Gangplank Business Initiative

We are a community made up primarily of entrepreneurs. Our roots are in encouraging entrepreneurship and small business development. Gangplank prides itself in growing the future business leaders of tomorrow.

We are a non traditional Startup Incubator and Accelerator:
We know what it is like to start a business. The companies based out of our locations and board members live that experience every day. Gangplank provides more than the high-speed internet or desk space to get your startup moving. We offer one-on-one meetings with mentors specializing in marketing, financial management and business planning. The collaborative space provides daily opportunities to meet with contractors, investors and future staff. Beyond networking, it is a place to build relationships and gain support from other entrepreneurs.

Examples of programs and events:

Startup Weekend: Startup weekend is a 54 hour event in which participants are given the chance to pitch an idea, teams are then formed around the most popular ideas, and participants have the remainder of the weekend to attempt to build a viable business. Gangplank was the first to organize Startup Weekend events in Arizona. We find these events to be a fun way to build community and celebrate startup culture. This is often a great way for entrepreneurs to connect with Gangplank. However, we find that entrepreneurs need far more than the support they get out of this 54 hour event to be successful. The ability for startup weekend participants to plug in to the greater Gangplank network is invaluable.

Roadmap to Launch (RML) This is a ten-week program with the goal of bringing ten teams from idea to business through mentoring, curriculum and peer-to-peer discussion. This program was developed after seeing that many of our Startup Weekend participants needed further time to develop their idea and thus it is frequently piggy-backed with a Startup Weekend event. The program is based on Steve Blank’s Lean Launchpad curriculum. Each week we have a different expert teach a particular section. Roadmap To Launch culminates with Extreme Pitch.

Extreme Pitch
This is a fast-paced event where participants are given the chance to pitch their business.Typically we piggy-back this event with Roadmap to Launch and only allow Roadmap participants to pitch. This is a fun night of celebrating startup culture and an opportunity for teams to highlight the their progress.

Mentoring:
An extensive network of trusted advisers is the most invaluable asset any business owner or community leader can possess. Our mentors are here to help you recognize your full potential, encourage you through difficult situations, facilitate the necessary steps towards success and stretch you beyond your comfort level.
Most of our locations have posted mentor bios and availability to help you find the right mentor for you:
Gangplank Chandler Mentors
Gangplank Avondale Mentors

Coming soon:
Business success stories- learn more about how Gangplank has helped local businesses.

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Upcoming Events

01/16 12:00am - 01/17 12:00am
Mobile Launch Weekend
@ Gangplank Chandler

• Do you have an idea for an app but don’t know how to get started?
• Would you like to learn the process of app development?
• Do you have computer graphics skills that could support app development?
• Can you create a web backend for a mobile app?
• Do you have business skill that could be used to guide a team or to promote a new app?
• Are you an educator that has skills to contribute to the design of an educational app?
• Would you like to work with a small team & develop an app from start to finish?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you should join us Friday night January 16th at 7pm at Gangplank in Chandler for the kickoff our our App Development Startup Weekend. That evening those with ideas for apps will be given a couple minutes to briefly describe their idea. Then the others will circulate & ask questions of the presenters to determine which group they would like to join. By the end of Friday evening we should have several groups formed. While the focus will be on iOS apps for Apple devices, teams can choose to develop on other platforms or even cross platform.

On Saturday January 17th, the groups that are formed will meet at Gangplank in Chandler to develop their plan & start the design of the app they are developing. During the day information will be presented on how to develop the app in phases so you can get a prototype out quickly, move to a version that can be tested in focus groups & finally get the product in available to customers in a place like the Apple store. Depending on the complexity of the app, the goal is to have an app that can demonstrated in one to two months & will be ready to deliver to customers in 2-5 months. Limited business coaching will be available to all teams to help them be accountable & keep moving forward. More comprehensive business coaching will be provided to any of the teams that wish to continue working together after their app is released with enhanced versions or other ideas.

Friday Night January 16th 7pm to 9pm
Saturday January 17th 9am to 5pm