This week, local business incubator SEEDspot made its first publicized steps toward its anticipated launch later this year.
The non-profit organization and brainchild of co-founders Courtney Klein Johnson and Chris Petroff will focus on "locally grown innovation."
The two plan to open their doors to 20 entrepreneurial projects this fall. With 39 ventures already on a waiting list and robust support via social media, the project has already piqued plenty of community interest.
SEEDspot will focus on supporting "social entrepreneurs" whose for-profit businesses will create positive impact in their local, national or international communities. Founders say they plan to work with the City of Phoenix to reinvigorate the currently lagging economic ecosystem (read, "lots of empty buildings") along Washington Street.
On Thursday, Mayor Greg Stanton and the City Council approved a partnership to lease a 5,461 square foot space at 1 South 24th St. to the non-profit organization.
The project's future home falls within the Discovery Triangle, an urban development program and investment initiative in both Phoenix and Tempe. Led by non-profit Discovery Triangle Development Corporation, the program helps both future and existing business capitalize on existing infrastructure and stimulate growth.
Entrepreneurs whose projects are selected will participate in an 18-week curriculum and have access to weekly workshops, business development tools, mentors and an opportunity to raise capital through a capstone pitch event.
Selected ventures will be allowed to stay at SEEDspot for up to a year, after which they will have to take the leap out of the SEEDspot nest.
The SEEDspot application for potential participants, for non-profits and for-profit ventures will be available at the SEEDspot website from July 1 to August 30. Individuals must reside in Arizona to submit a project. The entrepreneurial venture must be socially conscious, fill a community need and have a viable revenue model.
Johnson and Petroff say they will share more details as they get closer to their launch this fall.