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What Helps a Startup Grow in Arizona?

Bronwyn Flores, Communications, Coordinator, Consumer Technology Association

For Thomas Martis, founder and CEO of Arizona-based startup Eggcyte, outside of the proximity to Silicon Valley, Martis says great infrastructure and access to top talent were key reasons for staying in the area after a career at Intel’s Chandler office.  And that’s no surprise, considering the state is home to fast Internet speeds, a large tech workforce and a strong concentration of STEM graduates. In fact, Arizona earned the rank of “Innovation Champion” – the highest of the four tiers a state can rank – in Consumer Technology Association (CTA)’s 2016 Innovation Scorecard, an annual index to highlight which states best champion smart policies for tech startups.  

Martis’ company created the Egg, a personal cloud storage device that has up to 256 GB of storage, Wi-Fi and fits in the palm of your hand. Martis is hopeful that his state’s support for startups combined with its well-educated talent pool can take his startup to the next stage of growth.

Why did you choose to start your business in Arizona?
The Phoenix Metro area is relatively young so infrastructure such as roads, office space and the internet is new and we get to take advantage of that. Coupled with the relatively low cost of housing and low cost of living, Arizona is ideal for startups.

And thanks to the area being home to the largest public university in the country, Arizona State University, it has plenty of great engineering talent. The metro area is also home to large companies like Intel, Honeywell and Wells Fargo, which provide startups with access to an experienced talent pool.


Why is it important for Arizona to help launch more successful startups?
Historically, Arizona’s main economic drivers have been construction driven by population growth, tourism and retirement. Population growth which directly affects the construction industry has and will slow down and tourism is very cyclical.

If the state is to weather these dynamics, they are going to have to diversify and one way to do that is to assist successful startups that can be a catalyst for growth. Angel investment is available for promising startups, but the next level of venture capital is lacking. The state – and perhaps cities – can fill this gap by creating programs to support startups that have demonstrated third-party validation through success on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, early product sales and Angel funding.


What’s next for Eggcyte?
 Our plan for the year is to continue to grow our customer base both online and through specialty brick-and-mortar retailers. Additionally, we’re looking for partnerships that will help drive our mission to provide consumers with a private alternative to cloud services. 

Cloud services, by nature, are dependent on monetizing user data. This makes a great target for hackers. A May 2015 Pew Research study found a majority of consumers feel that they have lost control of their data due to these characteristics. We believe there is need for a private alternative to cloud services and that Eggcyte is well positioned to satisfy that need.

To read more about Arizona’s grades and find out where your state ranks, check out the complete 2016 Innovation Scorecard report.