A suite of innovative baby products, a news reader that aims to empower readers to recognize fake news without bias and a technology platform designed to bringing community, friendships & wellness to senior citizens anywhere, those are the types of innovative ideas building in the West Valley. These are just a few of the amazing ideas presented at the West Valley Innovation Alliance Spring Summit 2020. www.westvalleyinnovation.org
Peoria Forward partnered with the West Valley Innovation Alliance and the Surprise Techcelerator to bring this event to the West Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The event had a packed house filled with innovators and ecosystem partners in all stages. The event design allowed for everyone to connect in-depth while hearing from their fellow peers who have already had incredible success. High energy events that still allow for intimate learning discussions are becoming a hallmark in the West Valley.
The event started with an intimate fireside chat highlighting West Valley success story Eduardo Tinoco. Eduardo Tinoco launched Athena Wireless at the AZ Techcelerator, developing high-speed wireless and laser products. Athena Wireless was acquired by Google Inc. in 2015. He has over 12 patents on photonics and microwave technology. Tinoco participated in R&D of optical modulators, RF transmitters, and lasers. He now shared that he is using his success to create jobs in his home country of Mexico and inspired the room to continue to think big and give back.
Following the fireside chat, six emerging firms took the stage to share their pitch, which was evaluated by a panel of local experts investors and accelerators. The judges looked for not only great ideas but solid businesses with go to market strategies in place. They were judged based on a rubric shared with the entire room to help everyone learn.
Jupiter Rings Buffalo Sauce, the winner of the Glendale Community Summit, was asked to present and shared his intimate story of building the only vegan buffalo sauce to be currently spreading across the nation. His enthusiasm and story moved the room and allowed for everyone to support him as he continues to diversify his business streams.
The winners of the pitch competition received seed funding and resources to continue to grow. The biggest win was for the West Valley by having these organizations continue to grow and contribute to their ecosystem.
Pitch contests in effective partnerships that highlight local success stories are a great way to build and highlight the continuing momentum in the West Valley.
This article is a Peoria Forward blog amplifying the efforts of West Valley innovators and entrepreneurial leaders building the ecosystem. Peoria Forward is an opportunity for the citizens of Peoria to shape a high-impact (vision) the future of our City through entrepreneurship/ community development.