A Chandler-based business incubator focused on community initiatives aims to develop Arizona into a premiere destination for entrepreneurs.
Having only launched the company this summer, Desarrollo founder and community advocate David Rice explains the program has already developed organically.
“Our main focus is to create organizations, not necessarily jobs,” Rice says. “Just providing a cool space and cool state to work out of.”
Through a 15-week program called Phoenix Flight Program, small businesses are led through four tiers: concepts, research, strategy, and execution. The structured curriculum lead by Desarrollo assists beginning entrepreneurs and startups. The goal is to help these budding businesses grow and eventually “fly on their own,” Rice explains.
While the program itself is free, companies who participate are required to meet the four tier milestones to stay in the program. Chosen startups must be willing to relocate their business to Arizona.
“Our 100 percent goal is to get them contributing to the Arizona ecosystem,” Rice says. “Any kind of concept or idea that comes into our ecosystem we have the resources for.”
However, if chosen, these startups are granted their own free business phone number, mentors and access to Arizona network and business community.
Instilled with the importance of entrepreneurship at a young age, Rice began his first company when he was 18-years-old. While in junior high, Rice was “forced” to have a custom t-shirt design company. Once Rice turned 18, he owned a car stereo and lawn business giving him the first genuine taste of entrepreneurship.
Overall, Rice’s vision is simple. “Bring in entrepreneurs and you bring in talent, expertise, innovation, new markets, and new industries,” Rice says. “Although some entrepreneurs may not make it as an organization or company, it is some of the best talent out there and may go back into the Arizona job market.”
Entrepreneurs and small businesses interested in applying for the Phoenix Flight Program have until Sept. 15 www.desarrollodeaz.org.