Welcome to Phoenix, Where There’s Tons of Startup Talent, Less Red Tape, and Houses Your Employees Can Actually Afford

Emily Canal

There’s more than just desert sand and scorching heat in Arizona’s state capitalPhoenix is finally getting its due as a haven for entrepreneurs.

Not only did the Valley of the Sun land at No. 11 on Inc.’s list of Surge Cities, an index that measures the U.S. metro areas with the most economic momentum, it’s also the location of Inc.’s annual conference honoring the businesses that landed on the Inc. 5000, a ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. Starting October 10, through the 12th, attendees will hear from entrepreneurs including LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel, Calm co-founder Michael Acton Smith, and Away co-founder Jen Rubio.

Here are five reasons why Phoenix is an increasingly hospitable environment for entrepreneurs.

1. Reduced regulations

In the last two years, the state has passed several laws with the specific goal of attracting financial and real estate technology startups.

In 2018, Arizona became the first state in the U.S. to adopt a regulatory fintech sandbox–that is a legal framework through which startups may test their products for up to two years and serve as many as 10,000 customers before they must apply for a formal license, according to a release from Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Historically it has taken startups several months and tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses, fees, and compliance costs to get a formal license, according to the same press release. ​

Additionally, in March of this year, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that created a similar regulatory sandbox for property technology companies. Then in April, he signed legislation aimed at making it easier for people with out-of-state occupational licenses to work in Arizona. The new law–which only applies to people who have been licensed for at least one year and are in good standing–requires Arizona’s licensing boards and commissions to recognize out-of-state licenses during the formal licensing process so new residents can get to work faster.

Click here to read more of this Inc. article by Emily Canal.