i3 - May/June 2016 - 35

Policy

BY BRONWYN FLORES

FA C E S O F I N N O VAT I O N
For more
interviews with
entrepreneurs
and stories like
this, visit CTA.
tech/Blog.

WHAT MAKES A STARTUP CHOOSE
TENNESSEE AND ARIZONA?

F

or Sasha Kucharczyk, a Toronto native
and co-founder of
Preteckt, it was the
lure of a reputable accelerator program in Memphis that
attracted him to Tennessee.
In recent years, the state
has given rise to a number
of transportation-related
technologies and Preteckt's
combined hardware and software system optimizes maintenance procedures to keep
trucks on the road and lower
their overall operating costs.
Tennessee recently earned
the rank of "Innovation
Adopter" - the second lowest
of the four tiers a state can

rank - in CTA's 2016 Innovation Scorecard, an annual
index to highlight which
states best champion smart
policies for tech startups. Tennessee earned high grades in
the "Welcomes New Business
Models," "Tax Friendliness"
and "Fast Internet" categories,
but received average-to-low
grades in the other categories that brought down the
overall grade.
Why did you choose to
start your business in
Tennessee?
We were invited to an accelerator, the StartCo Seed Hatchery,
located in Memphis. We hit it

L

ooking west, Arizona
emerged as a top-ranked
state for welcoming
innovation and earned top
grades in every category except
"Entrepreneurial Activity."
Thomas Martis, founder and
CEO, of Arizona-based Eggcyte, says proximity to Silicon
Valley, great infrastructure and
access to top talent drew him
to the area.
Why did you choose to
start your business in
Arizona?
The state is close to Silicon
C TA . t e c h / i 3

Thomas Martis
Eggcyte
Valley and Southern California, has great infrastructure
and good access to talent. The
Phoenix Metro area is relatively young so infrastructure
such as roads, office space and

Sasha Kucharczyk
Preteckt

helped connect us with the
Memphis ecosystem. For us, in
the transportation and logistics sector, the connections
were a massive boon in linking
us to companies and industry
experts in the area.

off with the Managing Director, Mara Lewis, a few months
before and that built our trust
that the program would allow
us to turn our idea into a
company.
The accelerator program
was a good fit for moving our
company forward. StartCo

Why is it important for Tennessee to enact policies
that support innovation?
Tech industry growth is a
chicken-and-egg problem. You
need both the talent looking
for jobs and the businesses
looking to hire to have a growing industry. With today's
mobility of businesses and
people, lacking one will cause
a migration.

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.
Regarding talent, the Phoenix Metro area is home to the
largest public university in
the country - Arizona State
University - with plenty of
great engineering talent. The
area is also home to large
companies like Intel, Honeywell and Wells Fargo, providing 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 driver has 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.
MAY/JUNE 2016

35


http://CTA.tech/blog http://CTA.tech/blog http://www.cta.tech/scorecard http://www.cta.tech/scorecard http://www.preteckt.com/ http://www.preteckt.com/ http://neverstop.co/seedhatchery/ http://www.eggcyte.com/ http://www.eggcyte.com/ http://www.eggcyte.com/ http://CTA.tech/i3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - May/June 2016

Contents
i3 - May/June 2016 - Cover1
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