Tempe Economic Development Programs

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Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell recently announced the formation of two economic development programs designed to grow Tempe’s workforce, add businesses and help entrepreneurs succeed. Vault, a workforce and business accelerator, will be launched in early 2016, along with in TEMPE, which will offer people interested in starting or growing a business tools to help them get started. Mayor Mitchell will tell us more about the two programs.

TED SIMONS: Tempe officials recently announced the formation of two economic development programs designed to grow the city's workforce, add businesses and help entrepreneurs succeed. Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell joins us with more on those programs.

MARK MITCHELL: Good see you, Ted, thank you.

TED SIMONS: Thank you for being here, let's start. One of those programs is called the vault. What is the vault.

MARK MITCHELL: It's an exciting program we work with our economic development staff to come up with. Regarding sustainable economic development, a couple of decades ago is not sustainable today. We needed to figure out a way to be creative and tap into some of our greatest assets. We came up with an idea called the vault, where we have an opportunity to really work with start-up companies to help them grow and nurture. We are partnering with a company out of Oakland, California. It's a huge success story, the companies they partnered with last year alone generated $30 million. They will be providing training, guidance and support to help some of these small ideas really move forward. The vault is taking place in the old Tempe performing arts center right next to city hall.

TED SIMONS: Kind of like subsidizing office space, having workshops? What goes on here?

MARK MITCHELL: It is office space, a place where companies will work with Transmosis the California company and get some creative ideas flow. We have would 25,000 square feet we are transferring into a work space, an incubator space to help these companies grow.

TED SIMONS: What kind of companies are you hoping to attract?

MARK MITCHELL: Some of the emerging companies in the tech field for example. We talk about a sustainable economy and workforce. In order to do that, we look at the service industry and the emerging tech companies. We're working with a company that has an electrical bicycle they are trying to get out into the market. Another company is looking at mobile apps for gaming. To have a company like Transmosis come here to really work with us, really incubate and get some ideas into reality, it's a great win for our community.

TED SIMONS: and another program is called In Tempe, sounds like Transmosis is involved with that, too. What is In Tempe?

MARK MITCHELL: In Tempe is a space we're taking in our public library for companies, if someone has an idea about a business but they don't have the mechanics down to put a business plan together. Working with Transmosis and volunteering and mentoring individuals who want to have a space in the public library to take some ideas and turn it into a business plan and in doing so with the work with Transmosis and the incubator work space provided at the Tempe public library, it's a great opportunity for people to work and collaborate. They don't have to pay rent. They can utilize community rooms to have meetings and work with people and get some of the mentors to help them along.

TED SIMONS: Is In Tempe - if I'm going to build a better mousetrap, but I'm not sure what I'm really doing, is In Tempe the first stop? And the vault, when I have my idea going?

MARK MITCHELL: Correct. In Tempe is the first stop. It's where people have ideas. Great ideas happen in our community, great ideas turn into small companies, small companies turn into bigger companies and they really give back to the community.

TED SIMONS: It's all fine and dandy getting companies up and operational and being father figures but what are you doing to keep them In Tempe once they are big, successful and famous?

MARK MITCHELL: It's important for us to maintain the quality of life in Tempe. We want to be sure to listen to residents, what they respect and enjoy about the services. In order to provide this, we need the necessary resources. To have the resources, this is where you see a lot of construction happening in Tempe. It's really going well. So much so I think we have to rename or city bird the crane because we have so many around the Tempe area.

TED SIMONS: If I go to in Tempe, I get mentorship, I next move on to the vault and I'll really be ready to take off. Is there some sort of way for the city to make sure that when I do take off, I take off from Tempe?

MARK MITCHELL: Hopefully we've built that relationship with those emerging companies. We work with our economic development staff to find space for them in our community. We do, we have space that we're willing to work with them. We're adapting old uses and converting them into useable space today. That's a good example of the old Tempe performing arts center where we're taking 25,000 square feet and turning it into incubator space, what Transmosis calls the vault. Once you succeed from there, you're more likely to stay in the Valley and more particularly in Tempe.

TED SIMONS: What is the cost for these programs?

MARK MITCHELL: The only costs we're incurring is the build-out for tenant improvements in the vault. Anything else, there's no other cost.

TED SIMONS: Basic construction and remodeling?

MARK MITCHELL: We make it more useable for the vault.

TED SIMONS: Companies, entrepreneurs listening to this, in Tempe, the vault, sounds like it's right up my alley. How do they get involved?

MARK MITCHELL: They get involved by contacting our development office in Tempe, and find space for them to have opportunities to move forward. In order to work in the Tempe business center, as well, contact our development office or contact myself.

TED SIMONS: Are they up and operational now?

MARK MITCHELL: We're just kicking those off next year, January of 2016

TED SIMONS: Alright, mayor good to see you, thanks for joining us.

MARK MITCHELL: thank you

Mayor Mitchell :Tempe Mayor

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