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AZ Disruptors is a startup incubator for software companies.

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Thursday
Jul072011

Axosoft OnTime 11 Launch Party (Scrum Software)

This coming Tuesday, July 12th, Axosoft will be launching the 11th major release of OnTime, a popular Scrum and Bug Tracking Tool in use by more than 8,000 software development teams around the globe.

The new product has been in development for more than a year and represents a major upgrade for Axosoft's OnTime users. The beta product has received fantastic reviews by users for the fast-response and intuitive user interface. I provided a live demo of the beta at a recent AZ Groups event. 

The launch "lunch" event is open to anybody who wants to learn more about Axosoft's OnTime:

  • What: Axosoft OnTime 11 Launch Lunch
  • When: Tuesday July 12th, 11am - 1pm
  • Agenda:
    • Free Lunch
    • Axosoft OnTime Announcement and Q&A
    • Lots of Axosoft T-Shirts and an AppleTV Give-Away
    • Mingling and Networking With Attendees

RSVP for Axosoft's OnTime Launch Lunch
(limited seats - RSVP Today)

Disclosure: I am founder of Axosoft & AZ Disruptors. In April I announced that AZ Disruptors will start covering local software tech news and we added a "Submit News" button on the AZ Disruptors site. This is exactly the type of news we hope to cover for AZ Software companies. Be sure to submit your news.

Tuesday
Jun282011

Why GoDaddy's Sale Could be Good for AZ Tech


The Wall Street Journal reported a few days ago that GoDaddy is close to a $2.5 Billion sale of the company to a group of investors that includes KK&R, Silver Lake Partners and Technology Crossover Partners.

This is the largest software success story in Arizona's history and could be the start of a boom for Arizona's software sector. Specifically, here is how this deal could benefit the ecosystem:

  1. Since the deal appears to be a cash deal, the sale of GoDaddy could bring $2.5 Billion into Arizona's economy.
  2. Depending on how many people own shares of GoDaddy, besides Bob Parson becoming a billionaire, this deal has the potential of making a dozen or more people 10+ millionaires.
  3. Usually, with such exits, there are numerous people who use their newly found cash to bankroll a new startup. In fact, this was exactly the type of event that lead to Bob Parson to create GoDaddy after the sale of his accounting software company.
  4. Since its safe to assume the beneficiaries of this deal will be partial to software companies, chances are any new venture they start will also be in the software sector.
  5. With some luck, some of the beneficiaries might start investing in local software startups.

All of this is great news for Arizona's software sector. With a $2.5 Billion software win in Arizona, it should also get the attention of silicon valley VCs.

A big congratulations to all of the people who made GoDaddy the huge success story that it has become.

Monday
Jun202011

AZ Disruptor Companies Announced

It was 5 months ago on January 14th when I posted Let's Get This Party Started, AZ Disruptors' first post announcing our Software Incubator and the construction of an additional 6,000 sq ft space adjacent to Axosoft's offices bringing our total office space to more than 12,000 sq ft.

In those 5 months, we've finished the construction of the new office space, hosted a number of lunch events, talked at numerous local tech gatherings, exposed a local tech company accused of text message scams and brought together 15 great local tech startups for the AZ Disruptors Pitch Day.

The Pitch Day proved to be a huge success. In front of a packed house full of angels, entrepreneurs and techies, each of the 15 startups showed their stuff. There was quite a bit of surprise in the room as to the quality of the companies that were presenting. Most people didn't think such companies existed in Arizona.

We plan to change that perspective. There is a tremendous amount of great talent here. All they need is the support systems to help make software startups more successful.

Of the group of 15 startups that pitched, we are excited to announce two that will be joining the AZ Disruptors incubator:

Blogic.com - Blogic is a blogging engine for companies that already have a web site and want to add a blog that matches their current web site design. Users can provide Blogic with the URL to their current web site and Blogic will magically create a blog that mimics the look, feel and navigation of their existing site within seconds. There is a real need out there for such a service. We currently have this problem for both of our companies, Axosoft and TransferBigFiles.com. Adding a blog that looks like your existing site can be a huge pain and we think Blogic is going to be in high demand once it makes its service public. Right now, they are taking email addresses for those who want to be first to take advantage of the private beta when that becomes available. When blogic presented at the Pitch Day, the tentative name was Nounc'd.
MemberDesk - Provides simple web site creation for anyone wanting to sell monthly subscriptions of content such as eBooks, video, newsletters, etc. The software makes the management of such a web site and the collection of recurring monthly subscriptions super easy. MemberDesk already has a V1 product with dozens of paying customers, which is a fantastic place to start. We think the demand for this type of service is going to continue to raise as more and more content providers want to have subscription based revenue streams for their services (rather than one-time payments). MemberDesk is already signing up customers.


Some of you might be asking "what happened to having 5 startups in the incubator?" The answer to that is a combination of factors which included:

  • Lack of readiness to commit full-time
  • The need for at least one technical co-founder
  • Poor timing for some of the startups

Of our final 15 pitches (remember, we started with 58 applicants), we liked and approached 7 startups: MemberDesk, Blogic, ScratchAudio, EventDay, Convrrt, NextSlide and GiveTheOK. We still think these 7 companies have tremendous potential. Obviously, we are super excited about the two we brought into the AZ Disruptors incubator, but we'd also like to support the others and give them the props they deserve.

Over the next several months, we expect to have more lunch events and we will soon open up applications for our second class of AZ Disruptor companies. In fact, we've put together a promo video this time:

Watch AZ Disruptors Promo Video on YouTube

Thanks to everyone who's helped us get this far. This has truly been a community effort! A special thanks to our judges for Pitch Day: Francine Hardaway, Greg Head, Jim Goulka, Mike Wolf and Steve Zylstra. They took time out of their busy schedule to help get the ball rolling on building a stronger startup community in Arizona.

Stay tuned for our next event (subscribe below to get notified):

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Wednesday
Jun082011

Workables Pitch at AZ Disruptors Pitch Day

Workables is a web site that connects people who need to find work or who need to find workers. It's a brilliantly simple, twitter-like interface to post jobs and get submissions for those jobs.

To learn more about Workables, watch the pitch:

Watch the Workables Pitch on YouTube

Wednesday
Jun082011

NextSlide Pitch at AZ Disruptors Pitch Day

NextSlide allows users to mix, share and track interactive, on-demand presentations with slides, video and polls. A presentation is more than just a deck of slides; and more than just a video. A presentation is a mix of audio, video, slides, demonstrations and audience interaction. NextSlide allows an author to combine all of these assets to create, share and track truly interactive, on-demand presentations for maximum impact on the audience.

To learn more about NextSlide, watch their pitch:

Watch NextSlide Pitch on YouTube

Tuesday
Jun072011

Qayto Pitch at AZ Disruptors Pitch Day

Qayto (pronounced kay-toe) transforms the Kinect into a platform that enables people to access live teaching, counseling, and coaching from their living rooms by connecting them with real teachers, counselors, coaches, and fellow participants. This gives people a human learning experience and a presence within a group support system from their living rooms, while also letting each individual in the group maintain their privacy and anonymity.

To learn more about Qayto, watch their pitch:

Watch the Qayto Pitch on YouTube

Tuesday
Jun072011

Convrrt Pitch at AZ Disruptors Pitch Day

Convrrt helps marketers make quick, creative and effective landing pages that don’t suck! This could be a hot market as marketers try to figure out how to make the billions they are spending on Google AdWords be more effective. Changing the conversion rate of an ad from 2% to 2.5% by improving the landing page could mean an extra 25% more revenue for a company.

To learn more about Convrrt, watch their Pitch:

Watch the Convrrt Pitch on YouTube

Monday
Jun062011

GiveTheOK Pitch at AZ Disruptors Pitch Day

GiveTheOK has a simple goal: to make the feedback and approval process of design-related services (graphics, web-site, video, etc.) easy, straight forward and even profitable for freelancer designers.

GiveTheOK's web site allows designers to upload their proof to the GiveTheOK site, then share a link where customers can view proofs, approve them or make notes about changes they want to see. The site is brilliantly simple to use.

Russell Perry (email: russperry [at symbol] keanecreative.com) is looking for a software developer to partner on this idea. If you are a software engineer looking to participate in a new startup (and potentially get some equity), contact Russ. We think it has a ton of potential!

To learn more about GiveTheOK, watch the Pitch:

Watch GiveTheOK Pitch on YouTube

Monday
Jun062011

EventDay Pitch at AZ Disruptors Pitch Day

EventDay is Online software for event management and archiving. Events, even small events, can be complex, expensive and annoying to plan and manage. In addition, for many event planners, the only thing left at the end of an event is a pile of bills to pay. EventDay online and mobile software makes it easy to manage marketing, ticketing, registration, speakers, sponsors and sessions.

To learn more about EventDay, watch their Pitch:

Watch the EventDay Pitch on YouTube

Friday
Jun032011

MondayTuesday Club Pitch at AZ Disruptors

MondayTuesdayClub is a member’s based dining-out service, targeting Urban Professionals and Social-Media “Foodies”, that’s built to test-launch in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and is built to scale nationwide.

To learn more about MondayTuesday Club, watch their Pitch:

Watch MondayTuesday Clube Pitch on YouTube