Technology and Business Growth in Arizona through GrowAZ and AZIMA
In the eco-system of the technology and startup community in greater Phoenix, several organizations stand out as committed, purposed, and supportive to the idea of growing businesses.
One is GrowAZ, a volunteer-based online network committed to the idea of ‘entrepreneurs helping entrpreneurs.’ GrowAZ is Arizona’s small business marketplace, where entrepreneurs and small businesses list their services at the site for advice, jobs, barter, advertising, partnering and mutual support. It’s what co-founder Jeff Walters describes as its main ethos.
“The notion for GrowAZ was to build a spot where entrepreneurs, startups, and small business owners in Arizona can post their needs and search for ways to fill their needs without spending any money, and being able to do that in a way where they’re supporting each other,” said Walters, who also runs a strategic consulting business Strategy Outfitters, which helps businesses build brands through business analysis, marketing strategy and digital marketing.
GrowAZ offers free listing of services, job openings and work partnership opportunities to small businesses. GrowAZ’s Jill Howard Allen also works with the group’s community development to offer community sponsorships to local businesses to help them gain more awareness in the start-up and tech community.
“We think there’s a lot of value for potential sponsors that want to get in front of all these businesses listed at GrowAZ,” said Ms. Allen. “Arizona’s economy is dependent on small, local businesses helping and referring one another. Any small business in Arizona in theory could benefit by sponsoring at GrowAZ.”
Another group working to grow technology development is AZIMA, Arizona Interactive Marketing Association. A member-funded organization, AZIMA strives to bring unity to the somewhat disconnected group of local SEO experts, website designers and developers, content marketers, lead generation experts and social media practitioners.
AZIMA is led by a number of high-profile business people who work in various web businesses and who seek to unite online marketers in Arizona, creating a single voice on important digital issues, while helping to build competitive business practices and growth in the marketplace. To join AZIMA, interested people can choose from an individual or corporate membership, both available at its site.
Events held by AZIMA usually are educational in nature for the local digerati. Recently, AZIMA hosted an event where the guest speaker was the Director of Social Media and Marketing for the 54th Grammys Awards, the annual record industry awards show.
Other groups in the greater Phoenix Valley are also doing great things to foster community, build business relationships between states and countries, and offer creative solutions to business issues. These include the Arizona Technology Council, TIE Arizona, Arizona International Growth Group, Gangplank, Social Media AZ and several others. Click to each of these sites for more information.
With over 20 years of experience in the digital media world, Matthew has worked for and with Fortune 500 businesses and has built companies from the start-up stage to exit strategy. He recently helped develop a data insight engine to bridge the gap between search, social, and mobile marketing to maximize the visibility, relevancy, and predictive success of online businesses. Matthew is the founder of MINT Social, an award-winning digital marketing company that accelerates online marketing results to help businesses get found and thrive online. Matthew has developed an educational curriculum for Universities on social media for businesses, is a founding board member of the Arizona Innovation Marketing Association (AZIMA), a board member of HeroZona Foundation and on the advisory board (Vinnies) for St. Vincent de Paul - Phoenix. Matthew is a mentor with ASU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, a speaker on social media and digital marketing, and is a subject matter expert with many online portals.