USA TODAY: Phoenix tech scene scorches


Phoenix tech scene scorches

PHOENIX — Just a one-hour plane hop from Silicon Valley in California, a growing community of app developers, programmers and entrepreneurs here are trying to get a little more sunshine for their tech ideas. The “Silicon Desert,” as locals call it, is thriving, with start-ups taking advantage of the lower cost of living, tight-knit community and talent from one of the nation’s largest schools — Arizona State University — to help sprout new tech ideas. What it’s not attracting yet is considerable outside venture capital investment — but the entrepreneurs say that could all change with just one big hit. “We would really benefit from a breakout,” says Fred von Graf, a Google Glass-wearing venture manager at ASU, whose entrepreneurship program helps seed early stage companies.

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