AZ Disruptors Pitch Day for Web Startups Attracts Local Entrepreneurs, Investors

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Entrepreneurs and investors come out in support of the local startup ecosystem at Scottsdale event.

We think there’s a real chance to put Arizona on the map as a great place to start an Internet business

The AZ Disruptors incubator for Web software businesses launched with a bang at its Pitch Day last Friday. Dozens of successful entrepreneurs and technology investors attended the event to see demonstrations from 15 web startups vying to participate in the incubator's inaugural class.

The sold-out event in North Scottsdale gave each company 10 minutes to present their business plan and live demo of their product. Held at the gorgeous new AZ Disruptors headquarters in North Scottsdale, the Pitch Day event gave promising new startups a platform to pitch their new businesses and demonstrate early versions of their software to a panel of judges along with an audience of local entrepreneurs and tech investors.

Of 58 companies that applied to take part in the AZ Disruptors program, only the 15 best companies were chosen to present at Pitch Day. By simultaneously livestreaming the presentations on the Web, the program's kick-off event spread the word out about the local startups to a wider audience, while also spreading the word about the area's emerging startup ecosystem.

The AZ Disruptors program was founded by Hamid Shojaee, the seasoned entrepreneur behind Axosoft and, two of Scottsdale's most successful web software businesses. For the next four months, the startup companies selected to join the program will get to work from the gorgeous new AZ Disruptors office while receiving mentoring from some of Arizona’s leading tech visionaries.

“Pitch day was just the first step in what promises to be a long and challenging process” said Mr. Shojaee. “The real fun begins as we start taking some of these early-stage software projects and helping them build dynamic web businesses over the months to come."

Among those in attendance to view the demos were Ryan and David Petersen, two brothers behind, a Scottsdale Internet business that provides subscriptions to an database of international trade information.

“We were really surprised by the quality of the software businesses that presented," said Ryan Petersen. “I’m pretty thrilled to have a chance to help some of these young companies get off the ground over the coming weeks and months. A lot of the companies will face real challenges getting users and mainstream adoption. I can’t wait to help with that.”

New startup ecosystems are notoriously hard to form, but the incubator model is one that has proven successful in areas like Boulder, CO and Philadelphia, PA where TechStars and DreamIT Ventures have emerged, respectively. With the emergence of AZ Disruptors here in the Phoenix area, Arizona entrepreneurs in search of mentoring and infrastructure won’t have to leave home to get their ventures off the ground.

"We think there’s a real chance to put Arizona on the map as a great place to start an Internet business,” said Mr. Shojaee.

About AZ Disruptors
AZ Disruptors is a startup incubator for software companies in Scottsdale, Arizona. Companies selected to the program will receive four months of training, mentorship, office space, $20,000 in cash and the chance to pitch the area’s most active tech investors at the end of the program.


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