Sonoran Desert Spurs Innovation

Long before #thisistucson became our favorite Instagram tag for capturing a Gates Pass sunset or frothy Session Ale at Dragoon Brewery, those of us with the good fortune to call Tucson home have understood the unique ingredients that comprise our beloved Old Pueblo.  Yes, there are the obvious boast-worthy factors like the UA, a Top 100 research university worldwide, and Desert Angels, a national Top 10 angel group.  But there’s also a certain magic in this Sonoran Desert that spurs innovation, collaboration, and community unlike anywhere else—and that magic has come to life in new ways in 2014.

Take the Modern Streetcar to its west-most stop and experience the Mercado District, a modern village receiving national attention for its energy and environmental design.  Wander downtown and stop into CoLab to learn about Thryve, Tucson’s social impact incubator providing entrepreneurs the tools to take their innovations from idea to impact.  Step up to Tech Launch Arizona’s “open mic” on a First Friday Pitch Day and share your idea with seasoned entrepreneurs in the community. Tucson is doing business and innovation their way—with genuine collaboration at the core.

At the forefront of that effort is Connect Coworking, a groundbreaking space for innovation and community in the historic Rialto building.  A symbol for Tucson—blending history and future—Connect is an integral piece of the live/work/play ecosystem thriving at 5th & Congress.  Officially open since June, the space is already brimming with talented startups and entrepreneurs disrupting the status quo with their new ideas and technologies.

As this cohort of entrepreneurs grows, Tallwave is excited to serve as a friend and resource to Connect and its members, sharing capabilities, networks, and a common vision to grow and retain the nation’s top creative minds in the great state of Arizona.  Yes, #thisistucson.

by: Lauren McDanell

Lauren is, first and foremost, a Wildcat (Bear Down). She’s also Program Director for Tallwave’s High Tide Accelerator, a three-month program that teaches tech startups how to build a successful business, not just a great product.  Tallwave is a Commercializer in Phoenix that helps startups build tech products and take them to market faster, with less risk.  Learn more at 

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