CEI Blog

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Taking the Leap - Validate First

December 1, 2016, 3:10 PM | Posted By: Patti DuBois

I remember when I started my second company many years ago. It was a dog food manufacturing business. I developed a recipe after my dog became very ill and no veterinarian could figure out what was wrong. My last option was exploratory surgery. I took a gamble and developed a food after researching what an optimal diet should look like for dogs with similar symptoms. I watched anxiously to see how my dog reacted. When my dog not only started eating again, but her energy increased and her coat looked fabulous, I figured it was time to go into business.

Running With My Assumptions

I’m going to rush to the heart of the matter, but I will tell you, I did my dog food homework and researched heavily what was important for a dog’s health. I learned all about the dog food regulations. I had the licenses. I had the equipment I needed. I even had some money to get going. Yet, just like many other companies I work with, I did not go and talk to the people who might buy my product. I didn’t find out if they really wanted another food or even if they liked to change their dog’s food. I assumed that my product was great based on comments from my friends and family and my dog’s experience and I thought it would be flying off of the shelves and that the favorable comments would spread like a haboob. So, again, like many entrepreneurs, I jumped in with both feet and a heap of my own money.

Topics: yesphx

The Greening of Things

October 28, 2016, 8:42 AM | Posted By: Patti DuBois

The Greening of Things
Written By Tom Zender

Topics: yesphx

Taking Your Pitch Deck to GREAT

October 28, 2016, 8:38 AM | Posted By: Patti DuBois

This is the first article in a series focused on building a great pitch deck, and if you are an entrepreneur and you need funding, at some point, you have to get out there and pitch. Yup, it is inevitable. And, it isn’t entirely enough to talk a good talk. If you have a shot at delivering an outstanding presentation, then your pitch deck design must stand out as well. There are a lot of businesses looking for money. Design can be the deciding factor for getting major funding, attracting key media, and landing big customers. A winning pitch deck is a mixture of great design and focused, clear content. It also has to fit into a time structure. Are you overwhelmed just thinking about how to do this? Let’s break down the design portion.

Design is the other half of the equation to a great pitch. The best presentation design is visually appealing, simple and today’s “fashion” is to not use standard bullet points. Think imagery. Think simple. Why? When a slide has a lot happening, your audience is not paying attention to you, they are figuring out your slide. You’ve LOST them. Here are the dirty dozen:

Topics: yesphx

Thoughts on Rise of the Rest Event

October 26, 2016, 11:49 AM | Posted By: Patti DuBois

CEI was please to participate in the very exciting Rise of the Rest event sponsored by AOL founder and entrepreneurial investor, Steve Case. His U.S. bus tour is promoting the acceleration of entrepreneurship and innovation in cities beyond the startup strongholds of Silicon Valley, Boston, Austin, and New York.

Topics: yesphx

3 Major Funding Announcements from CEI Clients in One Week

June 12, 2016, 6:33 PM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

We learned early on in the development of our business incubator that our story would best be told by those businesses in the program. More than the services we provide or the facility that we built, the true measure of success would come from the milestones attained by CEI clients. It would prove that the combination of their unique innovations and hard work - and ultimately our ability to support and develop viable businesses for Phoenix - made a difference. So when three member companies announce major funding in as many days, you can count that as a HUGE win for the incubator that houses them. Indeed it has been a good week for the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation.

Phoenix Entrepreneurs Should Be Sweating from the Summer Grind, not its Heat

June 5, 2016, 11:46 AM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

The summer is upon us here in Arizona. With record-high temperatures hitting us this past weekend - including the earliest date in our state's history for 115-degrees - the heat is definitely on. But it’s also a chance for you to make moves for your business if you choose.

Topics: yesphx, summer

New Report: Find Out Where Phoenix Ranks for Cleantech

May 23, 2016, 8:37 PM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

Earlier this month, Portland-based Clean Edge Inc. released its annual “U.S. Cleantech Leadership Index” which lists the highest ranking states and metro areas based on their activities around clean energy, renewable technology adoption, investment and innovation. The report gives unique insight into the intersection between a city's public and private support with the growth of the industry within its borders. Here is where Phoenix lands on the report as well as other key findings.

Topics: cleantech

5 Key Elements for a Rock Star Product Launch

May 9, 2016, 11:14 AM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

So you have reached the moment where you think you are ready for your product to hit the market, but there are several important aspects you should have in place for your business in order to make a splash with your customers. Here is our take on what those are.

Topics: validation, minimum viable product, product launch

How CEI graduate VisionGate crushed their business incubator experience

April 27, 2016, 2:25 PM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

As a business incubator professional, I truly enjoy watching entrepreneurs take advantage of the plethora of resources at their disposal within a program – from advice and mentorship to facilities and equipment. VisionGate, a company that has developed innovations for the early detection and prevention of lung cancer, graduated from the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI) incubator in Phoenix, Arizona in October 2015 and totally crushed the experience in 3 major ways.

Topics: Business Incubators, startup inspiration, visiongate

Where the startups are: A list of our favorite Phoenix hangouts

April 20, 2016, 10:45 AM | Posted By: Greg Bullock

Right now, the Phoenix entrepreneurial ecosystem is coalescing with the momentum of a cheetah running in an open field, and every entrepreneur in the region should make it his/her mission to plug in to our growing community. With that in mind, we thought we would share some of the most populated startup hangouts where a lot of magic happens. 

Topics: yesphx, coworking

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