Small business is touted as the backbone of our economy. And Arizona is ranked No. 1 among the 50 states on the respected Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. Taking these two realities in tandem gives a very positive outlook for our statewide economy — and an even stronger one for the Valley, with its preponderance of business incubators hosted by municipalities, educational institutions and privately funded enterprises.
At Tallwave, providing entrepreneurs with the resources, funding and support to bring their ideas to commercialization has given us a profound understanding of the value of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs create jobs, transform communities as well as industries, and are extremely resourceful in both good times and bad. Here in Arizona, in what we like to call the “Entrepreneur Valley,” entrepreneurship is a means to solve local and global challenges. Supporting it should be one of the highest priorities of both our leaders and our citizens.
In this issue’s cover story “Start-ups & Entrepreneurs: Are These the ‘Big Bang’ of Big Business?” Eric Jay Toll explores entrepreneurship from a variety of angles: academic programs that focus on nurturing entrepreneurship as an approach to business and helping individuals build a skill foundation to support it, business incubators that interface with and help start-ups, and entrepreneurial businesses that have succeeded beyond the start-up phase. Municipal economic development officials, heads of university programs and business incubators, and CEOs recognized for their entrepreneurialism are among those sharing insights on the impact of entrepreneurship on our local economy.
Insurance, which plays a critical role in commerce and business operations, is the industry Don Rodriguez examines in this issue’s Sector feature. And in the Focus feature, mergers and acquisitions come in for a careful analysis by business consultants Otta Ramos and Dan Avery as to what businesses on either side of the transaction can do to assure a win/win outcome for both parties.
In addition to offering other feature articles on recognizing business opportunity and facilitating communication within an organization, this “Entrepreneurship” issue of In Business Magazine presents the second annual “Top 50 Small Business Resources Guide,” made up of services from funding to marketing, to be an aid to those starting or growing a small business in the Valley.
With its usual broad range of subjects, In Business Magazine continues to inform and help strengthen the business community of Greater Phoenix and beyond. I hope you enjoy this “Entrepreneurship” issue.
Partner & CEO
Jeffrey Pruitt is a founding partner and CEO of Tallwave, a company formed in 2009 to create commercial success and shareholder value for entrepreneurs and investors by validating, scaling and managing early-stage and growth ventures. Previously, Pruitt served as president of iCrossing, where he drove the growth of the industry’s largest independent search and interactive agency. He has an undergraduate accounting degree from ASU and is a CPA. Pruitt has also sat on the advisory councils of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.