StartupAZ Collective, a local initiative dedicated to increasing the performance and growth of the region’s highest potential startup companies, has just announced its two newest cohorts of founders and CEOs for its 2020 Growth and Scale cohorts. 

The 24 leaders selected for these cohorts represent startup companies that are on the cusp of breaking through. Their companies span industries ranging from fintech to martech to workplace safety to wellness. 

“Every year we’re amazed at the quality and diversity of the leaders who join the Collective and the work they’re doing to drive the performance and generosity flywheel in the Valley,” said Brandon Clarke, co-founder and CEO. “Even in light of the current economic situation, these leaders are finding ways to raise the bar and establish generosity as a core part of their business.”    

The goal of StartupAZ Collective is to bring entrepreneurs together to combine their talent, network, and resources to help each other achieve milestones and create a lasting impact on the community. Leaders accepted into the Collective make a one-year commitment that kicks off with a three-day summer retreat, followed by monthly accountability check-ins with their cohort, which are facilitated by StartupAZ’s Director of Venture Development, Christie Kerner. Startup leaders are also supported by the StartupAZ Collective Founders in Residence (FIR) network, which includes seasoned startup leaders like Clate Mask, Heidi Jannenga, Brenda Schmidt, Gregg Scoresby, and Todd Davis a, to name a few.

“Being able to participate in the first StartupAZ Collective cohort played a big role in the growth and success of CampusLogic and my development as a SaaS startup leader,” said Gregg Scoresby, founder and CEO of CampusLogic. “The leaders who participate in the Collective truly embrace a spirit of generosity in terms of sharing lessons learned, resources and connections to support fellow founders, and ultimately the sustained growth of our local ecosystem.”

SC 2020 Growth: 

  • Drew Mercer, co-founder and CEO, PayGround –– technology that simplifies the bill pay experience
  • Will Shaw, co-founder and CEO, Better Agency –– a high-tech, all-in-one insurance CRM
  • Nirit Rubenstein, co-founder and CEO, Dovly –– the first fully automated credit repair platform
  • Ben Pijawka, founder and CEO, Zigi Gas –– technology that provides enterprise and consumer gasoline delivery
  • Jenn Rhoades, co-founder and CEO, Smile Virtual –– a platform that helps dentists connect with people who are looking to improve their smile
  • Shane Ettestad, co-founder and CEO, HomeKey Systems –– technology to manage everything in the home
  • Darren Wilson, co-founder and COO, Cobalt –– an innovation platform for marketers
  • Michael Zalle, co-founder and CEO, YellowBird –– a platform that connects expert environmental health and safety professionals with business on demand 
  • Stephanie Schull, founder and CEO, Kegelbell –– a women’s health device designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
  • Corey Kossack, founder and CEO, Aspireship –– provides online training for sales careers in the SaaS industry
  • Rebecca Clyde, co-founder and CEO, –– a conversational marketing platform that enables intelligent chat between businesses and their customers

SC 2020 Scale:

  • Brandon Willey, CEO, Hownd
  • Brenda Schmidt, CEO, Coplex
  • Bret Larsen, CEO, eVisit
  • Chris Ronzio, CEO, Trainual
  • Colin Turner, COO, Postscript
  • Gabe Cooper, CEO, Virtuous
  • Ibrahim Mesbah, CEO, Revolution Parts
  • Jacob Findlay, CEO, Fullbay
  • Jamie Baxter, CEO, Qwick
  • Jenn Thronson, CEO, BayIQ
  • Kelly Smith, CEO, Prenda
  • Mike Karvarik, CEO, Attribytes
  • Russ Perry, CEO, Design Pickle
To be considered for the Collective, companies must have a scalable business model with an innovative, market-defining technology. StartupAZ encourages founders to apply at any time  for the 12-month program. New cohorts are formed each spring. For more details and criteria, visit

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