Today we had our first AZ Disruptors lunch at the offices of Arkayne in North Scottsdale. We had somewhere around 15 people show up for lunch and we had some fantastic conversations.
One recurring topic of discussion is the enormous number of software companies in the North Scottsdale area, all of whom silently work without much knowledge of the others. One of my missions is to change that! I want us to all know about each other and start to collaborate together to build the software tech culture of Arizona.
We've been working less than a 1/4 mile from Arkayne's offices for nearly a year and didn't know about their existence until recently. Yesterday, I learned about another software company, Jawa, which is just across the 101 from our offices and is doing amazing things. Jawa has grown from 50 employees to over 200 in the last year alone and was founded by Jason Hope, a former GoDaddy employee. The company has only been around for 5 years and is growing like a weed. It's exactly the type of growth we want to see.
Another company, Appointment Plus, founded by Bob La Loggia (who came to lunch today and had great conversations - thanks Bob!) has been growing like gangbusters lately. They are around 37 people and will likely double in the next year. I didn't know they existed until today. How awesome!
It's time we all learn about each other and have regular get-togethers. There is a lot of good stuff going on around us and the heads of our engineering, sales, marketing, operations and accounting teams could all learn and improve operations from a network of such companies.
And of course, the main highlight of the lunch was seeing the entrepreneurs who have startup ideas that showed up to today's lunch. It was great chatting about the innovative new ideas. What was great about seeing everyone today is how willing the people in our community are to help each other become successful. Virtually everyone at lunch today, including the CEOs would be willing to help a startup with free advice and expertise.
I'm looking forward to the next lunch. We'll be having it at the Axosoft offices and we'll tour the AZ Disruptors office under construction. Be sure to subscribe to our feed for the announcement of the date.