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AZ Disruptors offers $20,000 for new software companies

April 21, 2011

In neat black lettering, typed and standard by all other accounts, Hamid Shojee’s business card holds an unusual title: Chief Disruptor.

And, among the neat, standard ways of harnessing entrepreneurship in the Valley, he’s gone off well-traveled paths to bring innovation ina whole new way.

He's asking Valley doers and thinkers in the realms of computer science to rock the boat.

Enter AZ Disruptors, a North Scottsdale, new software incubator dedicated to helping software startups become successful.

The idea behind the incubator is to provide resources for up-and-coming entrepreneurs and innovators with the goal of creating disruptive companies.

That means it is a “"A company that creates a product that is disruptive to the marketplace," Shojee says. "It happens all the time. Google search, Facebook...are big examples. But there are hundreds of small ones that most people might never hear about."

AZ Disruptors is looking to take the latter and thrust them into the limelight.

As the spear-head behind the endeavor, Shojee has established a unique method, one that banks on creating disruptive companies in Arizona's rebounding economy.

From scratch to launch, AZ Disruptors is an incubator, both in financial support and mentorship, but also literally, providing physical space for emerging talent along with $20,000 per startup to get ideas off the drawing board and into actuality. Up to five teams can win $20,000 each in funding.

"We'll work with each startup to help them set their goals for the four month duration of the incubator," Shojee says. "At the end, the goal is for them to demo their creation and company to potential investors to help them get to the next phase."

AZ Disruptors would then take up to a ten percent equity stake in the startup that is incubates.

Shojee is also founder of Axosoft, a software company that shares the same space as AZ Disruptors. The employees of the company will serve as mentors for the startups along with other software CEOs.

There are two ways to get involved with AZ Disruptors. Both start with applying, which you can do as a startup software company or an individual.

Specifically, the company is looking for people with ideas to create product or prototypes for licensed software, service software, web-based and mobile applications.

The application deadline for a startup software company is April 29 while the individual applications are ongoing.
Submitted by Kyle Patton, writer, Office of University Initiatives