Jamie Baxter, CEO and co-founder of Qwick, was in Silicon Valley with his business partner when the pandemic hit. Days away from securing term sheets for their on-demand staffing platform that serves the food and beverage industry, suddenly, VC firms closed their checkbooks — leery of making any investments, let alone one in a startup focused on the hospitality industry.

Then, nearly overnight, the company revenue dropped 80% and they had layoff more than half of their team. Needless to say, it was a tough time. But instead of calling it quits, Jamie and the team they were able to…


Growth.

It challenges us. It stretches us in ways we never thought possible. It might even scare us. But it also opens us to new vistas and opportunities we never imagined.

And growth is what entrepreneurship is all about. Perhaps that’s what psychologist and philosopher Abraham Maslow had in mind when he said, “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”

This is the path entrepreneurs choose every day. Yes, that path is often lined with hurdles, and caution and “wrong way”…


After addressing the irony of being a foot-traffic-generation platform in the midst of a global pandemic, Brandon Willey, CEO and founder of Hownd, shares how they were able to shift their strategies and adapt to the situation at hand. Despite losing 80% of their revenue overnight, their ability to pivot and the team’s esprit de corps are leading them to a strong rebound.

Prior to the pandemic, Brandon and his team at Hownd were doubling revenue year-over-year. They were just shy of a team of 45 employees, had just signed a lease on a new building that was to become…


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.

Beth Cochran

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

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