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Oct. 11, 2018

TENWEST Showcases UA Innovation

TUCSON, Ariz. — The fifth annual TENWEST Festival, showcasing many of the Southwest's most innovative and groundbreaking ideas, begins Friday, Oct. 12 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 21 in downtown Tucson.

As one of the event's presenting sponsors, the University of Arizona will be at the center of a variety of TENWEST panels, talks, performances, mixers and workshops.

"We see the TENWEST Festival as an opportunity to create a new collective impact model that delivers a world-class content experience that is accessible, experiential and immersive," said Rick Yngve, the interim director of the UA's McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and TENWEST Festival co-director. "We are focused on bringing together premier partner events that are engaging cross-sector communities to generate an ongoing dialogue about the problems that matter to our city, our state and our world."

TENWEST kicks off its festivities alongside affiliate event Tucson Meet Yourself, which begins Friday and runs through Sunday in downtown Tucson. Founded in 1974 by UA folklorist and anthropologist James "Big Jim" Griffith, Tucson Meet Yourself's mission is to research, document, interpret and present the living traditional arts and expressions of everyday life of the folk and ethnic communities of the multi-national Arizona-Sonora region.

The UA STEM Learning Center, along with the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation, or SARSEF, and the Waters Foundation, is hosting the "STEM Connect Conference" on Monday, Oct. 15, to bring together leaders in education, business, the nonprofit sector and government to identify areas of collaboration. The event takes place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center. UA President Robert C. Robbins is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.

Tech Launch Arizona, the Arizona Center for Innovation and the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship are supporting partners for IdeaFunding, an entrepreneur education event highlighting more than 20 ventures, including many that are leveraging licensing of research and technology originally created at the UA. During lunch, the Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association will be hosting VC Unplugged to talk about capital raising trends in the Southwest region. The day ends with a pitch competition with $25,000 in prizes sponsored by Arizona Commerce Authority, Startup Tucson and Cox Communications. IdeaFunding takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center.

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the UA College of Optical Sciences will host "Sonoran Cloud City" at the Tucson Convention Center from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. This event highlights how the Sonoran Desert region will use the cloud, big data and innovative technologies to impact areas such as transportation, water, energy and waste. During the luncheon, representatives from the UA College of Optical Science along with executives from Microsoft will be discussing the global scaling challenges of the cloud.

The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship's "Social Impact Summit" takes place on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center. The summit brings together individuals, nonprofits and corporations to discover ways to maximize social impact and drive innovation strategies through a series of workshops, panels and roundtable discussions.

Following the summit, the McGuire Center will present the "Social Impact Pitch Competition" – a "Shark Tank"-style event with $25,000 in awards from Microsoft. The competition is open to individuals, nonprofits and social ventures that are starting new programs or services to solve needs in local communities or around the globe.

The fourth annual UA Women's Hackathon, presented by University Libraries with support from Microsoft and Google Developer Group Tucson, will take place Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21. The event encourages curiosity, discovery and social awareness in the arts, entrepreneurship, technology and sustainability. The kickoff event on Oct. 19 wil be hosted on the UA Mall in front of Bear Down Gymnasium. The workshops and exhibitions on Oct. 20-21 will take place at the UA Main Library (1510 E. University Blvd.) and the Integrated Learning Center (1503 E. University Blvd.). For more information visit

Visit for a full schedule of events and more information.


Researcher contact:
Rick Yngve
Interim director, McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship

Media contact:
Nick Prevenas
UA Communications

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state's super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $622 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.