Walking into a recently renovated startup incubator in Surprise, the first thing you notice is a huge blue telephone box, which fans of a popular British sci-fi television show would recognize.
“We know our audience," said Jeanine Jerkovic, Surprise's economic development director. "I’m a comic-con attendee, so we thought that would be a great target audience. A lot of people are inspired by science fiction, so certainly 'Doctor Who' inspired this.”
The fixture disguises a bulky wheelchair lift and is just one decor choice hoping to appeal to a younger crowd.
The incubator, called AZ TechCelerator, offers cheap office space for emerging businesses in the city. AZ TechCelerator manager Julie Neal added other features to spruce up the space from its former interior design of musty carpet and wood paneling. There’s a recliner in the break room, string lights in the co-working space and instant camera pictures of tenants hung up in the entryway.
Jerkovic said the West Valley has an image problem when it comes to business, something the incubators are trying to change.
"Like a lot of West Valley cities, we have a branding issue in that a lot of people perceive the West Valley as not technology capable. They perceive us as not an economic powerhouse, and frankly they perceive us as aging," Jerkovic said.
The city-owned startup hub is becoming a more common sight in West Valley cities, and you won’t find the millennial entrepreneur stereotyped in Silicon Valley or universities. Read full article over at kjzz.org
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