Peoria Forward


Do you have a great business idea, but don’t know where to get started or how to grow it? Do you want to play a role in transforming the future of Peoria through entrepreneurship? 

Join Peoria Forward, a high-impact partnership between the Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU and the City of Peoria. It is designed to grow and scale the entrepreneurial ecosystem within the City of Peoria and transform the future of Peoria through entrepreneurship.

Peoria Forward provides the tools, innovations and support to leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators to build a thriving, self-sustaining entrepreneurial ecosystem in the West Valley. 

Peoria Forward connects ASU’s existing startup resources with small businesses, entrepreneurs, school districts, city library branches and other community groups to develop innovative ventures. A venture could be a business, a nonprofit organization or even a solo project. This includes entrepreneurs at every stage and every industry and curious members of the community.

Get involved

We are a flexible — and a no cost — resource with no memberships or requirements to meet again. 

If you’re an entrepreneur interested in exploring Peoria Forward’s resources available to you, your first step is to meet with a member of our team for an informal discussion. During this 30-minute introduction meeting, a team member will ask you general questions to learn more about your vision and what steps you’ve already taken to turn your vision into reality. You will then discuss what next steps and resources would work for you. 

A community connections meeting will provide you 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.

Contact us to schedule a community connection meeting with our team.

Finding Peoria Forward has saved me from the many pitfalls that a lot of entrepreneurs experience in the beginning stages.

Alexis Szewczyk Founder, Vera Vara


Peoria Forward has different events designed to build connections between people, ideas and resources — the elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Register for an event today and stay tuned for future programming you won’t want to miss.

Learn more

Get started with our launch email series. Peoria Forward has a variety of different email series designed to help entrepreneurs, community members and emerging innovators. We are always launching new series based on the needs of our community. 

  • 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.

Our awards

Peoria Education Foundation: Outstanding Community Partner Award, 2022

Peoria Forward is an award-winning program, recognized for its venture-building abilities.

  • 2022: Westmarc recognized Kristin Slice as a finalist for their West Valley Emerging Leaders Program for her leadership through Peoria Forward.
  • 2022: Peoria Education Foundation awarded the Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute the Outstanding Community Partner for Peoria Forward partnership award with the Peoria MET Academy and the Peoria Unified School Districts’ broader CTE programs.
  • 2021: Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise recognized Peoria Forward as a finalist Community Engagement Award for their dedication and support of the City of Peoria community during the initial response to the COVID pandemic.
  • 2021: Westmarc awarded Peoria Forward the Best of the West Excellence in Innovation award for their innovative approach and unique contributions to the West Valley community.
  • 2018: Westmarc awarded the City of Peoria the Best of the West Excellence in Innovation for their Business Concierge Program including the services and impact contained within the Peoria Forward partnership.

Explore all programs

Our programs for entrepreneurs at ASU and in the community provide guidance and support to help you move your venture to the next level.