Invest Southwest Venture Madness

Check out the competing companies at Venture Madness. Great energy, lots of innovative business concepts with considerable upside potential. Needless to say, things are hopping in Arizona! It is very interesting to see how many Tucson companies participated — NONE! Given our talk and hype about entrepreneurship you’d think we’d have a presence. Par for the course!

But wait!!!! There’s more!!!!! According to Bloomberg Markets “Most Innovative States” rankings for 2016, Arizona has jumped 4 spots to #15 in the country. Individual category rankings position Arizona at #6 in Tech Company Density and #10 in STEM Concentration.

Where does Tucson fit in this picture? Anyone? Anyone?

MOXI’s Grand Opening was a Huge Success!

Fri, March 24th, 2017

MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation is now open! The grand opening was on February 25th and was a huge success! MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation features exhibits that inspire creativity and wonder, encouraging kids of all ages to learn new things and challenge their minds. MOXI emphasizes STEAM learning; STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

Creative Machines, one of our favorite clients, was instrumental in building and designing the exhibits….A monumental feat!

Raze or Restore: What’s Really Worth Preserving?

As seen in the March 2017 issue of the Trend Report….

Without a doubt, Tucson is a nice place to live. We are a cultural melting pot with a rich history, an excellent climate, scenic mountains, arguably the nation’s best Mexican food and the University of Arizona. However, we have a long way to go to become a thriving city with the corresponding economic opportunity. We’d make better progress on this front, if only we could get out of our own way.

You know you’re a community in trouble when the most prominent anchor tenant in a shopping center is Goodwill, or your main users of office space are the good folks at La Frontera, Codac, COPE and El Rio. Sadly, none of these NGOs support the business community. In fact, by my observations and experience, the most underserved community in Tucson is the business community itself.

Sadly, by not embracing and in some cases blocking business growth, our community has failed to create the economic environment that would prevent the endless cycle of brain drain, one which strangles on the vine any hope of growth and economic prosperity for all. I’m talking about the outmigration pattern of students who graduate from our high schools and either go to out of state schools (and don’t come back) or graduate from the U of A and leave for better opportunities in other parts of the world. This paradigm is similar to that which is experienced by poverty stricken countries such as Somalia, Venezuela and Vietnam.

While Tucson is far from a third-world country, it might rank among the “world’s best” at doing the least with the most. If you have any doubt this is true, just take a look around at the blight that exists in our city. Just take a drive along Sixth Street between Euclid and Stone, or Grant Road from east of Swan all the way to the freeway. Eyesores begging for the wrecking ball include the strip mall on the southwest corner of Pima and Craycroft and the majority of buildings on Broadway between Country Club and Euclid. Did I mention Chad’s Steakhouse at Swan and Fort Lowell? Investors looking for opportunity in this city can easily locate tear downs and replace them with something to suit a true economic driver. Take what Mike Wattis did with the dilapidated 60 year old building at 222 East Fifth Street, gutting it and creating a modern new headquarters for Mister Car Wash, an industry leader creating good jobs in Tucson. Another example is Downtown Tucson which is, finally, to Tucson’s credit, showing the benefit of years (and years) of investors like Scott Stiteler and Rob Caylor cutting through red tape to create vibrant new spaces to live, work and play. I say it’s time we continue the momentum citywide by adopting a pro-business, pro-growth mentality and agenda.

I grew up on a cattle ranch, my father was a prominent rancher and ranch broker, and I am a proud member of the Mountain Oyster Club (originally the Ponds Mansion). One of the most important tenets instilled in “Old Arizona” families, is the concept of highest and best use of the land and the promotion of business prosperity. Any piece of agricultural real estate is COMMERCIAL real estate, as it is generally used for economic gain. We have always been taught that if a ranch or farm would yield a better return being used as something else, it’s time to change the revenue model. For example, if you can make more money developing a property, then you better get to work on that initiative, otherwise, you are being WASTEFUL. A good example of using the land to its highest and best use is when John Murphey assembled the lands that are now known as the Catalina Foothills Estates.

The main force behind Tucson’s current conundrum is the preservationist mindset that has become the pseudo prevalent culture of our community. I say “pseudo prevalent” because this small group of preservationists has done a good job of being a very loud voice that has been promoting an anti-business, anti-growth agenda at our entire community’s expense. If such preservationists had their way, Tucson would still be a Hohokam village. Today’s real estate owners, developers, city leaders and preservationists must come to a collective realization that some existing properties, while old, are worth a lot more to everyone in this community if they are repositioned—or altogether razed.

If we want to truly be “preservationists” of the “old way of life,” I’d suggest we take a hard look at our predecessors and realize they were very pro-business and pro-development. If we truly wish to follow in their footsteps, I say “cowboy up,” quit wasting our valuable assets and build a business environment and community on the foundation that they left us. Only by adopting a “pro-business/development culture” will this grande dame of southern Arizona grow and prosper with class and grace that would make our forefathers proud while also leaving our fair city a legacy and tradition of evolution, growth, success and prosperity.

— Thanks to Lucinda Smedly, Publisher and Editor of the Trend Report for publishing this in the March 2017 issue.

— Thanks to June Hussey for helping write the article

— Thanks to Bob Davis, my business partner, for egging me on!

Community kitchen plans space to experiment for Tucson food entrepreneurs

As the demand for locally produced food grows in Tucson, entrepreneurs are stepping up to provide the kitchen tools.

Cook Tucson, a culinary incubator and commissary kitchen, is to open later this year in central Tucson.

To be located at 1702 N. Stone Ave., Cook Tucson will be a place where caterers or food-truck owners can access commercial kitchen space and experiment with new food concepts, said founder and owner Corinne Tso.

Cook Tucson was an excting project to work on with Corinne and it was Tango’s pleasure to be of service.

For more information, read the full article here.

Intel Expanding in Arizona

Intel has announced its plans to expand in Chandler, Arizona. With a $7 billion investment, Intel will complete one of the world’s most advanced factories and create 3,000 high-wage jobs. This is another major company that has or will be helping the Phoenix area economy, but it begs the question: what about Tucson? Read the full article here and let us know why you think businesses continue to choose Phoenix over Tucson!

World View Speedbump?

In an interesting turn of events today, Superior Court Judge Catherine Woods has ruled against Pima County in a case involving controversial company World View. Goldwater Institute requested that the county’s lease with World View be declared unlawful. Now, taxpayers will not be paying towards the new facility meant for World View. Instead, World View is subject to the same lease rates as every other Pima County business to occupy their new facility. What do you think of the ruling? Read the full article here.

Creative Machines Occupied with Multiple Projects


Creative Machines continues to stay busy with two ongoing projects: Camaraderie and Wings Over Water. Camaraderie is a tribute to veterans and will be located at a veteran’s clinic in Palo Alto, California. Wings Over Water was commissioned by Houston First Corporation and Houston Arts Alliance, and it will be located in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center. Help Tango congratulate Creative Machines on their continuing success, and stay updated on these projects by visiting the links!


Nasser Peyghambarian Elected to NAI

Dr. Nasser Peyghambarian has been elected to the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Peyghambarian, founder of TIPD and NP Photonics, has over 30 years of experience through the University of Arizona and continues to be widely published for his work in optical sciences. Read more about Dr. Peyghambarian’s work here and help us congratulate him for his incredible accomplishments!

Fundraising 101 in Tucson

The University of Arizona recently met its goal of raising $1.5 billion, and they did it with two years to spare. How is this possible given the sluggish economy in Tucson? According to this article from Inside Philanthropy, we are beginning to see an increase of jobs and opportunities in Arizona and will continue to see growth in the coming years. Equally as important, there were multiple donations to the university from outside Arizona. Karl Eller (Chicago) and Peter Salter (California) made sizable donations. While Arizona is seeing growth, there are still many alumni that found more financial opportunity out of the state. Hopefully the current and future growth lead to more alumni choosing to stay within the state and even city. Share your thoughts with us on how we can retain our graduates!