Arizona's Tech Scene has Plenty to Celebrate in 2015 | Tech Parks Arizona
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Arizona's Tech Scene has Plenty to Celebrate in 2015

Steve Zylstra
December 23, 1015


I’m not one to dwell on the past. Instead, I prefer to look toward the potential opportunities that lie ahead. However, after a banner year that the technology community experienced in 2015, it’s worth taking stock of how far we’ve come since not that long ago we wondered when the economy was going to finally show signs it had bounced back.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start by sharing some of the successes of the Arizona Technology Council. To start, we broke through the 800-member mark for the first time this year. Such strength is part of the reason our reach became international in 2015 when we, along with the Arizona Business Incubation Association, signed an historic agreement with Startup Mexico to share best practices with one another, ensuring that innovators and technology entrepreneurs across our state and Mexico enjoy the best possible support. If you want to learn more about the Council, I invite you to visit our website at to download a copy of our annual report—also a first.

Arizona's tech scene had lots to celebrate in 2015.

We are fortunate that success for Arizona’s technology community went beyond the Council. Both members and non-members had plenty to celebrate. Making global headlines, in fact, was Phoenix-based ON Semiconductor, a Motorola spinoff, offering to buy Fairchild Semiconductor International for a jaw-dropping $2 billion.

While some were buying, other tech firms were expanding. Scottsdale-based Nextiva, Deloitte’s pick for the fastest-growing technology company in Arizona, was looking to expand the workforce at the cloud communication company by about 25 percent this fall. Meanwhile, Zenefits, the online HR solution only in Arizona for about a year, quickly outgrew its Scottsdale offices with 600 employees and has announced plans to add another 700 employees with a move to a new site near Tempe Town Lake.

We were that close to bidding adieu to JDA Software Group when Gov. Doug Ducey joined forces with the Arizona Commerce Authority to convince company leaders to stay in Scottsdale with a move to new corporate headquarters in Scottsdale Quarter. The new space should be ready in the first quarter of 2016.

Such good news wasn’t just limited to the Valley. More than 1,100 are expected to be added to Comcast as it opens a state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot customer support center near Tucson Mall. The company is considered the world’s largest cable and broadcasting company by revenue.

Just as these companies demonstrated their belief in Arizona through expansion, other companies are making commitments by moving here. For example, Aligned Data Centers is building a 550,000-square-foot, 65-megawatt data center in Phoenix. This will be the first facility here for the company, which is the first pay-for-use data center provider to offer consumption-based pricing.

Already at home in its first location outside of Chicago is Groupon. The global e-commerce marketplace moved to larger quarters—its second move in the Valley—at Scottsdale’s SkySong after looking for space to accommodate about 160 employees.

While these expansions and moves boosted individual occupancy rates, tech “corridors” were gaining strength. The Price Corridor that has been the longtime home of Intel in Chandler also has evolved into the southern anchor of a larger East 101 Corridor that extends north as far as GoDaddy’s headquarters in north Scottsdale. The more concentrated Cure Corridor with a focus on research and patient care is picking up steam as it stretches from the Scottsdale Airpark to the Mayo Clinic Hospital and its new Cancer Center.

Looking to the south, attention has shifted to the Tucson Tech Corridor that runs along Interstate 10 on the city’s southeast side and is anchored by The University of Arizona’s ever-active Tech Parks Arizona. Nearby, the old Hughes Access Road has been moved and rechristened Aerospace Parkway as the first major step in Pima County’s Sonoran Corridor initiative to develop the area surrounding Raytheon Missile Systems and Tucson International Airport into a high-tech manufacturing and research and development destination.

Keep in mind all of this is just scratching the surface for the year. Can you imagine what 2016 will bring for Arizona?


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