With a company that follows a “high learn, low burn” motto, it only seems plausible that Design Pickle had secured a spot on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies.

Like many great solutions that have come to be, Russ Perry, founder and CEO of Design Pickle, created the concept for the company in an effort to resolve a pain point he was experiencing. After discovering how much others were taking to it, he doubled down on bringing it to market. …


By Brandon Clarke (brandon clarke)

The flywheel is an incredibly efficient and effective technology with a remarkable ability to store and release energy. Its beauty lies in its ability to retain a great deal of kinetic energy and redistribute it back to the engine. And though it needs a lot of force to get it started, it also needs a lot of force to make it stop — which, as it turns out, is not unlike the growth and vitality of the Valley’s startup and innovation community.

I think it’s safe to say that our flywheel is spinning and only…


Generosity comes in all forms — the giving of time, expertise, knowledge, being open and vulnerable about hard lessons learned, making connections, and the list goes on. And when it comes to generosity, there’s no one-size-fits-all. What makes sense for one, may not for another.

For any act of generosity to be sustainable, you have to find what works best for you and your current resources — and that’s not always just in the form of giving money or time. The fact of the matter is, sometimes neither of those works. But the beautiful thing is, there are so many…


Unsurprisingly, Virtuous founder Gabe Cooper’s life is guided by some noble ideals: a desire to give back, make the world a better place, and support others with a generous heart. It’s that spirit that inspired him to start Virtuous, a responsive fundraising platform designed specifically for the nonprofit sector.

What keeps Gabe going is a strong network of “durable relationships”. He has cultivated these relationships among his team who is passionate about supporting nonprofits and growing global generosity, Virtuous partners who are taking on some of the world’s biggest problems like homelessness and childhood hunger, and other local startup founders…


Authored by Tom Curzon, StartupAZ Foundation Chairman

Devastation and loss from the novel coronavirus pandemic seems to know no boundaries, and the startup world isn’t immune. While isolation and hunkering down is an appropriate strategy for personal safety, for some, particularly founders/CEOs, hunkering down as a business strategy may not lead to anywhere good. No doubt that while there are roughly a zillion different things a startup CEO could do, I have observed that at least one potentially helpful tactic is to take note of your headwinds, crosswinds and tailwinds, and respond accordingly.

So what do I mean? Pretty simple…


Have you ever felt stuck on your current career path? Well, you’re not alone. Data from Payscale shows that more than 80% of Americans feel trapped in their jobs. One of the biggest reasons for this is the struggle of switching roles after working in an industry for several years. That’s where Aspireship comes in.

Aspireship was founded by Corey Kossack, a member of the StartupAZ Collective 2020 growth cohort, to provide online training to those interested in a SaaS sales career, while also connecting them with a growing company looking to hire talent. …


It may seem like every great business idea is already in the market, but the truth is, no matter how many startups launch every year, new ideas are always waiting to be discovered.. It’s just a matter of identifying the right problem to solve and building the skills and team to execute.

So how do you identify the perfect problem to solve? Great ideas don’t grow on trees, right? Well, many of the founders of the highest-performing startups in Arizona came up with their startups by tackling problems they experienced themselves, either in their career or in their everyday lives.


YellowBird co-founders Michael Zalle and Michelle Tinsley took very different routes to get where they are today. Michael, the CEO, is a lifelong entrepreneur who has always used tech to innovate and problem solve. He founded several different companies before YellowBird and worked in industries ranging from satellite communications to banking. Michelle, the COO, is a long-time Intel veteran, where she gained extensive experience in a variety of different fields, including product, marketing, sales, and finance.

In 2019, they came together to start YellowBird, a two-way marketplace that connects the best experts in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) with business…


This past year, StartupAZ Foundation has amplified the importance of the performance and generosity flywheel. The concept is simple: Startups that perform well have the capability to give back, help grow the local community, and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to reach the same level of performance.

For the flywheel to work at scale, Phoenix startups must take the initiative and not only perform well, but be truly generous. Thankfully, many of the area’s highest performing startups are taking the responsibility seriously.

In the spirit of the holiday season, here is how some members of the StartupAZ Collective are…


Two core principles drive StartupAZ Foundation: performance and generosity. Together, they propel the flywheel that keeps Arizona startups moving forward, achieving success, and giving back to the community. To inspire a generation of founders to embed purpose, generosity and civic-mindedness into their growing startups, StartupAZ developed the Generosity Pledge.

The Generosity Pledge is a commitment founders take to give something back to the community when their business achieves success. It doesn’t have to be cash. Founders have pledged their time, product, company equity, and/or personal equity to help their communities and pay it forward to the next generation. While the…

Beth Cochran

Public relations and marketing for small- to mid-sized businesses.

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