and angel investors and other financing opportunities across their markets.
“Tech startups and other knowledge-based business are crucial drivers of economic growth because they provide the high-pay, high-skill jobs that improve the communities around them,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president & CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “By joining forces with the Arizona Business Association and Startup Mexico, the Council will ensure that the Southwest’s robust technology ecosystem grows and becomes even more interconnected.”
“Whenever the number of funding opportunities goes up, entrepreneurship wins,” said Thomas Rainey, president of the Arizona Business Incubation Association. “This agreement means that more investors will be introduced to more promising startups, accelerating economic growth and job creation.”
The agreement will also allow Mexican startups to benefit from incubation programs in Arizona and vice versa. All three organizations have vowed to advocate for local startup competitions open to participants from other markets.
“Cooperation between Arizona and Mexico pays great dividends,” said Marcus Dantus, CEO of Startup Mexico. “Over 7,500 Arizona companies export goods, and Mexico accounts for 40 percent of Arizona’s exports. By cross-pollinating Arizona and Mexico’s incubation ecosystem, we can ensure that our mutually beneficial economic growth continues.”
The partnership dovetails with Arizona’s statewide effort to promote economic growth through international trade. While many cities across the U.S. lack a foreign trade agenda, Phoenix has been a leader in educating businesses about global export opportunities, and exports have grown year over year. In 2014, Arizona’s exports grew by 12.5 percent, well ahead of the 2.5 percent national average.
This week, Zylstra also joined Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton in Mexico City alongside the mayors of Tucson, Mesa, Surprise, and Nogales as part of a summit designed to educate Arizona mayors about increasing trade between Arizona and Mexico.
About the Arizona Technology Council
The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Arizona Technology Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, managers, employees and visionaries to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit www.aztechcouncil.org.
About the Arizona Incubator Association (AZBIA)
AZBIA is a trade association promoting collaboration and best practices among a growing list of business incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces in Arizona. The Association is comprised of 34 Member organizations in business, research and education, economic development, government, and other professions involved in supporting entrepreneurs. AZBIA serves as the unified voice of the business incubator industry in Arizona. Learn more at http://www.azincubators.org/
About Startup Mexico (SUM)
Mexico City’s first innovation campus, Startup Mexico brings together entrepreneurs and private sector experts to develop or improve products and services. SUM is home to a complete ecosystem that transforms good ideas into high-impact businesses. Entrepreneurs, financiers and business consultants collaborate in SUM’s six month incubation program that puts startups on the right path. Its highly selective program is designed to provide them with a broad range of resources such as offices, funding, legal guidance, and networking. Learn more by visiting http://www.startupmexico.com/
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Steven G. Zylstra
Arizona Technology Council