Forward-thinking leadership and a focus on entrepreneurship has helped the City of Peoria usher in a series of high-profile developments, new jobs and a more vibrant community over the last several years. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged this progress but the community has stepped up to ensure the future of the West Valley remains bright. Curious about what lies ahead and how to get involved? Check out this segment of the four-part Exploring Peoria Entrepreneurship series.
In fall 2020, ASU Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute’s Peoria Forward, the City of Peoria and televëda teamed up to create this series. It brought together local entrepreneurs and community figures to discuss how they met the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, how they are staying engaged and what resources are available to help. Community members were able to watch as well as participate in the live-streamed conversation through televëda’s on-line learning platform.
The series was recorded so that the important lessons and resources can continue to be shared with the community. Links to these videos will be available through posts in this blog. Check out the below list of sessions to see which theme interests you and keep an eye out for the upcoming posts.
- Part 1: Meet your neighbor, the secret entrepreneur
- Part 2: Authors, books and innovation
- Part 3: The artists and makers of Peoria
- Part 4: A look to the future (available in this blog post!)
Image: Kristin Slice, Peoria Forward, interviewing Scott Andrews, President of Peoria Chamber of Commerce, in Exploring Peoria Entrepreneurship: Part 4
“The West Valley is on the move!”
The fourth and final part of the Exploring Peoria Entrepreneurship series introduces Peoria leaders from the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Department as well as the founder of a local high-growth-potential venture. First, Scott Andrews, President of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, reviews the progress that Peoria has made to-date and what makes the city special. He then describes what the Chamber of Commerce is and how they meet the needs of the community. Scott ends by highlighting the value that local entrepreneurs provide to our community and the importance of supporting them by buying local.
Next, David Valenzuela, Chief Business Attraction Officer with the City of Peoria Economic Development Department, provides a look at the upcoming projects and the value that they will bring to the community. He also highlights emerging industries like healthcare that the City is targeting. David then explains what the City can provide to people thinking about starting a business or bringing their business to Peoria as well as how to get plugged-in to the community. This includes contacting:
- Karen Calivas, the City of Peoria’s Business Concierge, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.peoriaaz.gov/business, 632-773-7592
- The Chamber of Commerce, www.peoriachamber.com, email@example.com, 623-979-3601
- The Peoria Forward program, www.entrepreneurship.asu.edu/community/peoria-forward, firstname.lastname@example.org
The discussion wraps up with an interview with Shruti Gurundanti, CEO and Co-founder of televëda, which is a high-growth potential venture with a mission to build human connections by leveraging technology. Shruti explains that their approach is unique because the televëda platform is specifically designed for older adults and people unfamiliar with technology so it is very easy to navigate. They also partner with cities and other presenters to curate content for the televëda community to access. Shruti then shares her journey as an entrepreneur and how she came up with the idea for televëda. As a lawyer who does not have a background in coding, she saw a need in the community and built a team from her existing network to help realize her solution.
Video link: Click here to watch Exploring Peoria Entrepreneurship: Part 4
Key takeaways from the interviews:
- You don’t know what you don’t know. You need to get out there to see what works and doesn’t work.
- Aim to fail small—maximize learning and minimize risk.
- Be kind to each other
- Get involved with the community and give back
Check back next month for the next part in the Exploring Peoria Entrepreneurship series!