Chris interviews Mike Jones, Organizer of Phoenix Startup Week, as they discuss how events create momentum, and how Phoenix Startup Week, in particular, hopes to boost entrepreneurial momentum in the greater Phoenix area.

ContactMike mike@resoundcreative.com or Chris chris@resoundcreative.com

Discuss at https://www.facebook.com/azbrandcast/

AZ Brandcast is graciously sponsored by Conscious Capitalism Arizona – the global movement inspiring businesses to do good…because it’s just good business. Find out more about Conscious Capitalism and the many companies transforming our world for the better on their website: consciouscapitalismaz.com

And our show is produced by Phoenix Business RadioX and recorded at the enviable MAC6 coworking space in ever-sunny Tempe, Arizona (the 48th – and best state of them all). AZ Brandcast is a project of Resound – an Arizona brand agency.

Show Transcript

Introduction: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Phoenix, Arizona, it’s time for Phoenix Business Radio. Spotlighting the city’s best business, and the people who lead them.

Chris Stadler: Hey everybody. How’s it going? This is the AZ Brandcast, where we talk about all sorts of awesome people and the power of brand and how to build great brands in our remarkable state of Arizona. We’re the hosts, Chris Stadler and Mike, not today. Not today.

Mike Jones: Yeah. I’m not a host today.

Chris Stadler: Mike’s a guest today, because-

Mike Jones: I’m putting on my guest hat right now. You watching it?

Chris Stadler: Guess hat engaged.

Mike Jones: It’s on. It’s a little tight.

Chris Stadler: Our guest today is Mike Jones. Why? Because it’s almost time for PHX Startup Week.

Mike Jones: Yeah, PHX Startup Week.

Chris Stadler: So, PHX Startup Week. What is PHX Startup Week you might be asking. PHX Startup Week brings together the Phoenix entrepreneurship community for six days of education, connection, and support. When is that Mike?

Mike Jones: Next week. Next week, man. March fourth through the ninth.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Big old party.

Mike Jones: Yeah. There’s some partying going on too.

Chris Stadler: This community organized and community run event is focused on bringing diverse voices to the table and cultivating a community, positioning Phoenix to thrive, not just survive, thrive. I like that. Phoenix started [inaudible 00:01:26] 2019 thrive together. That is the theme, right?

Mike Jones: That’s the theme this year.

Chris Stadler: Theme, thrive together. I saw the tee shirts. Did you see them?

Mike Jones: I did. I have one.

Chris Stadler: It is supported by thousands of entrepreneurs, businesses, and service providers in the entrepreneurial ecosystem from across Arizona, empowering the entrepreneurial spirit. Mike is the organizer. Did I say that right? I-

Mike Jones: Co-organizer.

Chris Stadler: Co-organizer.

Mike Jones: I co-lead the event.

Chris Stadler: That’s right. Startup Week Phoenix. The CEO of Resound Creative. Let’s not forget about that. And normally the cohost of AZ Brandcast today. Mike is a guest. Holy cow.

Mike Jones: Read that next line, that’d be hilarious-

Chris Stadler: You’re not just the CEO of Resound, you were one of Arizona’s top 35 entrepreneurs, 35 and younger. We normally don’t get to brag about ourselves on this podcast, but since you’re the guest it’s like wow.

Mike Jones: Yeah, that one’s getting a little-

Chris Stadler: Did that really happen?

Mike Jones: It did, 2014. Four years ago. That’s crazy. Can’t believe that.

Chris Stadler: Time flies, man. You don’t look a day older.

Mike Jones: I put on a lot of face cream every night.

Chris Stadler: You moisturize?

Mike Jones: I moisturize. Not even close.

Chris Stadler: Okay, but first a word from our sponsors. So the AZ Brandcast is sponsored by our fantastic friends at Conscious Capitalism Arizona. This local association is on a mission to share with the whole wide world how doing business is good business. Just good business, right? This local chapter of Conscious Capitalism Incorporated hosts tons of local events, and provides resources for business leaders to instill a higher purpose in their company and engage all their stakeholders. Be sure to check them out at consciouscapitalismaz.com-

Mike Jones: And when you go to that website, consciouscapitalismaz.com what you’re actually going to see is a lot of information about the upcoming annual conference, which is the international conference. So it’s for all Conscious Capitalism leaders across the world to come, and this year it’s actually being hosted in Phoenix, which is really cool. It’s coming up in at the end of April, so go on the website, check that out. That’s actually a great, great way to get introduced to what conscious capitalism is, what the community’s like. Really meet a lot of really cool high profile leaders in the community of Conscious Capitalism. And honestly a lot of them are just great business people. I was blown away last year in Dallas at that conference. Just the quality of content, just the comradery. A very engaging conference as well as just a great time to meet new friends, make some new friends in a space. I would sit next to one lady and introduce myself as we were sitting there waiting for the next session to start, find out she’s from Italy. So this is truly an international movement, and this is an international conference.

Chris Stadler: Conferences can be so hit and miss, with content and with the people there and stuff. Just the whole vibe and everything. Sounds like one of those conferences-

Mike Jones: This is a hit.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: This is a hit.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Rad on. Cool, yeah. So go to consciouscapitalismaz.com, and find out more. Will they see you and I there?

Mike Jones: They will.

Chris Stadler: Yes they will.

Mike Jones: They better. We bought tickets so we better show up.

Chris Stadler: That’s right. So let’s get into it Mike, what do you think? [inaudible 00:04:45] Arizona. What? But first our ice breaker.

Mike Jones: Break the ice.

Chris Stadler: Okay. Today’s question is name a startup, because startups is the theme, that you failed at and why?

Mike Jones: I got to start. Huh? ‘Cause I’m the guest.

Chris Stadler: I could start but-

Mike Jones: No, I feel like proper protocol I should start.

Chris Stadler: Okay.

Mike Jones: So I was debating, I had two. So we were talking before the show and you mentioned yours and I was like, oh that’s right. I did have that business in like grade school like every kid does.

Chris Stadler: Yup.

Mike Jones: And mine totally failed? I think it lasted not even two weeks. We did car wash. My buddy and I did car washes in the neighborhood, and it totally failed. I still don’t really know exactly why other than we were 12 and we probably just had zero initiative to keep it going.

Mike Jones: Also, I will say this. That was my first experience selling stuff to people, which I didn’t mind that part. But delivering and then dealing with nitpicky car owners who would sit there and watch us and critique everything we did, because of course we’re 12 so they’re like, they don’t know what they’re doing. But I’m like, you’re nit picking our $3 carwash from a couple like neighborhood kids. We had one dude who just hawk-eyed us the whole time. He’s like, “You’re spraying the water too hard. You missed that spot.” I’m just like-

Chris Stadler: “Dude, don’t you have a football game to be watching or something? It’s Saturday.”

Mike Jones: And I remember after that, my buddy and I were just like this is stupid. Why are we doing this? This is so not worth it. I can’t remember. There was some fight that he and I had about it too. One of us I think wanted to keep it going and the other one’s like no, I’m never dealing with people like that ever again.

Chris Stadler: So you closed down.

Mike Jones: We closed it down, shut it down.

Chris Stadler: Dude.

Mike Jones: You learn a lot though. That’s the beauty of startups is you learn. Right? So even in the failure, you learn stuff like hey, B to C, dealing with customers. If you’re a business selling to customers directly to the consumer public, get ready for a lot of opinions. Go talk to any restaurant owner. Oh my goodness. Or a restaurant manager, they just get hounded with opinions from customers.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, and people are right there too. Eating is very personal. I’m putting this in my mouth.

Mike Jones: It’s very subjective. I remember I had one friend who-

Chris Stadler: It’s worse than designing a logo for someone probably.

Mike Jones: It might be, it might actually be, I don’t know. I had a friend who was a manager and a bunch of restaurants for 20 years and he was telling me all these stories about just the customer feedback. He had a rule in his restaurants which was if you came back more than twice, right? So if you were came once, you had a bad experience, he’s like, “We’ll do whatever we can to make it right. We’ll remake your meal, we’ll get you a nice gift certificate. I want you to come back. I want you to try again.” Second time, fails. They can’t get there. It’s not working, right? So again, they’re getting this poor customer feedback. And if they come a third time and they continue to give negative feedback and he’s basically like, “Our rule was you need to go somewhere else.”

Mike Jones: “The reality is like we’ve tried three times to deliver for you and we can’t. So there’s something wrong here that we can’t fix for you. So you know what? It’s in your best interest to just not come here. Stop having a bad experience, go somewhere else.”

Chris Stadler: So now did they give the hostess a list and some mugshots of the people who-

Mike Jones: No, it’s not like a blacklist. But they would tell the customer, “We’re probably not the right restaurant for you. There’s something about our restaurant that just doesn’t work for you.” And our recommendation would be we’ll comp your meal this time. But we’re not encouraging you to come back, like we did the last two times. Right? Because the last two was like maybe we screwed up. We can deliver a better experience. And now it’s like well now we’re three times in. There’s something else going on here.

Chris Stadler: That’s a good policy.

Mike Jones: I like that policy.

Chris Stadler: It’s a good place to draw the line.

Mike Jones: So I think we should make that our new policy at Resound. So after your third logo, you still hate it. Kick it to the curb.

Chris Stadler: Hit the road jack.

Mike Jones: That’s terrible. We’d be in a lot of trouble if that was how we did it.

Chris Stadler: Third revision.

Mike Jones: We’d have a lot of clients who wouldn’t have worked out. Because it’s hard. It’s hard to nail that logo, get everybody on the same page.

Chris Stadler: But you know what? When it’s all done, client’s happy, you’re happy, not a feeling like it in the world.

Mike Jones: It’s an amazing feeling. I think having a client say, “I love this.” They don’t even have to say they love it. I think I’m satisfied when they say I can, “I can make this work. I can own this.” So there’s a whole other story there, but I don’t want to get off on another tangent. I’ve already taken us down two or three.

Chris Stadler: That’s a good answer. That’s a good answer. So I’m going to get right into the questions.

Mike Jones: No, icebreaker man. I got to hear. What was your failed business?

Chris Stadler: Hey man, I’m the host toady. Not you. All right, I’ll tell.

Mike Jones: You can never get the host out of Mile.

Chris Stadler: No, no you can’t.

Mike Jones: Not fully.

Chris Stadler: No. You can take Mike out of the host but you can’t … That doesn’t work. I had a rubber band selling business when I was probably seven or something like that.

Mike Jones: That’s so awesome.

Chris Stadler: Well, my friends and I used to have rubber band wars. So who wouldn’t want-

Mike Jones: No, this makes sense.

Chris Stadler: I wanted to stockpile rubber bands. But after a while you’re like, I have too many rubber bands. And so there’s just a short-

Mike Jones: You had the supply.

Chris Stadler: Day and a half.

Mike Jones: They had the demand.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. It was a supply surplus situation. But I think unfortunately enough people got newspapers that everybody was pretty much set for rubber bands. So nobody really needed my rubber bands, especially my cracked ones. The crack, when you stretch them out and they … So that was my first failed.

Mike Jones: Yeah, that’s interesting.

Chris Stadler: I mean you got to consider is there a market.

Mike Jones: Well, you thought there was, right?

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Well even if, look people who live in our apartment complex who are adults, you guys should be having rubber band wars too. But if the client doesn’t understand their need.

Mike Jones: Yeah. They got to understand their need. You have to create the need, Chris. You got to sell them.

Chris Stadler: Or just be like, “Hey, remember”-

Mike Jones: Yeah, you got to take them back to childhood.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. A better one would-

Mike Jones: You could be having rubber band fun right now.

Chris Stadler: I should have been selling rubber bands, popcorn and movies. And then also couch cushion forts construction. And that would have been more of a package and it would’ve made more sense as a brand. Right?

Mike Jones: Yup.

Chris Stadler: But alas, I did not do that. So that’s my story. So startup week. Dude, I’m super curious because this is a big thing you’ve been working on all year since last year. And you were an organizer back last year too.

Mike Jones: Yeah. So I was on the organizing team for PHX Startup Week last year. I ran marketing, and it was overall a really good experience. Learned a lot about running events, and we had a pretty solid team. I think we put on a pretty good event. And so at the end of it, I was asked if I’d want to lead the next year’s event, which would be this year. And I said yeah. And so Kate Rogers and I, she’s my co-lead. we are the CO organizers for this year’s event leading a team of about 40 people who are our organizing team. We’ve got some really solid people on the team and put together a really cool event.

Mike Jones: It’s different than last year, definitely not the same vision, not the same vibe. And almost everyone I’ve talked to has said, “Yeah, this feels a little different from last year.” I’m like good, that’s the point. We talk a lot about how last year, the vision seemed to be the three letter word, B-I-G. Just make it big. And I think we delivered on that. But I’m not sure if it really matched what the community needed. So this year we took a little bit more of a community centric approach. Some of that had to do just logistically. We had to, we lost our title sponsor last year, which came through Techstars. So this year we’re boots on the ground rebooting from scratch and we’ve pulled together an amazing team of organizers. We’ve pulled together some amazing sponsors. Most of them are locally based, or who are looking to really invest here locally. We’ve got some great partners who are helping us put it on.

Mike Jones: We’re going to be in actually three different locations this year, which is a big change from last year. Last year we were just in the warehouse district of Phoenix, and this year we’re going to be in Mesa, at Mesa Arts Center for the first two days. Then we’ll hop over to Phoenix, we’ll spend two days at Scaled Sandbox, which is a new tech maker space. It’s just opening next week, part of their launch.

Chris Stadler: Cool.

Mike Jones: And then we’ll be back in the East Valley in Gilbert at Park University in downtown Gilbert for the final two days. That’s the Friday and Saturday of the week-

Chris Stadler: Nice. That’s awesome.

Mike Jones: Yeah, I’m really excited, and just kind of catch people up a little bit. Startup Week is the largest entrepreneurial event in Arizona. We have the numbers to show that, we’re not just throwing that out there then. It’s really I think more importantly probably the most community centric entrepreneurial event. It’s all volunteer led. So everyone that you see behind the scenes putting it on, making decisions, planning, organizing, and then actually there at the event making it happen, are all doing it out of the goodness of their heart and wanting to contribute back to the community. That includes all of our organizing team. All of our speakers are there of their own goodwill and want to provide content. We have over 150 speakers this year across keynotes, panels, workshops, some breakout sessions. And then we’ve got some amazing happy hours as well being put on by community partners across the valley. So there is something to do every single day next week.

Chris Stadler: I love a conference where you don’t have to settle for two or three sessions. You can look around and see-

Mike Jones: There’s more.

Chris Stadler: You can skip the ones that look boring to go to the ones that are good.

Mike Jones: Yeah. And each day has a little bit different flavor. So each day we have essentially five tracks running all day. So we’ve got our keynote that’ll open us up at nine o’clock each morning. You’ll hear from a great speaker. Most of them are local, which is really cool. We’re getting to hear from some really cool founders and business leaders from the valley who some of which have a little bit more proven experience, or who’ve taken startups and moved them out of that startup period. And they’re going to be giving us some of their knowledge and insights from doing that in their own organizations, which is really cool. After the keynote, everyone will break out into their different sessions. And everyday, we have a tech centric session. So Monday is going to be blockchain, and so we’ll have a whole track of blockchain related sessions running. And then there’ll be a non tech sessions, like one of the days I know is sports entrepreneurship or social entrepreneurship, which falls in line with some of our conscious capitalism. Friends, a few of them who are going to be speaking.

Mike Jones: So we have a pairing there. And then we also have more startup 101 track, which is going to help people. The basics of how do I get started. What’s the legalities of starting a business here in Arizona? What does it look like to go to market? How do I build a team? How do I handle HR, and how do I organize the finances in my own business? Those are those fundamentals that you have to have no matter what kind of business you’re doing. And then we also have some workshops that are going to help people dive a little deeper into a specific topic.

Chris Stadler: So that’s interesting ’cause this is the AZ Brandcast, and we’re always trying to think about how do our guests think that Arizona’s brand is developing. So you’re talking about the community and Arizona focused. A lot of those questions make me think okay, well what’s the difference between how you start up a business in Arizona versus how you start up a business in the Bay Area, right?

Mike Jones: Sure. If you have tried either one, there’s a big difference. Not least because the state of California and the state of Arizona approach business very differently.

Chris Stadler: Yes.

Mike Jones: So every city’s a little different too, and depending on what kind of business you’re starting with licensing around different kinds of business. If you’re trying to open a restaurant and you want to serve alcohol, it’s a little different. And let’s say you’re trying to do that in Mesa, it’s going to be a little different than starting a marketing agency in Phoenix.

Mike Jones: There’s just different hoops you have to jump through. There’s different licensing you have to figure out. In fact if you want to start, a lot of service based business. Not all of them, but a fair number, you don’t even need licensing here in Arizona. Most of the cities don’t care. So really it comes down to city ordinances and state regulation, and at some level the federal government also plays a role. But I think that what’s cool about this event is it’s so Arizona, so Phoenix Metro area focused that every single person who’s going to be talking is going to have some kind of connection here. So they can speak a little bit more specifically about what it’s like to grow a business here, or do business in Arizona. And even if they don’t get as deep as you really want them to, there’s always opportunity at this event, really. I think it’s a great event to just go up and talk to them afterwards.

Chris Stadler: Wait, you’re allowed to do that?

Mike Jones: Oh yeah, totally.

Chris Stadler: You can hob knob with the speakers.

Mike Jones: Yeah. And go to the happy hour and you’ll see them there too probably. But also, it’s a great opportunity to connect with people who are maybe in a similar boat, who are sitting in that same session. And start a conversation around around hey, we’re having these particular issues and needs. One other really cool thing about this event is, and then I consider this the hidden gem of PHX Startup Week, which is the mentorship program. And so we actually offer for attendees, you can apply to be mentored. I think we’re closing that application on Friday. So if you’re thinking about going and you are interested in mentorship, please go do it right now, so we can match you up with a mentor and give them enough time. But we have 43 business executives and founders who are contributing their time across the whole week to provide one on one 45 minute mentoring sessions.

Chris Stadler: Wow. Are you kidding?

Mike Jones: And that’s included in the cost of your ticket, as long as you apply.

Chris Stadler: Okay.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: So you have to decide, schedule or whatever. Apply by Friday.

Mike Jones: Yeah. Apply by Friday so they can get you on the calendar.

Chris Stadler: And it’s during the week next week.

Mike Jones: During the week, yeah. We’ll be running those mentoring program the whole week.

Chris Stadler: Wow. So if I’m only going to the, let’s say the Gilbert session. I can schedule something there.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: While supplies last?

Mike Jones: While supplies last. While mentors last.

Chris Stadler: Yes.

Mike Jones: Some of our mentors are completely booked up already, so it’s really cool.

Chris Stadler: That’s awesome.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Wow. Okay. This isn’t on our question list, but what kinds of questions do mentors get asked? Do you know?

Mike Jones: Oh man. They get all kinds. I remember just from conversations I had with some of the last year, everything from very specific, “Hey, I think I might need a fire somebody, how do we go about that? How do I know if I need to?” Or, “I’ve never hired anyone before. How do I go about that process?” Some of them are going to be a little bit more specific to an industry. So if you’re running a tech company like a software company, you might have some specific questions around a developer operations and how do you build out the right tech stack. And some of our mentors are more specifically knowledgeable in a specific industry or a specific technology. So some of those questions come up.

Mike Jones: Other stuff just around accounting or HR. And it’s a lot of the questions I think people are a little afraid to ask in a Q&A in front of 100 people in one of the breakout sessions. Certainly not in a keynote, but it’s an opportunity where you can sit across the table from somebody who’s been around the block a few times and really just say, “Hey, here’s where I’m at. And I’m trying to get from where I’m at right now to that next phase of my business. How do I move my startup there?”

Chris Stadler: So you can actually choose who you-

Mike Jones: No, so that’s part of the application process is you’re going to give us some information about where you’re at and what questions you have and what your needs are. Then we’ll do our best to match you with a mentor that best fits where you’re at.

Chris Stadler: Okay. I love that. Thank you for going down that trail with me. Because I think that’s super valuable. That would be super valuable to me. Not only asking the question, but then now I have a relationship with this person. If it’s interesting for them, then we might have some going, that might really help me.

Mike Jones: Yeah. I think every year it’s probably one of the most, not under utilized. A lot of people use it, but I think it’s the underrepresented things about startup week. And part of it’s that it’s not real public. You don’t go and you watch people get mentored. It’s a little bit more private, it’s one on one. So it doesn’t have that showiness of the rest of our event. But it really is a huge value. I don’t really know where else you could go in the valley and get say I want to spend dedicated 45 minutes with someone who probably has some expertise in my industry, in my area of need. And get an immediate 45 minutes with them. Some of them are, we’re talking some decent names too. We got Dan Tyre, who I think was within the first 10 employees at HubSpot, and super knowledgeable about marketing and marketing systems.

Mike Jones: We’ve got Greg Head, who we had on the show. So he’s one of our mentors. Longstanding marketing expert within the SaaS world, within software products. We’ve got Heidi Jannenga.

Chris Stadler: She’s going to mentor?

Mike Jones: She’s going to mentor. Yeah. She’s all over the place. She’s speaking, she’s mentoring. I think she’s on a panel too. So-

Chris Stadler: She’s huge.

Mike Jones: She’s huge. Yeah, no. Heidi’s awesome. We have some great mentors, and then a bunch of others. I only mentioned three out of 43. So if one of those names didn’t resonate with you, that’s okay. There are others. And a really talented group. The people running, we have a core team within our core team running mentorship. Ryan and Alex Quinn, who have a startup called BrightGuest, they’ve been awesome and worked with us. This is their third year now running the mentorship program during PHX Startup Week. And they’ve invested over the course of three years, just thousands of hours building this program and learning every year what works and doesn’t work. And I feel like this year, that program’s really gotten to a point where it’s really solid. And we really came in this year intentionally wanting to focus on quality through that mentorship program.

Chris Stadler: Awesome. Shout out to BrightGuest for doing that. That’s awesome.

Mike Jones: Yes. Thank you guys.

Chris Stadler: So why thrive together? How did you get to arrive at that?

Mike Jones: Yeah, so that kind of came through some study we did last year at the end of the event around diversity of our event and looking at some of the numbers of attendees, and realizing that who was showing up was not fully representative of our entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Phoenix. So it was predominantly male and white. And that might match up with certain segments of entrepreneurship in the valley. Just brutal honesty in the software world in Phoenix, it tends to be more male and white. But unfortunately I don’t think that matches what we really want the event to be, which is really reflective of anyone who would consider themselves an entrepreneur, feeling like this is an event where they can come. They will find content that’s of interest to them that will be helpful for their business, not just a specific tech vertical. So that meant this year, we really wanted to instill this idea of thriving together, that we are more than the sum of our parts as a whole valley in terms of the entrepreneurs that are here and how we support one another in our ventures.

Mike Jones: So that’s where we came up with that theme. I think this is going to be a multiyear initiative to really move the needle on some of these numbers. I know this year, one of the really cool things that we did was, I think we were just more intentional with how we built programming. So this year we actually have a nearly 50/50 split between male and female presenters across all of our speakers. I think it’s 46% to 54%, which in the event world is actually kind of unheard of. The typical event sees a two to one male to female ratio. So I’m pretty excited about that. I think it’s more representative of our communities. We’ve started a lot of conversations with different groups that we haven’t talked to before. We have some really cool sponsors this year that we’ve never had before. So I think across the board, we really-

Chris Stadler: Like who? Tell us about some of these sponsors.

Mike Jones: Yeah. So we’ve got some great sponsors returning. We got APS, we’ve got Greater Phoenix Economic Council, we’ve got Arizona Commerce Authority, all of whom were great sponsors for us in past years. Then we’ve got some new ones I’m really excited about. We’ve got Homie coming in from Utah, from Salt Lake City. They’re entering the Phoenix market with their product.

Chris Stadler: Homie as in you’re my Homie?

Mike Jones: They use it that way, but their product is actually an online home brokerage. So you can go and list your house with them, and you can sell it or you can go buy a house without ever enlisting a real estate agent.

Chris Stadler: Nice.

Mike Jones: So you can basically cut out the middleman and all the rigmarole, and some of the fees. And hopefully make that transaction a little bit smoother. That’s what they do. They’ve had a lot of success in Salt Lake City and in Nevada up in Las Vegas. And they’re now looking to come into Phoenix. They’ve been a great supporter of our event, just really going all out for us. So it’s been really cool working with them.

Mike Jones: We’ve got Artisan Color from Scottsdale, they’re our print sponsor this year. I think this is the first year that we’ve had a print sponsor, and they’ve been super awesome to work with providing all of our signage for us this year pile. So they are killing it for us. Other great one, MAC6 is as a sponsor this year.

Chris Stadler: MAC6, our buddies.

Mike Jones: Yup. That was great that they wanted to jump on board. And you can go on the website and we’ve got over 30 sponsors this year. So a lot of great, great sponsors who are helping us out. Including Phoenix Business RadioX.

Chris Stadler: What?

Mike Jones: Yeah. I’m excited about this. Karen and her team are going to be doing live radio all day on Friday the eighth.

Chris Stadler: Oh nice.

Mike Jones: Yes.

Chris Stadler: Cool.

Mike Jones: So our sponsors and some of our organizers are going to be invited to come on the show. Do a quick little interview and talk about their experience at startup week, and what they’re doing and their business, their venture. And yeah, I’m really excited about that. That’s awesome. Really sad about that Karen.

Chris Stadler: That’ll really build up a little bit of the excitement and the content, a little momentum and everything. That’s awesome. It’s like when we did our podcast at design week that time, remember? Remember that time? Remember that time we did the design week?

Mike Jones: Yeah. Speaking of failed startups, doing podcasts at events. I think Karen’s got a better structure than we-

Chris Stadler: Yeah, that’s-

Mike Jones: I’ve seen her work her magic.

Chris Stadler: Be not discouraged Karen. Yeah.

Mike Jones: No, we did it all wrong.

Chris Stadler: It was cool. The conversations were great and everything.

Mike Jones: The conversations were fun, that was a good experience. I think we learned a lot. We had never done an event before. It’s always tricky the first time.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. That’s awesome. So you guys lost your main sponsor. How you guys even surviving now? What the heck.

Mike Jones: Because we have an amazing team and we have an amazing community, who wants to make sure that this event happens. So the backstory there for anyone that cares-

Chris Stadler: I care Mike.

Mike Jones: Techstars has been a great partner. They own the brand of startup week. They’ve got I think over 60 of them now across the world that they support. They’ve been a great sponsor, great supporter. But one of the things they’ve always brought to the table is a title sponsor, which has been tremendously helpful. Last three years, anyone that came saw Chase for business had their name all over it, because they were providing some great support financially to make sure the event happened. And like all things, all good things must come to an end at some point. And that agreement came to an end. And for whatever reason, Chase decided not to renew. So this year we entered the year with a blank slate as to like how are we going to do this, how do we want to do it? How are we going to fund it?

Mike Jones: It’s been hard. I’ll be totally honest, I think that’s been one of the harder things that we’ve had to work through this year is knowing that our bank account was sitting at zero on day one. And honestly, really until like the first week of January, we continued it at zero. So we really spent, really three months with our core organizing team just making a lot of plans but not able to execute on all of them. And our sponsorship team, who I’m just thrilled with, really just took that challenge by the horns and said we’re going to figure this out. And they’ve done it. We’ve pulled in some amazing sponsors this year. Really kind of bootstrap the event without a title sponsor. We’ve been able to rally together a lot of sponsors who maybe didn’t quite have the ability to do the level of a title sponsor, but who combined are helping us make sure that this event happens. And so it really, in some ways I think it feels even more like a community event than maybe it has in the past.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, that’s what I was wondering, ’cause you had to replace a big sponsor with a bunch of other sponsors. So you basically have to like hey, we’re going to have to make some relationships. We’re going to have to see who’s really into this. See if the community really supports this, a real test of the event.

Mike Jones: Yeah. And we’ve done it. As of I think three weeks ago, we actually hit all of the numbers that we were looking to hit with our sponsorship fundraising. And we found a few more come in over the last couple of weeks. We actually technically shutdown sponsorship sales about a week ago, which it was just super exciting to say hey, we’ve delivered on what we need to deliver from a financial standpoint. Now we’ve got to deliver to our sponsors. Then we started really focusing on that.

Mike Jones: So I’m really excited for this year. I think this year has an opportunity to feel very organic. Maybe a return back to the original roots of the event. Five years ago, Jonathan Cottrell founded this event here in Phoenix, the inaugural PHX Startup Week, and it was very much a community led grassroots organized event under the banner of Yes PHX he put on the map. This was an extension of that, and it had a very community centric feel five years ago. And as it’s grown, I think maybe some of that’s been lost a little bit. And I feel like this year, we’ve had a chance to return back to some of those roots.

Mike Jones: We’ve even at the same time been able to formalize some things that have never really been formalized before. So this is the first year that we’ve brought the event underneath an existing established nonprofit. So we’re actually now an extension of StartupAZ Foundation, which is a nonprofit locally based here that focuses on helping entrepreneurs both succeed with their business as well as helping them to be generous in how they approach their business. And really showcasing that Phoenix is the most generous entrepreneurial community in the world.

Mike Jones: So that’s our owning group. We’re working with Brandon Clarke who’s the director of of StartupAZ Foundation. And through him, we’ve been able to start putting together a formal committee that oversees the event moving forward that establishes vision, and that establishes the structure of the event. And then Kate and I have been working really hard this year to formalize the how do we do business as an event so that the next year as another team rolls in and hopefully some of our team members carry over.

Mike Jones: But as we build out a new team, they can take over and really not have to start at ground zero again. That’s our goal is can we make this a more sustainable event. It is a huge thing to ask a bunch of volunteers every year to invest the number of hours that are required to put this event on. This is literally a six day conference. It’s insane. Historically it’s been free. That’s a big change that we implemented this year. It’s no longer free.

Chris Stadler: How much is it?

Mike Jones: If you want to come for the whole week, it’s 65 bucks. So $11.50 per day.

Chris Stadler: That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee these days, is it?

Mike Jones: Close to, yeah.

Chris Stadler: Depending on how many shots.

Mike Jones: A venti, quintuple shot.

Chris Stadler: And that’s if you don’t get one for your purse dog, if you do that. Then it’s like double.

Mike Jones: Yeah, that’s true. It’s true. Those ones are expensive. Whatever shots you put in, they double it for the dog.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. And then if you’re picky about what your dog, no chocolate for my dog. It’ll kill the dog. Picky people.

Mike Jones: Picky people, yeah. So yeah, we just put a lot of structure around the event this year and trying to build some sustainability into the event so that this can carry on beyond us. This is not an event that we can expect people to just forever lead and organize. That’s just not possible. It’s too big a lift. It really is probably about a two year commitment. We’d like to see that that two year commitment has some great sustainability over the course of a long term.

Chris Stadler: That’s awesome.

Mike Jones: That’s what we’re working on. Still got a lot of work to do, but we’re working on it.

Chris Stadler: So where do you sign up if you want to be your successor and be an organizer?

Mike Jones: Well, we haven’t announced that yet. I think one of the things we’re going to be looking to do is pull from the existing team. I think having, we’ve seen this. And this has been an unwritten rule, and I think maybe that’s part of what we’re doing this year is maybe starting to document some of these things, these practices, best practices. One of which is I think your leadership needs to come from the existing team. If you’ve never led this event before or been on the organizing team before, I don’t know that you’re going to be set up well to lead it. That being said, I think there’s great opportunity to comment and help that leadership team. That’s another thing that we found this year is having co-leads I think was actually really beneficial. You talk a lot about the lift. I can’t tell you how many community volunteer organized events that I talk to organizers about and they’re like, “Yeah man, that one year I led it, it just killed me. I stopped my business for six months and I just had to focus on the event, and the lift was huge. And people are dropping out left and right on my team and not helping out.” So you’re the last one standing, right? There’s always some that are there and committed, and some don’t, right? Some don’t pull their weight. That’s just the nature of volunteer work.

Chris Stadler: Yup.

Mike Jones: If you have a co-lead, it’s really interesting is that when something crazy happens, you get sick. Your business has a tough week, your family’s going through a rough spot for a couple of weeks. You now have somebody who’s at your same authority level, who can pick up the slack a little bit and then vice versa. That’s what we’ve found, Kate and I enabled to balance each other as we’ve moved forward up to the event. And it’s been really helpful to have that.

Mike Jones: So if something does come up, it’s not like the end of the world for the entire team. There’s always someone to pick up the slack. And we also did that at the individual, we have sub teams, right? We have a sponsorship team, marketing team, volunteer team. An operations team, a mentorship team, and a programming team. And every one of those teams had at least two co-leads. And I think that same structure was really helpful this year.

Chris Stadler: Do you guys have a succession plan like the king? If the king dies then it’s the son, and then it’s like pretty soon at startup week, it’s going to be the social media guy. [inaudible 00:38:21].

Mike Jones: It’s like if something terrible happens in DC. Who does the presidency fall to?

Chris Stadler: The governor of Alaska.

Mike Jones: The governor of Alaska.

Chris Stadler: At some point, right? It’s going be the governor of Alaska. It’s going to be the mayor of-

Mike Jones: 255th in line.

Chris Stadler: The mayor of Queen Creek. Sorry [inaudible 00:38:43].

Mike Jones: Totally random. I think the constitution and our amendments only … I think there’s some legislation too. It’s not just constitutionally, I think it only goes to four or five levels.

Chris Stadler: Okay. So the manager of the biggest Walmart is never going to be in line to be the president?

Mike Jones: No, probably not. Probably not. At least not in a constitutional way. Not in a way that most people accept.

Chris Stadler: Okay.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Gotcha. They might lead their resistance or whatever. Okay. All right, now we’re going down a rabbit trail. So who should come, man? Who absolutely has to come to startup week?

Mike Jones: So if you lead or you’re on a team of a startup, I want you there. You need to be there. This event is for you. If you consider yourself an entrepreneur, whether that’s your full time thing and you have a business that you started and you’re running it, and you’re growing it. Or you’re like, “I got three side hustles and my day job.” Or, “Man, I’ve just been dreaming about starting a business for a while.”

Mike Jones: Those are all perfect people for this event. This event is exactly for you, to help you with your entrepreneurial venture. Whether that’s something you’ve already got started, and you’re just wanting to grow it. Or if it’s something that you’re just thinking about, right? This event is for you. And whatever stage or way that you’re doing that, that’s great. I also think that this event is helpful for if you work with startups, if you work with entrepreneurs. If you have services or products for them. If you support them in some kind of way. If you’re an investor, that’s another one. Really, that whole community around entrepreneurs. This is a great event for you. This is a great time to see what’s going on in the valley, what these startups are doing. A lot of our presentations are from startups.

Mike Jones: Then as you walk the halls, as you hang out at networking breaks, as you go to a happy hour or two or six, start those conversations. ‘Cause that’s who’s going to be there. So I think that’s a great opportunity for the whole community go, “Hey, where are we at? Who’s doing what? What’s going on? How’s everybody doing?” I think Kate has said this a number of times. I’ve heard it from other people too. For anyone in the startup world, this is like Christmas. It’s a full week of just take some time off from your business for a moment. Poke your head up from all the work and go, “Hey, what’s everybody else working on?” How’s everybody else doing? And for I know a lot of people, this is really the one best opportunity to do that every year. So some of them just utilize this as that opportunity and they go, all right, I’m going to reconnect with everyone I know. Maybe I haven’t talked to all of them that much or at all for the last year. And here’s an opportunity to reconnect.

Chris Stadler: You ruined my last question, or my next question.

Mike Jones: It’s what I do.

Chris Stadler: Which was, “Yeah but can’t I just watch all this stuff on YouTube and become an entrepreneur? Why do I have to go be around people?”

Mike Jones: Because relationships Chris.

Chris Stadler: People are vain.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Can’t I just isolate myself and still be an entrepreneur?

Mike Jones: You could try. Yeah. Even people who have these self professed did it all online, learned everything I knew from YouTube, launched my business, had success. I guarantee you they’ve had people in their life, whether it was in person, in real life or digitally, that they’ve made strong relationships with and who’ve provided the support that they need, those questions and opportunity to just riff and just hear how are you doing? How am I doing? Whether it’s a peer level or more of a mentor level, or whether it’s like a service provider, anything like that. This event kind of accelerates that, right? If you want to do that online and you want to just hunker down in your basement and launch your business without a support network in real life, you can do that. That’s fine. If you want to actually have human connections as part of that process, come to this event and you’ll get to accelerate that process a lot quicker.

Chris Stadler: So Mike, what do you hope? What is the, you know what. Why don’t you take that through a lozenge and just like, I’m going to talk for a second? I’m going to talk for a second.

Mike Jones: I’ll try not to have it all.

Chris Stadler: No do it. And drink that water right in front of the mic.

Mike Jones: Did y’all enjoy that? That was terrible?

Chris Stadler: What did that sound like? Sound like was eating something. Sounds like my daughter when she’s snacking on some peanut butter. What a great sound engineer, just giving you water and hooking you up-

Mike Jones: Karen’s a great producer.

Chris Stadler: I know, she’s awesome. You’re going to be able to meet Karen.

Mike Jones: Yup.

Chris Stadler: At?

Mike Jones: At startup week-

Chris Stadler: On Friday.

Mike Jones: You’re speaking too, right Karen? Yeah.

Chris Stadler: I didn’t know that.

Mike Jones: All the plugs, and [Christiana- 00:43:51]

Chris Stadler: And Christiana, who is in studio right now.

Mike Jones: Yeah. If you’re watching our social feeds, that’s all Christiana.

Karen: I’m just going to jump in and grab a mic.

Mike Jones: I didn’t know that was legal. I’m looking over, I’m like wow. She can talk on the mic.

Karen: Only because you were just speaking to it a second ago, that the topic that I’m speaking about is the art of the connected conversation. And the whole thing that I’m bringing to this breakout session is that we all come to our businesses with moxie and knowhow. We’re passionate about what we want to bring to the world, and most of us have got the goods to bring it. And we fall short when we have to listen to the people that we’re connecting with.

Karen: So we’re going to do some practical exercises around really holding that conversation with people and how to be in the room with someone heart to heart, eyeball to eyeball. Versus shoving everything our agenda down someone’s throat and having them walk away scratching their head or saying, “Asshole.”

Chris Stadler: Or, “They sounded really smart, but I really don’t know how that applies to me.”

Karen: Right.

Chris Stadler: But they sounded really smart.

Karen: Right. So we’re going to give you some practical tools on how to do that. That’s 1:30 on Friday. So I’m going to go ahead, and I’m done with the self plugging. Otherwise it might sound like it’s my show.

Mike Jones: This is magical. She just said it from the heavens. This is like a Deus ex Machina thing. Ex Machina or whatever. We’re like God coming out of the … You know? It’s like wow, she’s descending from another dimension into the podcast.

Karen: There’s that sound effect. [inaudible 00:45:30]. Hey, and you haven’t asked this yet. So I’m going to, and then I’m really going to shut up.

Chris Stadler: Are you going to steal my question, Karen?

Karen: I don’t know.

Chris Stadler: Are you going to steal my question?

Karen: I don’t know what your question is. My question for you co-leader Mike Jones, will we get to hear from you during startup Week? And with that, I’m going to listen but I’m shining my light-

Chris Stadler: That was my question.

Karen: No it was not.

Mike Jones: I’m not giving any official talk, not this year.

Chris Stadler: Are you giving another official talk.

Mike Jones: Well I’m opening a lot of keynotes.

Chris Stadler: Yes. Okay.

Mike Jones: So I’ll be on stage a bit with Kate. We’re opening all the keynotes together and making announcements, and letting people know about our amazing sponsors, and that kind of stuff. But no, that’s too much. I had to draw the line somewhere. It’s like I don’t know if I can prep for presentation and organize. I’ll be there all week, so-

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: Catch me in the hallways.

Chris Stadler: Signing autographs? Will you sign my cast?

Mike Jones: Sign your cast. Sign your pinky cast.

Chris Stadler: That I anticipate having after this weekend.

Mike Jones: I want somebody to just walk around with a fake pinky cast and just get it signed.

Chris Stadler: Yes.

Mike Jones: Go to baseball games. Be like, “Hey pitcher, you’re awesome. Sign my cast.”

Chris Stadler: And you go to their house and they have a case.

Mike Jones: There’s thousands of pinky casts. So random. I love it.

Chris Stadler: That’s why I like this podcast ’cause you guys have to riff on my crazy things I say because otherwise it’s awkward.

Mike Jones: Yeah, no that’s great.

Chris Stadler: So I’m glad that Karen brought that up, ’cause I feel like there’s almost this inability to connect, right? This lack of etiquette. We have etiquette. We’re like, “How’s your day going?” Small talk. We know you move from small talk into deeper things, and you build little connection there. You move further into things. But what about contextual etiquette? Contextual etiquette around how do we connect with people? How do we connect with mentors? This is the stuff of a community that works well, that works well together. And I know Brandon Clarke, I guess that’s what kind of got me thinking cause he’s going to be a guest on-

Mike Jones: Yeah, he’ll be in May I believe.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: I think we got that nailed down finally.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. The calendars if they don’t work out, they don’t match. But yeah, so is that a part of the thinking where you’re getting to? I noticed where we’re talking about more local sponsors. By necessity, but maybe serendipitously, right?

Mike Jones: That’s somewhat serendipitously, but I think that’s also when we talk about that whole theme of thrive together. There’s a sense where that’s very focused on our community here. That’s not a thrive together in the sense of well if you’re in New York and you’re in Ontario, Canada, that message will resonate there as well. Maybe it will, but if you go on the website, you’ll see it. It’s very focused on PHX, right? On the Phoenix area. The Phoenix metro area and entrepreneurs who call this place home. And I think even in the way that we’ve gone and generated support through sponsors, there’s very much an organic, homegrown feel to it. Yes, there are sponsors on our list that are not from here. We’ve got Magenta, which is an Adobe company this year. Which is really cool. That’s the first year they’ve ever been involved. And they don’t have a huge presence here, but they’re wanting to be invested here. We’ve got WeWork is another big sponsor this year. Obviously they have very much intentions and they are working towards having a much bigger presence here. I think they’ve got over the next three years plans to have four different coworking spaces built out in the valley.

Mike Jones: So there’s a connection here though, right? That these are companies that whether they’re locally based or locally founded, or they are at least wanting to contribute back to the community here in Phoenix.

Mike Jones: I was really excited. One of the names on the list this year was one I’ve been like wishing for for several years now, which is GoDaddy. A company that born and raised in Arizona. It’s a Phoenix based company. Huge company, right? Billion dollar company, one of the largest in their state. And a huge player within their space. You can’t really go buy a domain name and not have GoDaddy somewhere in the equation, right?

Chris Stadler: They’re huge.

Mike Jones: They’re huge. They’re the established name in domain registration and a whole host of other services around websites. To have them actually participating in this year for the first time ever with this event is huge. And I think that’s a testament to this year’s initiative of this is an event for companies here. It’s a community oriented event. And if you care about the community here in Phoenix, I hope you want to be a part of it. Whether it’s coming and attending.

Mike Jones: Another great way, you can volunteer. If you go on the website, you can volunteer for shifts during the week of, we definitely need your help. We need about 150 volunteers to make this event happen, spread out across the week.

Chris Stadler: Wait a second. So if I don’t want to fork out 65 bucks-

Mike Jones: Yes.

Chris Stadler: Can I-

Mike Jones: If you sign up for a shift, a five hour shift.

Chris Stadler: One five hour shift.

Mike Jones: You will earn a two day pass. So we have venue passes. That’ll get you into one venue. Each venue has two days on it. If you volunteer for two shifts or more. So just two shifts, give us 10 hours across the week. That will get you an all week pass for free.

Chris Stadler: So wait, so I’m a volunteer. So I actually have a job to do there. So I get to do stuff, help people, connect with people a little bit as a volunteer?

Mike Jones: Yup, and then you can take off. Take off your volunteer hat.

Chris Stadler: Yes.

Mike Jones: Proverbial volunteer hat.

Chris Stadler: Or shirt.

Mike Jones: And put on your attendee hat, and soak in all the content. Enjoy the networking, enjoy happy hours. If you want to participate in mentorship, get on that. Get signed up. So that’s what it’s all about.

Chris Stadler: As a volunteer, do I get free food?

Mike Jones: You do, you get lunch provided.

Chris Stadler: Diplomatic immunity?

Mike Jones: Diplomatic immunity. No. No. You’ll be held culpable for any illegal action that you take. Yeah.

Chris Stadler: I’ve never been able to swing that, no matter how many times I ask.

Mike Jones: Yeah, you probably have to move to another country.

Chris Stadler: So you’re saying if I live in Gilbert, let’s say. Gilbert, right? That’s-

Mike Jones: Diplomatic immunity across city borders?

Chris Stadler: Sorry, I’ve moved on from diplomatic immunity. Look, I don’t even ask seriously anymore. It’s been known so much. All right I’m done. I get it. I get it.

Mike Jones: Never works out.

Chris Stadler: Gilbert, and I live in Gilbert. And I’m like, I’m a little short on cash. And I give five hours to startup week in Gilbert. Then I get to, is it two days in Gilbert?

Mike Jones: Yeah. Two whole days in Gilbert. So give us half a day, and you get to spend the other rest of that day and the next day enjoying the event as an attendee.

Chris Stadler: And what other parts of town did you say?

Mike Jones: So we’ll be in Mesa on the fourth and fifth. That’s Monday and Tuesday. Mesa Arts Center. Right in downtown, the heart of downtown Mesa. Then we will be in downtown Phoenix at Seventh Street and Indian School at a new tech maker space called Scaled Sandbox. And then we’ll be in Gilbert at Park University in downtown Gilbert. On the Friday and Saturday of next week.

Chris Stadler: Nice. Okay, so we’ve talked about successes. We’ve talked about getting sponsors and how everybody has risen up, and volunteers stepping up and everything. What is, in our last five minutes here. What’s the one thing that will make this a victory for you, for startup week for the Phoenix business community. What is one thing you want to see come out of this?

Mike Jones: Well, I think we’ve already achieved a lot of my goals.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: We’ve been able to raise the money we need to raise. That was a big one. We launched ticket sales without too much pushback. I was a little curious. We did some surveying last fall to make sure we weren’t making a really, really bad decision. But that’s a big change, right? To go from a free event to something that costs at least some kind of money. A lot of the strategy there was just we got a lot of people who say they’re going to come and they don’t come. So last year we had 6,100 people register, and 2,700 actually showed up for the event. And that’s not cool. That’s not cool to the speakers who see all these registration numbers, that’s not cool to other attendees who are expecting a bigger turnout maybe than they realize.

Mike Jones: It’s a little bit demoralizing to organizers too, although we’ve seen that pattern so we know how to flex with it. But you never want to plan an event that’s really big and then not have everybody show up. Right? It’s like having a birthday party, and you plan for 30 people and I only got-

Chris Stadler: Got this big old cake.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: The pinata.

Mike Jones: It’s just like, this is still fun. You can still have a great time. But it’s a little bit-

Chris Stadler: Got 20 party hats and noisemakers sitting there.

Mike Jones: Yup. Or maybe you planned a big game that included everybody and now you can’t do it. Right? So we said hey, this this event has value. Let’s actually put a dollar amount on that and let’s not make it too high. We surveyed to figure out what we thought people would be willing to spend. It seemed like 10 to $15 a day was what most people were okay with. And so far that’s what we’ve seen. People are really open to it. So we’ve done that. We’ve organized a bigger organizing team. So last year we had 11 people in the organizing team. This year we have over 40. That’s a huge change. We’re ready, we’re set up. Everything’s going to happen next week. So in some ways I’m like, we’ve really I think nailed a lot of things that we wanted to nail. I think the other things that I still want to see happen are going to take another year or two to really see implemented.

Mike Jones: I think there’s a lot more opportunity to make this event more diverse. There are communities we still haven’t reached yet. I’ve had conversations with people are like, “Well, I’ve been in the past. I just don’t see people like me there.” I’m like yeah, that’s a problem. If that’s how we’re determining whether or not we’re going to attend an event, whether or not we see people like us. Let’s fix that. And I think there’s still some work to be done on that. So ultimately I think next week, we’re going to do it. The event’s happening, and right there that’s an accomplishment. That’s huge. I think the next thing would be do any of our team want to continue on next year? That would probably be a really good signifier to me that we’ve done some good work this year and people are like, “Hey, I want to keep this momentum going. I don’t want to lose it.” And I think we’ve got some people on the team are ready to do that.

Chris Stadler: Right on. That sounds good. So if anybody wants to go, they need to go?

Mike Jones: Phxstartupweek.com. Or Google PHX Startup Week. Whether that’s P-H-O-E-N-I-X or PHX Startup Week, whatever way gets you there.

Chris Stadler: Whatever feels right to you.

Mike Jones: Yup. Everything’s on there. The full agenda is on there. You can check out all the sessions, all the tracks. All the speakers are on there. Most of our speakers, I believe over 98% of our speakers have uploaded all of their track titles. Thank you speakers. I lost 2% of you, get on it. And you can check out all of our sponsors. You can see it. There’s a volunteer signup if you want to register that way.

Chris Stadler: No diplomatic immunity.

Mike Jones: No diplomatic immunity. Sorry guys. Once you get registered, we have a whole event app we’re using this year. So you can download the app on your phone, and you can then kind of organize your personal agenda for the whole week. You can say, “Hey, I want to check out these sessions. I’m going to be at this happy hour event.” You can actually connect with other attendees directly on the app. It’s really cool. It’s a really cool app called Whova, W-H-O-V-A. But go get registered, you’ll get on the app through that process. All the registration actually happens through that, and you can build out your own profile and you can tart interacting with people even right today before the event even happens.

Chris Stadler: Cool. Cool. All right. And so Mike, do you have, if they want to contact you. Is there a way?

Mike Jones: If you want to contact me about PHX Startup Week, it’s hello H-E-L-L-O, @phoenixstartupweek.net. Phxstartupweek.net. That’s the email address. If you want to reach out to me about anything else, mike@resoundcreative.com. And all that will be in the show notes too.

Chris Stadler: Right on. Do we have anything else we have to say Mike? Or is that a wrap?

Mike Jones: Well we should do our closing AZ Brandcast stuff.

Chris Stadler: What is that?

Mike Jones: I don’t think we have it written down. I know it. I’ll do it.

Chris Stadler: All right Mike, put on your-

Mike Jones: I’m taking off my guest hat. We’ll find my host hat. It’s around here somewhere. There it is. There it is. It got a little crumpled.

Chris Stadler: Can you change your voice a little bit?

Mike Jones: It got a little crumpled. I’ll try to go higher.

Chris Stadler: We want to go to host Mike voice.

Mike Jones: If I go any lower, it’s going to get a little creepy. I’ll have to start a smooth jazz. Yeah, so thanks. This has been another episode of AZ Brandcast. You can find everything about our podcast at azbrandcast.com. You can find us on iTunes and Stitcher. Anywhere else that you enjoy downloading podcasts from. Be sure to give us five stars. If you’d like us to stay in touch with us, find out more about what we’re doing and be sure to actually capture every single episode that we put out, we’ve got a great newsletter for you. You can sign up for that at azbrandcast.com. And of course we have an awesome, awesome production team at Business RadioX. Thank you Karen and your team that puts our episodes together every time. It’s so awesome. Love you guys. Thanks to our sponsor, Conscious Capitalism Arizona. And thank you MAC6 for being the space that we all get to do this from, which is awesome. Thanks everybody, we’ll see you next time.