Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Flagstaff, AZ

Flagstaff, AZ

Centrally-located city near a number of famous landmarks, Flagstaff is perhaps best known for its tourism economy. That said, the city is home to several manufacturing and medical technology companies in addition to major observatories.

Flagstaff, AZ, is a city in the northern part of the state. As a centrally-located city near a number of famous landmarks (including the Grand Canyon and Route 66), Flagstaff is perhaps best known for its tourism economy. That said, the city is home to several manufacturing and medical technology companies in addition to major observatories.

Additionally, Flagstaff has a burgeoning entrepreneurial economy: in 2017, the website Hubstaff listed it as having one of the hottest startup scenes in the state. Back in 2016, the Flagstaff area was named as having the state’s most educated communities, a positive sign for small business and entrepreneurial growth. Finally, an article published by Innovation and Technology, the city was highlighted as being a major part of the growing Arizona tech scene early last year.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Flagstafff’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

Flagstaff Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Meetup
The Flagstaff Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship networking group is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners making the community a better place.

Flagstaff Young Professionals
Through monthly events, the Flagstaff Young Professionals networking group supports young entrepreneurs and people in business in the Flagstaff area.

Women of Interest – Flagstaff
Women of Interest is a networking group aimed at women entrepreneurs, business owners and other professionals.

Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

Chamber Events
The Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce hosts a number of regular community and chamber events, including some celebrating and supporting entrepreneurs.

Moonshot Events
Moonshot, a program that supports entrepreneurship and small business development in the area, hosts regular events based on those concepts.

NAU Events
Northern Arizona University hosts regular Pathways to Professional Leadership events, designed to help students break into and succeed in the business world.

Navajo Nation Economic Summit
Held annually in Navajo Territory in Flagstaff, the Navajo Nation Economic Summit is an event designed to help advance economic opportunity for members of the nation.

Startup Competitions:

Innovate Waste Challenge
Hosted by the Flagstaff Sustainability Program, the Innovate Waste Challenge is a competition based on repurposing waste, with the winning team receiving cash and business coaching.

Pioneer Pitch Events
Moonshot hosts several Pioneer Pitch Events across the state on an annual basis, including in Flagstaff.

Seven Generation Business Plan Competition
Organized by Northern Arizona University, the 7G BPC is an opportunity for Native entrepreneurs to learn about entrepreneurship and compete against one another.

Co-working Spaces:

Click CO+WORK
Housed in a re-designed historic building in downtown Flagstaff, Click CO+WORK is a professional co-working space with amenities including an outdoor patio.

The Nest
In addition to either traditional co-working space and private offices, The Nest offers its members a discount at White Dove Coffee, located next door to the space.

Uptown Offices
Uptown Offices specializes in providing private office space to its members, with more traditional co-working options coming soon.

Maker spaces:

MakerLab
Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library includes the MakerLab, a maker space open to students, faculty and staff of the university and the community at large during library hours.

Tynkertopia
Tynkertopia is a community center dedicated to supporting innovation, STEM and the arts by providing access to materials, workshops and classes.

Incubators:

Flagstaff Chamber
The Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce collects a list of resources for small business and entrepreneurial development, including funding opportunities, workshops and other support.

Native American Business Incubator Network
Located in Flagstaff, the Native American Business Incubator Network works to support entrepreneurship, innovation and small business in the Native American community.

NAU Nonprofit Center
In addition to some entrepreneurial and small business support for students, Northern Arizona University’s Nonprofit Center works to help nonprofit companies grow and succeed.

Small Business Development Center
Flagstaff’s Small Business Development Center, which offers a number of programs and resources to support entrepreneurship, is hosted at Coconino Community College.

Accelerators:

Moonshot
Formerly known as the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, Moonshot runs a number of programs to support entrepreneurship in the Flagstaff area.

Colleges/Universities:

Coconino Community College
Coconino Community College is home to the area’s Small Business Development Center, which offers a number of resources to support small business and entrepreneurship.

Northern Arizona University
NAU’s W.A. Franke College of Business offers a certificate program in entrepreneurship and a number of resources to help its students develop professionally.

Angel Groups/VCs:

Arizona Tech Investors
Arizona Tech Investors is a venture capital group that invests in promising seed- and early-stage companies in the information technology and life sciences sectors across the state and beyond.

Desert Angels
While it is based across the state in Tucson, Desert Angels is an angel investment group that works with companies from around the state as well as the Southwest U.S. region as a whole.

Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

Arizona Business Daily
A website that covers exactly what it sounds like, Arizona Business Daily offers a newsletter with the latest news and headlines.

EO Newsletter
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a large organization supporting entrepreneurship, includes a branch for the state of Arizona and offers an e-mail newsletter.

Flagstaff Business News
While Flagstaff Business News does not focus exclusively on local business, it does offer online news, a print edition and an e-mail newsletter.

Flagstaff Chamber Updates
The Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce offers e-mail updates on chamber news and events for those interested in the local business scene.

Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Flagstaff not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Washington, D.C.Chattanooga, TennesseePortland, OR


Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at Funding$age where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.