Become a “Scribe” for The Write Zone

The Write Zone is looking for volunteers aka “Scribes,” 18 and older, to engage, support, and motivate aspiring young authors by providing assistance with expository and creative writing. If you have a passion for writing and love to encourage imaginative young minds, then we want YOU…to facilitate a workshop, serve as a board member or on the advisory board, or provide support for in-school projects. So light a spark and become the next person to unleash a creative mind. To learn more, please attend a no-obligation volunteer information meeting by registering online.

Volunteer Interest Meeting
Tuesday, July 26th at 7:00pm
Gangplank HQ
260 S Arizona Ave
Chandler, AZ 85225

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Making Birthdays Better

Written by Jay Cooper

Surprizes is a mobile app that allows you to find local freebies on your birthday. During Startup Weekend Chandler, the team established the brand identity, started a blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and put together a great team of experienced Internet professionals to help push the vision forward.

Since the conclusion of SW, the Surprizes team has been making great progress toward creating a minimum viable product that users enjoy using. Team members have been actively talking to customers and small business owners, getting valuable feedback on the product. Surprizes is also very close to getting a usable mobile product into user’s hands and soliciting individuals on how they should proceed creating a successful viable product.

The idea was originally conceived by cofounder Lloyd Faulk in 2010 when, on his birthday, he wanted to locate freebies in his local area to redeem. Upon looking online all he found were older sites that were outdated or inaccurate. He thought there had to be a better way to enjoy the one day he had to call his own. So, Lloyd set out to build the ultimate mobile birthday experience.

Lloyd Faulk – Founder/Marketing
Trevor Olson – Cofounder/Technical
Saam Naghshineh – Business Development/Sales
Cheryl Marquez – Social Media/Public Relations
John McCaleb – Designer
Vincent Salgado – Designer

This is a great opportunity for the Surprizes team to bring to market a new way of enjoying your birthday, and it wouldn’t have been possible in this short amount of time without the help of everyone at Gangplank, FastTrac, and the community of entrepreneurs in Chandler.

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Mentoring Rounds

All Roadmap to Launch teams are expected to complete at least four rounds of mentoring before Launch Weekend. Below are the current list of mentors available and their appointments for the next 6-weeks. I will update as more dates come in.

For legal mentoring:

  • Kevin Dixon is available on Monday, July 18th at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00pm.

For business and financial planning:

  • Phillip Blackerby is available every Tuesday between 1:00-5:00pm.
  • Akira Hirai is available Friday, July 15th between 2:00-5:00pm.
  • Greg Head is available Saturday, July 16th at 9:00am or 11:00am.

For design & marketing:

  • Ward Andrews is available Wednesday, July 13th between at 9:00am or
    10:00am.
  • James Archer is available Wednesday, July 20th at 5:00 or 6:00pm.
  • Greg Head is available Saturday, July 16th at 9:00am or 11:00am.

For Operations and Project Planning:

  • Alan Dayley is available Tuesday, July 12th between 4:00-7:00pm.

For Technology mentoring:

  • Clayton Lengel-Zigich is available Tuesday, July 12th at 1:00 or
    2:00pm.

For Sales and Product Development:

  • Dave Cooke is available Wednesday, July 20th between 9:00am-Noon
  • Francine Hardaway is available Tuesday, July 26th and August 2nd at
    1:30, 2:30 or 3:30pm.
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Just the beginning

13 teams emerged from Startup Weekend Chandler. Working tirelessly over 54 hours, what were vague ideas pitched in 60-seconds became the solid beginnings of viable businesses.

But that was just the beginning.

All 13 teams have elected to participate in Gangplank’s Roadmap to Launch program, a 60-day continuation of the progress made over the weekend.

Over the next two months, teams will undergo rounds of mentoring, have opportunities to beta test their products, socialize with other entrepreneurs and potential investors, as well as receive intensive pitching training for the final release.

Follow their progress here over the next 60-days and help us change the perception of Arizona startups.

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