Coworking spaces and accelerators and incubators! Oh my!

It’s never been a better time to be a startup. We’ve made it through an economic storm and now that things are settling we realize that small business is the clear solution. Entrepreneurs are truly the mainstay of our economy, this is the American Dream as we know it.

With the turn of the century, we are experiencing a fundamental shift in the way people work. At least 20% of the population is projected to be working from home by 2020. This is due to an increasingly large number of entrepreneurs and corporations choosing to eliminate overhead by allowing employees to work from home.

The world is changing and Tucson is changing with it, opportunities exist that provide an alternative environment. We’ve heard of coworking spaces, incubators and accelerators but what is the difference and which is for me?


What is the difference and which is for me? 

All startups require space, capital, talent, mentorship and influence. Coworking spaces, incubators and accelerators provide a different mix of each.

The concept of coworking is already well establishing in cities across the world. More than simply a rent based office space, these locations provide low-cost, communal, and convenient work facilities that foster a sense of community. By gathering early stage businesses, entrepreneurs, creatives, and other professionals, the idea is to spur collaboration and expand opportunities through a network of individuals and groups with shared ideals. In a coworking space there is usually more peer-to-peer mentorship and greater access to talent. Good co-working spaces tend to attract investors and mentors. Every space is unique, be sure to visit each space to assure the right environment is provided for your business.

Incubators are also rent-based and, oftentimes, offer complementary or discounted services. The program is meant to improve the odds of success by offering office space, professional services and business advice. You’ll work around other entrepreneurs, but not necessarily co-work with them. Incubators usually have a focus, which allows them to add more value in that particular niche. The programs are offered for companies from all industries, ranging from tech to retail, among many others.

Being program-based and time-specific, accelerators are fundamentally different but still strive to achieve the same overall goal of helping to improve the odds of success for startups. First and foremost, accelerators generally make an investment in the companies enrolled in their programs. Once accepted, you’ll cycle through a system designed to deliver necessary elements in a defined period of time. The programs are designed to be concise and generally take 3-4 months to complete.


Following is a list of coworking spaces, incubators and accelerators in Tucson. If there is a space that is missing, please let us know and we would be glad to add it to the list.


Connect Coworking

Connect Beta (Coworking)

Spoke6 (Coworking)

Gangplank (Coworking)

Toole Avenue Hive (Incubator)

Arizona Center for Innovation (Incubator)

Aztera/Venture Excel (Accelerator)



Maker House (Maker space)

Xerocraft (Hackerspace)

Tucson Pirate Mansion (Co-living)




Credit: Marketing Image via Shutterstock



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