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Peoria Forward

With the resources you need, leverage our robust programs to accelerate new growth for organizations, businesses and individuals in your community. The J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University and the city of Peoria are here for you to not just empower you, but grow with you.

Get started with the launch email series:

  • Receive copies of key reports from a variety of partners with West Valley information, data, demographics, local statistics and the status of the current entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Gain access to on-demand training on how to start a business in Arizona 
  • Receive curated resources to build your organization 
  • Gain insight from your fellow entrepreneurs and neighbors on navigating your entrepreneurial journey  
  • Hear from local mentors, trainers and entrepreneurial resource providers about frequently asked questions and what they want you to know 

Sign Up Now

Take action, get involved, build Peoria.

Each month, three out of every 1,000 people in the United States will start a business. These three entrepreneurs take on a tremendous task and assume a great deal of risk. But the remaining 997 people constitute a community that plays a substantial role in the entrepreneurs’ success, as well. In fact, we depend on these 997 individuals – those who are not entrepreneurs – to support entrepreneurs. You and your communities make ecosystems work.” 

- Kauffman Ecosystem Playbook.

Most Recent Updates

October 2021 Newsletter- October spotlight on local success stories and emerging entrepreneurs!

Subscribe to our email list

August 2021 Blog- Pitch In: A community event to pitch your idea, get real-time feedback

Read Peoria Forward curated blogs 

Take a Catalyst Action

Even if you are not an entrepreneur or a business owner, EVERYONE is critical to small business owners and entrepreneurs’ success.  We have created a list of simple actions anyone can take to support local entrepreneurs. Some take as little as 15 minutes to complete. The first step to getting involved is to take action.

Download and take action

Get Involved

Peoria Forward has different events all designed to build connections between the — people, ideas and resources — elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

New to entrepreneurship or just interested in exploring innovation? Welcome aboard the West Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem. ASU Edson E+I  is committed to infusing research-based practices for developing an effective venture into every program, alongside the practical tools, experience and connections you need.

Signature Events

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Peoria Forward Innovation Night

5:00pm - 7:00pm (Arizona Time)  l  Tuesday 11/9/2021

J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute presents the third annual Innovation Night as part of the Global Entrepreneurs Week. Join innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs from across the West Valley. This year's topic is focused on global trends in healthcare innovation. Learn how the West Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem is rising to meet tomorrow's healthcare challenges through innovative education, high-growth ventures, and established partners creating new innovative pathways. You choose how you want to connect with an engaging online format or an in-person at the spacious Peoria Sports Complex Colonnade.

Register Now

Events


Pitch In (formerly 1 Million Cups)

9:00am - 10:00am (Arizona Time)  | Fall Schedule: 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month (except December which only has a special December 8th event)

Explore what is happening across the Valley by listening to local founders share their ideas in a friendly 6-minute pitch format with 20 minutes of questions. These events are led by the local community and welcome everyone including students, nonprofit and business leaders, artists, and resource providers.

In Spring 2021, the West Valley, East Valley and Central Phoenix communities will be working together to jointly showcase the diversity of our community and serve as a welcome mat for everyone interested in entrepreneurship in the Metro Valley area.

Use this registration link for the combined Metro Valley chapter events: Register Now

Have an idea, venture or project that you would like to share? Use the above registration link and select "Presenter" to submit an application.

Founders Friday 

9:00 am - 10:00am (Arizona Time)  |  The 1st Friday of the Month

Peoria Forward offers high growth potential founders the opportunity to come together to share what they are working on, ask questions and gather targeted resources. 

Interested in participating? Reach out to Peoria.Forward@asu.edu for more information.

Entrepreneurship Day

9:00am - 11:30am (Arizona Time) | The 4th Wednesday of each month

Once a month, entrepreneurs from around the West Valley gather at Pop-Up Peoria to learn what local founders are working on, discuss rotating business topics and work alongside each other on ideas. During the summer, Entrepreneurship Day consists of the following events:

9:00am - 11:30am (Arizona Time) 

  • Innovators Collide! Peoria Forward Office Hours Register Now

10:00am - 11:30am (Arizona Time)

What are office hours? An opportunity to grab a seat and work alongside fellow entrepreneurs at the City of Peoria’s collision space in Park West. Work on your vision in a dedicated space free open to everyone. Need assistance tackling a specific challenge? Connect with your fellow entrepreneurs and speak directly with our Peoria Forward team to access expertise and resources through the Peoria Forward program.

Where to build, create and collaborate: a tour of local spaces

5:30pm - 7:00pm (Arizona Time)  |  Tuesday, 8/24/2021

While many successful companies have been founded in a garage, sometimes you need access to special tools, expert advice and the support of fellow makers, engineers and artists. Join this special event for an insider look at the Valley’s top maker spaces and coworking spots for any creative entrepreneur projects ranging from high tech electronics to cutting edge fashion and kiln-fired ceramics. Attendees will learn how to access these resources, go on a live virtual tour and meet fellow creators currently using these spaces. The event also includes a hands-on workshop to spark your next big idea! 

This event is hosted by the Peoria Forward program, an innovative partnership with the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU and the City of Peoria. It will be broadcast from Pop-Up Peoria, the new collision space created by the City of Peoria and is a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual attendance options.

Register Now

La Jefa Status Crew Up - Business Support for Latinas

5:30pm - 7:00pm (Arizona Time)  |  Last Three Thursdays of August (12th, 19th, 26th)

What if you could get access to all the best training, mentorship and community for business owners without feeling like you had to prove yourself to everyone as soon as you walked in the door? What if there was a place where you could get everything you need as a business owner without feeling like you had to work to get people to take you seriously? What if you could be in a community with other Latina business owners who understand your struggle and your hustle? 

You can be a serious and successful business owner, making bank, without having to sacrifice who you are or what you care about. We don’t have to be like them to beat them at their own game. The La Jefa Status Crew Up is a meeting place for Latina business owners to come together and get access to information, mentorship, resources and connections to help them grow their business in an environment full of affirmation, excitement and inspiration, made just for women of color, without feeling overwhelmed. It’s a place to get hyped on yourself, your business and the unlimited potential you possess!

This free business training will be facilitated and hosted by La Jefa Status CEO, Jenavi M. Kasper, in partnership with Peoria Forward, a program of the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University. 

Register Now

Learn more about La Jefa Status 

Starting a successful podcast series

Wednesday evenings from 5:30pm-7:00pm on October 13th, 20th, and 27th as well as November 10th and 17th.

The popularity of podcasts has more than doubled over the last decade with over 57% of people in the US now tuning in to hear their favorite content deep dives, entertaining stories and magnetic personalities. Podcasts can even be big business with Joe Rogan selling his podcast archives for over $100 million to Spotify. And, the great thing about podcasts is that anyone can launch the next smash hit with the resources available in our local community.

This five-part series has been created to spotlight those local resources and provide an approachable exploration of podcasting. It is led by Dee Daniels, an executive producer of shows for digital broadcast networks and local entrepreneur. She will walk attendees through key decisions like topic and format as well as break down the components of a solid production and launch plan. By the end of the series, attendees will have all of the knowledge necessary to launch their own podcast!

The series is a collaboration between the Peoria Public Library and the Peoria Forward program, a high-impact partnership between the City of Peoria and the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University.

Register Now

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Peoria Forward Innovation Night

5:00pm - 7:00pm (Arizona Time)  l  Tuesday 11/9/2021

J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute presents the third annual Innovation Night as part of the Global Entrepreneurs Week. Join innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs from across the West Valley. This year's topic is focused on global trends in healthcare innovation. Learn how the West Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem is rising to meet tomorrow's healthcare challenges through innovative education, high-growth ventures, and established partners creating new innovative pathways. You choose how you want to connect with an engaging online format or an in-person at the spacious Peoria Sports Complex Colonnade.

Register Now

Home-Based Food Businesses: Marketing and Regulations

5:30pm - 7:00pm (Arizona Time)  |  Tuesday,  12/07/2021

A great way to start a baking, catering or other food business is to begin working from the kitchen in your own home! But, what kind of permits do you need and what benefits do they provide? How do you get customers? Join this first session in our Business Builder series focused on home-based businesses to get answers to these questions, guidance from local experts and insights from experienced home-based food entrepreneurs. Attendees will have an opportunity to join the collaborative discussion as well as connect with fellow home-based business owners. This series is a collaboration between the Prepped food incubator program and the Peoria Forward program which are both part of the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University.

Register Now

Connect

Ready to take steps to move your idea into a reality? Meet with a member of our team in an informal meeting to learn about the resources available specifically for you. Cut through the resource noise online. During this 30-minute introduction meeting, our team will ask you general questions to learn more about your vision and what steps you have already taken to turn that vision into a reality. Then together you will discuss what next steps and resources make the most sense for you. 

Leave a community connections meeting with:

  • A customized list of local and national resources to help you build your vision
  • Personal introductions to fellow local builders, dreamers, artists, and doers 
  • A clear next step to build your idea into a business through innovative approaches
  • As you achieve your “next step” you can continue to meet with our team, until you are ready to connect with a coach, mentor or resources who can provide going support targeted support.

We are a flexible FREE resource, no memberships, no requirement to meet again, we are here to be of service to you. 

Scheduled a community connection meeting with our team. Email  Peoria.Forward@asu.edu