We don’t need to tell you that running a business is hard. If you’re here, you most likely know first hand. What we do know is that having an extensive network of trusted advisers is the most invaluable asset any business owner, startup 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 your beyond your comfort level.
Meetings are by appointment only and are offered in 45-minute blocks. To reserve a spot or inquire about the program, email us.
Aaron is the director of Gangplank Tucson, co-founder & CEO of Webglimmer Internet Solutions and Vice President of Atrevete, Inc. For more than 20 years, Aaron has utilized his passion for innovation, entrepreneurship and customer empathy to start over 10 businesses in industries ranging from information technology, real estate, online continuing education, family entertainment and consulting.
In addition to his entrepreneurial ventures, Aaron works as a product manager at Intuit, Inc. with specific focus on helping employees grow their careers inside the company. Aaron uses his design thinking skills daily to find ways to apply lean startup, design for delight and rapid experimentation to innovate across the entire enterprise in order to improve productivity, profits and customer delight company-wide.
Andrew possesses 30+ years of combined experience as an architect, business and IT consultant. He combines his experience building collaborative teams with lightweight project management tools and Building Information Modeling to create and integrated and efficient process for building projects.
Andrew’s experience with data and graphic systems began in 1984 at the advent of GIS and building informatics at McDonnell Douglas AEC group. He continued via a consultancy assisting clients like Greiner Engineering (now URS), HNTB Engineering, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit System implement advanced systems. Andrew led his firm as an early adopter of Revit in 2000 to advance collaborative practice methods. Currently he is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture on topics of Collaboration, Professional Practice and BIM.
At the forefront of integrating professional design with construction and operations, Andrew blends his 30 years of combined architectural, construction and IT experience. He works with professionals from research, finance, design, construction, fabrication, maintenance and operations. Andrew reduced overhead and increased productivity up to 50% at three design firms by combining BIM and lightweight project management and collaboration as strategic business tools.
John Bord is Manager of Insights & Innovation for Tucson Electric Power. He is responsible for analyzing and understanding the company’s residential and commercial customers through the application of data analytics and primary research initiatives. John provides customer intelligence and insights to customer-facing business units and executives to enhance the effectiveness of energy efficiency and renewable programs, branding, marketing, channel management and communication efforts. In addition, he is responsible for all innovation initiatives to develop new products and services for residential and commercial customers.
Residing in Tubac, John is actively engaged in cross-border economic and community development programs in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora as a Board member of the Santa Cruz Community Foundation. He also serves as President-elect for the American Advertising Federation’s Tucson Chapter. In addition, John is a Faculty member in the College of Business for the University of Phoenix and teaches marketing, management, supply chain, and organizational development courses.
John has an extensive marketing, advertising and public relations background from more than 20 years experience in non-profit, education, government and the corporate sector. John served as a Senior Business Segment Manager at Salt River Project where he managed all marketing and advertising programs for the SMB segment. While at SRP, John also managed marketing, communications and community events for the Hispanic consumer segment. He later formed Guevavi, an international customer engagement firm focused on culturally relevant communications, prior to joining TEP.
John received his Bachelor of Science in Communication from Arizona State University and earned an MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. He also holds Executive Certificates in Global Marketing Management and Global Marketing Strategy from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. John is Past-President of the Phoenix Chapter of the American Marketing Association, where he was also nominated to serve on the Professional Chapters Council for the American Marketing Association in Chicago.
Recognized for his thought leadership, John is a featured speaker for Hewlett-Packard and the American Marketing Association at national and international conferences. He combines expertise in open innovation, new product development, market research and relationship marketing to drive corporate profitability and enhance customer satisfaction.
Robert L. Davis
Davis specializes in technology related real estate with a particular interest and experience with emerging “IDEA” companies, and represents select developers including VentureWest and INNOVATION PARK (www.innovationparkaz.com).
Davis has brokered nearly $300 Million in commercial real estate transactions involving the University of Arizona including the acquisition of the: UA Science & Technology Park, UA Mars Phoenix Mission Headquarters, UA Biosphere2, UA Phoenix Biomedical Plaza, and UA Bio5 Oro Valley.
He brokered over 1,700,000 SF of leases with IBM, Hughes Missile Systems Company (now Raytheon), & Microsoft in initial lease up of the UA Tech Park along with procuring the first bio-tech, materials tech, software tech, and internet tenants to locate there; and he represented Target.com for their 975,000 SF Rita Ranch fulfillment center.
Davis’ “tech / IDEA” related clients have included: C-PATh, Solstice Capital, Hayes Soloway, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Goldblatt Sytems, Molecular Power Systems, Derma-Wound, Ridgetop Group, Brock Technologies, Research Corporation Technologies, REhnu, Research Corporation for Science Advancement, Medipacs, Solutaris MD, Ventana Medical Systems, Sanofi, and many others.
Robert Davis serves the UA and community vigorously with commitments of time, energy, and funding support.
His affiliations include/ have included: charter IDEA FUNDING member & Emerging Entrepreneur award sponsor , UA Foundation Board , UA College of Science Board, UA Bio5 Board, UA Eller MBA, UA Biosphere 2 Executive Committee, C-PATh Board, BLCSA, BIOAZ Board, BIOSA Board, UARC, UA McGuire Center, UA Alumni Association Board, UA Steele Children’s Research Center Board, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Board, Red Cross Southern Arizona Blood Services Board, Tucson Conquistadores, Tucson Fiesta Bowl, Desert Angels, Arizona Town Hall, United Way, Literacy Volunteers of Tucson, UA SISTA Advisory Board, Carondelet Neurological Institute Advisory Board, GTEC, TREO, DM 50, and many other boards, committees, and initiatives.
He is involved with many facets of Tucson’s Start Up ecosystem including mentoring, advising, connecting, investing, & partnering with many entreprenuers and enterprises. He is a founding member of the Desert Angels.
Davis was named: UA College of Science Alumnus of the year in 2004; and to the McGuire Center Entrepreneurship & Pima County Sports Halls of Fame in 2010.
He worked at the UA from 1973-1985 where he coached the first UA All-Americans in swimming & was an associate athletic director.
Director of Corporate Development, Aztera
Ana has been involved in small and medium enterprises development for 16 years. She has supported entrepreneurship and small business from her positions in both the private and public sectors. An entrepreneur herself, she has developed a deep understanding of the challenges faced by business owners and the many solutions and alternatives that can lead to entrepreneurial success.
Ana specializes is business incubation as an economic development tool in emerging economies with an emphasis on Latin America. She is an avid promoter of business incubation best practices speaking at conferences and events in the US, Mexico, Australia, Africa and Russia. She is the National Business Incubation Association’s (NBIA) main point of contact for Latin America and has expanded NBIA’s influence to several Spanish speaking countries providing consulting and training services.
Ana holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Arizona in Business Administration. She is a graduate from Carnegie Mellon University’s Australia Campus, attaining her Master’s in Public Policy and Management Degree with highest distinction.
Curtis is Chairman of the Desert Angels Investment group that invests in early-stage start-up companies and technologies. He’s also a retired professional cyclist, entrepreneur, angel investor, and brewer.
Chief Operating Officer, 42six Solutions
As a founder of 42six, Dan understands the complex needs of clients and the technical skills needed to create user–‐driven solutions using the latest cutting edge technology. Dan works across the company and multiple clients as the Chief Operations Officer for 42six Solutions where he oversees the internal operations, project management, and business development efforts for the company. He focuses on providing customer support on individual projects and expanding the business to ensure a sustainable future.
Prior to founding of 42six Solutions Dan was the Deputy Vice President of Solutions at Berico Technologies. During his time here, Dan developed and implemented engineering processes that have supported various government agencies and initiated several business development efforts worth over $300M. A key leader within the company, Dan worked across projects that included support to the Army’s first Network Warfare Battalion, developing the Army G2’s LandISRnet architecture, and modernizing intelligence operations and training.
Committed to national service, Dan was actively involved in the intelligence and military communities for ten years. After graduating from West Point in 2002, he served as an Intelligence Officer for the U.S. Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan supporting intelligence operations. This first-hand experience provides him with valuable insight to the issues faced daily in the defense and intelligence communities.
Originally from Grand Island, Nebraska, Dan received his B.S. in Political Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He worked for members of both the House and Senate with a specific focus on national security, veteran affairs, education, and economic development. His experience includes, but is not limited to: application design, workflow and process analysis, analytics development, requirements management, financial operations and contract management.
Dan’s favorite part about 42six Solutions is the opportunity it provides him to work with a great team of people committed to building innovative, customer-focused applications that help aid military and national security and users worldwide.
Founding Director – Nitro Startups, CFO – Startup Tucson
Jeff has been part of the entrepreneurial and startup community for over 20 years. He has started several businesses and been a major factor in the financial and product development of many other small companies. Jeff serves as a mentor and contributor to many entrepreneurial start-up companies as part of the Arizona Center for Innovation (of the University of Arizona) as well as other business incubators and accelerators outside of Tucson, including CEI in Phoenix, ASU Skysong in Scottsdale, and NACET in Flagstaff. Jeff also serves as the CFO for Startup Tucson, an organization dedicated to expanding opportunities and paths to success for startups in southern Arizona.
Jeff has served as the Chief Financial Officer for a $25 million corporation. In that capacity, Jeff overhauled the company’s financial operations as well as managed a major upgrade of the accounting system software.
Jeff has spent the majority of his career in high-tech markets where he has held senior high-level positions in product management and product development for companies in the areas of internet security, encryption, online payment systems, software development, and web server encryption hardware products. Jeff spent several years working closely with many companies, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, HP, Netscape, Microsoft, and IBM in creating and implementing internet security standards that are still in popular use today.
In addition, Jeff managed the technology, manufacturing, and marketing for a co-branding product implementation with Cisco Systems, Inc. Jeff has also been deeply involved in the solar energy industry in southern Arizona, where he has served as a solar technology and financing consultant for solar integrators. Jeff also has significant experience in solar energy storage technology as well.
Jeff spent years working closely with manufacturing companies to improve their operations, transitioning a domestic manufacturing facility to an overseas facility in China, and in the deployment of a multi-million dollar storage and distribution facility.
Jeff received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Virginia and his MBA from the University of Georgia.
Joann is a successful technology entrepreneur and executive with over 20 years’ experience in leadership, strategic planning, innovation, and new product development and commercialization. She is also an award-winning educator with10 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member, administrator, and education entrepreneur.
Prior to assuming leadership of the Arizona Center for Innovation, Joann served as President of Cortiva Institute, Program Director and Honors Fellow with the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona, and Vice President for Client Services at the Tucson Technology Incubator. Her startup portfolio includes website translation, discrete event simulation, software design, network hardware and software, home automation, and strategy consulting. She has twice been an incubator client.
Joann holds an MBA in International Business from Edinburgh University, Scotland.
President, Aztera / Managing Partner, nascentMD
Mr. Teran, a successful entrepreneur, engineer, and businessman, has had success leading high technology companies, serving in technical, business development, and leadership roles. He’s contributed to the success in new ventures and Fortune 500 companies alike, serving in roles ranging from business development to CEO. He has founded a number of successful start-ups, raised millions of dollars of venture and angel funding, and supported countless innovators along the way.
Manny currently leads Aztera, an automated test, product development, and venture accelerator, supporting a broad range of industries including aerospace, biosystems, energy, industrial, automotive, and electronic devices. Furthermore, Manny is managing partner of nascentMD, a medical device commercialization and development company focused on taking new medical device technologies to market.
A mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Arizona, Mr. Teran currently serves on the board of directors of several high-tech start-ups as well as the University of Arizona Alumni Council.