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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 ASU and the city of Peoria are here for you to not just empower you, but grow with you.

Get started by signing up for our community LAUNCH email series to:

  • Tap into resources that will help you build and support stronger organizations and businesses in the community

  • Thrive with your fellow business owners and residents through action and collaboration 

  • Utilize Peoria Forward assets that are specific to Peoria and the West Valley

Signup 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

January 2021 Newsletter- Building the right skills and having the right support for your entrepreneurial journey-share your ideas!

Subscribe to our email list

Feb. 2021 Blog- Creating New Revenue Sources During COVID-19 and Beyond

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 connection 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.


Catalyst Pilots

Peoria coming together to create real-world solutions and new resources for the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem. Catalyst Pilots are working sessions where a diverse group of community voices come together to see if they can create an actual program or pilot to test and iterate. Come with an open mind, ready to work!

Fresh Innovators Series

Designed for people exploring all corners of entrepreneurship and how to get involved in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem in Peoria. From a love of innovation to improving your community, this series looks at a diversity of early-stage topics and experiences.

Skill Building Series

If you are already building an idea but want to connect with the latest in tools, trends and information attend these events, in partnership with local organizations across the West Valley.  


1 Million Cups Phoenix - Metro Valley (East Valley  + West Valley + Central Phoenix)

9:00am - 10:00am  |  The 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the Month

1 Million Cups is open to everyone and invites those from every stage of their entrepreneurial journey to participate. Join this National program, led by local innovators. 1 Million Cups welcomes students, business leaders, founders, and more. Hear from founders, connect with resources. Explore what is happening across the Valley by listening to local founders share their ideas in a friendly 6-minute presentation format with 20 minutes of questions. In Spring 2021, the West Valley, East Valley and Central Phoenix communities will be working together to capture the diversity of our community and serve as a welcome mat for everyone interested in entrepreneurship in the Metro Valley area.

The Metro Valley chapters of East Valley, West Valley and Central Phoenix are currently teaming up to host shared meetings via Zoom; registration is required to gain access to the link. 1 Million Cups is always free to attend.

Use this registartion link for the combined Metro Valley chapter events: Register here. 

Founders Friday 

9:00 am - 10:00am  |  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.

Pop Up Peoria Innovators Collide

10:30am - 12:00pm | The 4th Wednesday of the Month (Coming in Spring)

Grab a seat and come work alongside fellow entrepreneurs at the City of Peoria’s collision space in Park West. Work on your vision in a dedicated space free and 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. Check out our website for the latest updates.

Business Builder: Selling Online with Shopify

5:30pm - 7:00pm  |  Wednesday, 2/10/2020

A carefully considered revenue plan is key to the sustainability of any venture whether it is a business or nonprofit. New challenges are always appearing however so be ready to adapt! Attend this free Business Builder event to learn about strategies for revenue diversification and e-commerce tools for a more robust venture.

Register Now

Business Builder: Driving Sales with Facebook and Instagram

5:30pm - 7:00pm  |  Wednesday, 2/24/2021

Social Media is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available. And, with the average person now spending over 2 hours a day on sites like Facebook, it needs to be a major component of your venture's marketing plan. Attend this free Business Builder event to learn about simple strategies and tips for effectively using social media to drive sales.

Register Now

Creative Entrepreneurs: Local Artists Building a Business

9:00am - 10:30am |  Tuesday, 3/9/2021

Peoria has a vibrant art scene that has innovated and pivoted to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Creative Entrepreneurs event spotlights these artists' stories, showcases their work and creates an interactive discussion about the business they have built. This event will be broadcast from the Grand Shoppe Project, a retail and community space featuring local art and hosting community events. Attendees will get an insider virtual tour.

Register Now

Mentors, Accelerators and Funding: An Honest Introduction to Growing an Idea into a High-Growth Business

5:00pm - 6:00pm |  Thursday, 3/25/2021

While every entrepreneur’s journey is different, there are some key concepts and resources that everyone can access to illuminate their options and fast-track progress. Join this interactive discussion with mentors, founders and resource providers to get a no-nonsense take on moving a venture from an idea to a high-growth business.

Register Now

Community Innovation Summit 3.0

8:00am - 1:00pm |  Monday and Tuesday, 3/26/2021

Join Estrella Mountain Community College and ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation in this full online experience to gain workforce skills and the opportunity to win fantastic prizes! This action-packed two-day virtual meetup brings together the best creative minds at Estrella Mountain Community College to build real-life solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Register Now

Community Finance Organizations: Your Accessible Funding Sources and Local Advisors

5:30pm - 7:00pm |  Wednesday, 4/7/2021

Funding for a venture is notoriously difficult to obtain--especially when it comes to big banks. However, most people don't realize that their own community is rich with funding sources that are designed to work with startups and small businesses! Join this special event and meet your local community finance organizations!

Register Now

No-Code Website Workshop: Build a Free Basic Website in 1 Hour So Customers Can Find You

5:30pm - 7:00pm  |  Tuesday, 4/20/2021

Nearly half of all Google searches are to find local information and if your business doesn't have an online presence, you are going to lose out to the competition. A simple, well-designed website is the first step to getting in front of customers and you don't need to know anything about coding to build one for free in just 1 hour!

Register Now



Looking for a specific answer? To connect with a local mentor? To be part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem? 

Scheduled a resource wayfinding meeting with our team. Email  Peoria.Forward@asu.edu