Venture Catalyst launches TiE-AZ partnership with networking event
Investors from Silicon Valley, Southern California and the rest of the Southwest joined more than 150 local entrepreneurs Oct. 13 at a networking event organized by Venture Catalyst at ASU and TiE-AZ, the local chapter of the world’s largest globally-connected entrepreneur organization.
At the 10th Annual Venture Capital Roundtable at the Tempe Center for the Arts, a panel of successful investors discussed contemporary funding trends.
“Strategic investors are stepping up interest in early stage companies,” said panelist Dennis Merens, managing director of Dow Venture Capital and member of the Venture Catalyst advisory board. “They offer unique resources that in many instances can significantly accelerate both technology development as well as market adoption.”
The event marked the start of a collaboration that will connect the services and programs offered by Venture Catalyst with the global network of entrepreneurs affiliated with TiE. Venture Catalyst is Arizona State University’s new entrepreneurial assistance initiative to help faculty, students and ASU-linked companies launch new startups or accelerate existing ventures. TiE is a not-for-profit global network of entrepreneurs with more than 14,000 members and chapters in 57 cities in 13 countries.
“This partnership is a great opportunity for TiE to link with ASU through its exciting new initiative,” said Michael Hool, president of TiE Arizona, managing partner for Hool Law Group, and member of the Venture Catalyst advisory board. “The university is obviously dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship and we are excited to be able to help with that effort.”
“We are very pleased to create this collaborative relationship with one of Arizona’s top entrepreneurial organizations,” said Charlie Lewis, director of Venture Catalyst and vice president of venture development at AzTE. “The key is providing support and opportunities to ASU and Valley entrepreneurs to continue to grow and succeed. Our two organizations are both focused on doing just that.”
With this partnership, Venture Catalyst will have access to TiE’s Charter Membership, made up of senior entrepreneurs committed to supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs. Local Charter Members can serve as mentors for Venture Catalyst entrepreneurs. TiE members outside Arizona will be invited to ASU to speak and provide a global perspective on entrepreneurship. Venture Catalyst will also connect with local TiE related start-ups who could benefit from the program’s services.
Launched this month with the help of a $1 million grant from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's office, Venture Catalyst offers investor connections, intellectual property consulting, educational workshops, and one-on-one mentoring opportunities with established entrepreneurs and seasoned business executives. Venture Catalyst is jointly run by ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU’s technology venturing arm.