September 25, 2023

Why PHX? Why Now?

Aly Saxe

A few months ago, Scoresby called me to talk about this idea he had for a nonprofit. Since exiting CampusLogic, he wanted to give back to the Phoenix software community in ways that would have the greatest impact. PHX Ventures was the start, then he tapped Chris Chumley to create PHX Launch, a venture studio, and now.... what?  

We went several rounds on this, eventually taking it to the whiteboard. We dried-out Expo markers at the Tempe WeWork, spent hours discussing what this would NOT be, which was somehow clearer to us than what it WOULD be, and we designed a very sad "circle of life" for a software community. It will never see the light of day.

Eventually, we landed on some concrete ideas. Starting with this: Make Phoenix a top software city. What would need to happen for this to be true?  

  • Companies. Could we foster 100 new software companies a year?
  • Capital. How about $1B a quarter invested in AZ software?
  • Community. Can we get 10,000 people to be part of this?

A whole bunch of campy startup ideas started flowing once we rooted into what this is, why it matters, and how we'll measure success. And by campy, I literally mean "Founder Camp." Scoresby hates this idea, so he's not invited.

If you're reading this, it probably means you feel a connection to this vibrant city. Maybe the Phoenix metro area is where you grew up and you've seen it grow up with you (raises hand). Maybe you went to ASU and decided to stay because there's *something happening that's worth sticking around to see. Maybe you moved here for a change of pace, and you've found that the Valley of the Sun is more than the wild west. If you look even closer, you'll see Phoenix is culture, food, art, science, diversity, cutting-edge, and full of founders who want to build category-leading companies.  

Maybe we are the wild west, in the best way.

PHX FWD is here for it. And if you're connected to the local software community, as a founder, a joiner, an investor, or a supporter, we are here for you.  

We have a lot of good things planned for you. Sign up here to be kept in the loop on events, programs, musings, and happenings from the local venture community.  

Aly Saxe, Executive Director of PHX FWD