Stay Informed. Get Involved.

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Wist Office Products to Sponsor VibrantPHX Unconference

Arizona’s own Wist Office Products will be our exclusive sponsor for the next VibrantPHX Unconference on June 13.

We thank them for their support.

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VibrantPHX Updates


The next VibrantPHX Unconference will be Thursday, June 13th,
8:00am – 12:00pm at Chandler City Hall

“Using Our Freedom Towards Progress”

 This open space event enables you to be active in topic discussions and be a part of creating collaborative workgroups and solutions.

Featured Speakers

State Senator, Bob Worsley
Technology Entrepreneur, Scott Salkin
Facilitator, Tech Titan and Co-Founder of Gangplank, Derek Neighbors

The convening question – “How do we elevate Arizona’s reputation by building pride and optimism?”

Register now at

We’ll also be taping a montage for the WhyPHX Channel -courtesy of View from Above Entertainment.

Our WhyPHX Channel on YouTube is adding videos. Here’s your opportunity to share your story of why the Phoenix-Metro area is a hot place for cool people. 

For more information contact us at

See the channel here

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Tell Your Story on the WhyPHX Channel

VibrantPHX is a collaborative campaign to engage our community in creating an environment for economic vitality that we all can enjoy. We have the talent and the assets. Now it’s about bringing it all together to advance our region.

Here’s your chance to participate!

The WhyPHX Channel is your opportunity to tell your story of why the Phoenix-Metro area is a “Hot Place for Cool People.”

Your personal narrative of what you do and why you choose to live here is unique and we want you to share it in a collaborative project to change perceptions about our region. Our metro-area is a dynamic place where you can connect with people, express your creativity, start a business and pursue your passions. Let’s tell our stories to the world!

For more information about being involved, contact


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ASU Symposium on Entrepreneurship and the Arts explores “creative placemaking”

Registration is now open for the Third Biennial Symposium on Entrepreneurship and the Arts, to be held April 12–13, 2013 on the ASU Tempe campus. This year’s program, Entrepreneurship, the Arts, and Creative Placemaking, will bring artists and entrepreneurs from across the country to share ideas and experiences on how art ventures can create strong and vibrant communities.

If you are interested in community creative development, are an artist looking to develop community-based projects, an entrepreneur who sees arts and culture as agents for change, or a resident who wants to engage with neighbors through the arts, Pave’s program of workshops, discussions, and events will excite, incite and educate.

See for registration details.

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An Abundance of Assets

The Vibrant PHX Project promotes ideas and actions that reflect our region’s abundance of assets and tells the stories of why our state is a hot place for cool people.

The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative at ASU’s Venture Catalyst is one of those remarkable assets that’s expanding our talent base and contributing to our economic growth.

Here’s a snapshot of what they’re all about and some highlights of their successful outcomes:

The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative provides funding, office space, and guidance to teams of students within all university disciplines. This accelerator gives student entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their innovative ideas and launch viable businesses.  As an integral program of ASU Venture Catalyst, students in the Edson Initiative have access to seasoned entrepreneurs, industry mentors, and other Catalyst programs that enable them to advance their enterprises.

Total number of startups funded to date: 144

FY12: 20

FY11: 26

FY05-10: 98

Total amount of allocated funding to date: $1.4M

FY12: $200,000

FY11: $244,000

FY05-10: $956,000

 Edson 2.0 Highlights (FY11 and FY12 Cohorts):

  • Eleven companies are generating revenue (two will generate over $200K in 2012) with an additional four due to start producing revenue in the coming months.
  • To date, 20 full or part time jobs have been created.
  • Among the 170 founding team members all ASU campuses and colleges/schools are represented.
  • Fifteen percent of all founding team members are female.
  • Eight unique business sectors are represented (clean tech & sustainability, consumer products, internet & technology, medical, military & defense, more-than-profit, retail, and service).

 Edson 2.0 Venture-Backed Companies:

  • Endless Entertainment
  • Seymour Innovative
  • KVZ Sports
  • AlphaStripe
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Another reason we’re a hot place for cool people


In the April, Vibrant Phoenix session we spent a great deal of time discussing how we need to do more to create a place for tech companies to thrive. The truth is, if you talk to most people in the Arizona tech community – we’ve come a long way. The tech community in Arizona is maturing and is distinctly different from other tech communities like Austin and Silicon Valley. One of the really “vibrant” discussions we had in the April Vibrant Phoenix event was around branding the tech community.

Personally, I’ve participated in conversations in many different local forums about how to brand our tech community.  As a former Silicon Valley techie, I know I personally moved here because Arizona is family friendly and I felt it gave me better work/life balance options. I didn’t have to spend an hour in the car anymore to drive 10 miles to my tech job. Living here offers great technical employment and commerce opportunities.  I’ve also met so many fascinating startup companies stemming from the local talent.  I’ve had incredible support from the Arizona tech community in starting my own business.

The discussion there gave us an idea, the idea to create a celebration of the best in technology and new media our state has to offer.  An event design to inspire, encourage and develop partnerships in the tech community.  48 West was born, and event to celebrate the best the 48th state has to offer in technology and industry talent. Two days filled with exceptional food, music, technology and groundbreaking ideas. We also included kid’s activities because we believe developing a rich pool of talent starts in elementary school.

The event takes place President’s Day weekend of 2013 at the Continuum Science and Technology Park in the Chandler Price Corridor. Each day ends in a huge block party with delectable food and rocking bands. It is the ultimate two day showcase of the future of technology and new media and the groups working at the forefront. Showcased will be start-ups, established brands, and everything in between. We also have a Recruitment Expo, connecting the areas recruiters with local talent.

The event schedule:

Friday, February 15:

48West Sessions and Demonstrations, Evening Block Party

Saturday, February 16:

48West Sessions and Demonstrations, Kid’s Tech & STEM, Evening Block Party

We haven’t opened the ticket registration yet, currently we are working on sponsorships, exhibitors and the startup marquee.

If you are interested in sponsoring 48West or any of the associated parties,

please contact us! Registration is open September 10, 2012.


February 15-16, 2013


Continuum Science & Technology Park – Chandler, AZ


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A hot place for cool people

Our region is filled with great ideas and people. For us to continue to attract and retain talent we must recognize that we already have what we need to be the hot place for cool people. Now is the time to get involved, to be bold and make great things happen.

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East Valley’s “Agritopia” a distinctive asset

An Overview of Gilbert’s Agritopia Development

by Michelle Kelly, founder -One World One Time

Agritopia is a residential master planned community in Gilbert, Arizona. Located in the middle of what was once farm country on the far outskirts of the Phoenix area, the neighborhood is now centrally located in the growing community of Gilbert. The community, unlike the surrounding neighborhoods, has retained its history and sense of place by celebrating its agricultural roots by continuing to farm, offering rentable community garden space, a weekly farmers market and farm restaurants.

 A Sustainable Community

Beyond sustaining its agricultural roots, other sustainable features of the project include:

  • A celebration of traditional Phoenix area architecture with front porches, awnings and overhangs to create shade and encourage community building by making porches the dominant feature of homes
  • Narrower streets with large trees to provide shade canopy
  • Master plan includes a variety of housing ranging from multi-family to small single family homes to senior living
  • Retained old farm house buildings and renovated them into a restaurant, coffee shop, scooter store and farmers market
  • Community code allows for home based businesses with employees, alleviating the need for traveling outside the community for work for some residents
  • Planned mixed-use development to provide currently lacking amenities, furthering the walkability and community building

 The primary unsustainable feature of the community is its location; many residents travel toPhoenixand other surrounding communities, which could be more than 30 miles away.


The community was designed to facilitate transportation on foot and bike throughout the community by creating shaded pathways and walkways on the residential streets and to the community amenities – parks, the school, community garden and restaurants. Bike racks have been provided at the retail areas of the community. Streets were built narrower than typical community streets with shade trees planted on either side to provide thermal comfort during the hot summers. Because few amenities are offered within the community currently, transportation by car is necessary and the narrower lanes encourage slower rates of speed on secondary streets. Agritopia Loop is the only main connector road connecting the community that is gridded with these secondary roads.

 Physical and Cultural Influences

Agritopia stands out amongst thePhoenixsuburban sprawl. Unlike the surrounding master planned communities, Agritopia celebrates its prior agricultural land use, demonstrated in many subtle and overt ways. As such it attracts residents that value sharing, community building and a simpler way of life that theJohnstonfamily has created. Ways that its history as agricultural land are integrated and celebrated in Agritopia include:

  • Preserving urban agriculture with a 15-acre urban farm
  • Citrus around the community can be picked and enjoyed by everyone
  • Community garden plots available to Agritopia residents and non-residents alike
  • Reuse of the originalJohnstonfamily farm house as Joe’s Farm Grill as well as other original farm buildings

Taking its cues from the way life was when theJohnstonfamily bought the farm property, the homes and scale of the community are reminiscent of a bygone era and a simpler way of life. Front porches, varying size and type of homes and the pedestrian friendly design of the community encourage community building. The diversity of housing options attracts childless couples to young families through grandparents. With future plans for senior living the community seeks to be a place that families can mature with and stay rooted within Agritopia.

Other future plans include a mixed-use development on the corner of the community bordering the main arterial roads, which will encourage both Agritopia and surrounding community engagement. This development will also provide other amenities currently lacking within walking distance of the community furthering its sustainability.

For more information about One World One Time

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Taking Action with VibrantPHX

Our last event was successful. We engaged in some great conversations about how we, as a community, can take the lead on changing perceptions about Arizona based on the great assets we have. We heard a great story about how the AZ Scitech Festival is already attracting new investment and we confronted the fact that we need to do more in creating a place for tech companies to thrive. We will continue to move forward in our work to shift the thinking among leaders in business, government and community to cultivate a rich economic environment that benefits everyone.

The energy and talent of the group present was motivating. Out of the discussion we selected two areas where we can begin to make a difference. The first takes on the concept of land reuse and the need to redevelop neighborhoods with vacant shopping centers and bring them back to life in a new way. The second is about telling personal stories of why our state is the best place to be through a video project called, “WhyPHX.”

Now you can join the action with VibrantPHX:

Vacant Spaces :

Why Phoenix :


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Christine Mackay headlines Talent, Technology and Action

Christine Mackay, Chandler’s Director of Economic Development will be the guest speaker at the next VibrantPHX event on Tuesday, March 6th. The discussion begins at 8:00am at Chandler City Hall, 175 S. Arziona Ave.

Join us to share your ideas and discuss how talent and technology converge to create dynamic communities filled with vitality.

Reserve your seat for March 6th

Partnering with VibrantPHX will be the Arizona Scitech Festival.

This important conversation will lead to other action steps we can take to advance change in developing a strong economic environment.

Sign up here

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