Business Incubator


Applications for the W19 Accelerated Entry Program have closed.


Before you apply, be sure to watch the recent webinar where we explain Forge and the Accelerated Entry Program.

Catch the replay here, as well as the slide deck.





What does a Forge startup look like?

Forge startups are post-idea stage, high-potential, technology-based companies located in or willing to move to Tucson.

These companies distinguish themselves by having:

  • Industry‐changing, disruptive technology or deep intellectual property
  • Scalable product or service
  • Coachable management team
  • Aptitude for pursuing strategic investments or grants, but equally capable of bootstrapping


Applying to the Forge incubator

Arizona Forge has partnered with Village Capital, a global, early-stage venture acceleration and training organization, to create a custom accelerated entry program for companies interested in joining our incubator. Using Village Capital’s 10-year-running methodology and curriculum, entrepreneurs will work through the VIRAL pathway and work with their cohort in peer-to-peer learning to prepare their ventures for market. The curriculum will cover the skills and tasks needed to grow a profitable and scalable business using Village Capital’s peer due diligence model.


How our incubator works:

  • We will run an Accelerated Entry Program (AEP) 3 times per year, where up to 12 teams will be selected to participate from a competitive application process.
  • The AEP consists of 6 weeks of intensive in-person programming covering business fundamentals key to building a scalable business, using the VilCap Communities curriculum.
  • On the final day of each AEP, up to 4 teams will be invited to join the Forge incubator, where they will earn the chance to work side by side with leading business experts, corporate innovation partners, and other high-performing startup teams.
  • Each team can participate in the incubator for up to 3 years, contingent upon hitting pre-set business milestones.
  • Most teams will graduate the Forge incubator once they are ready to scale (i.e. growing team beyond founders, need dedicated office space, adding new product/service lines, etc...)


Accelerated Entry Program (meets 6 Saturdays in Tucson from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm):

  • Week 1 (Jan 18): The basics of VIRAL, problem and vision, and value proposition
  • Week 2 (Jan 25): Peer due diligence, product, and market
  • Week 3 (Feb 1): Team and business model
  • Week 4 (Feb 8): Scale and investor exit* 
  • Week 5 (Feb 15): Hypothesis review and meeting with mentors
  • Week 6 (Feb 22): Final peer review and selection

* Investor exit is also defined as paying back lenders or other ways of breaking even in your business. Forge teams are not required to have a venture-backed business model to be considered for our program.



    What you get if you are invited to join our incubator:

    • Individualized support team of leading coaches, mentors, global subject matter experts, and investors.
    • Reserved desk and meeting space in the Forge at Roy Place Business Incubator offices in Downtown Tucson (3-years max). 
    • Peer-to-peer programming that leverages the strength of a network of other high-performance startup teams. 
    • Collaborative workspace with top corporations sponsoring innovation projects on-site​.
    • Access to VilCap Communities curriculum, aimed at preparing startup teams for investor-readiness
    • Rigorous business development program valued at over $50K/year.



      If the answer to these questions is yes, apply to Forge today!

      • Have you validated with potential customers that they are interested in your idea and would be willing to pay for it?
      • Have you built your core team of at least two founders with differentiated skill-sets?
      • Can you clearly articulate your customer, target market, competitors and how your idea is both unique and solves a real problem?
      • Do you know how your business will make money, or at least cover operating expenses?


      Key Dates:

      • Applications close: Dec 1, 2019​
      • 12 startup teams selected: Dec 18, 2019 ​
      • W19 Accelerated Entry Program: Meeting in Tucson 10:00 am-4:00 pm on Saturdays, 1/18, 1/25, 2/01, 2/08, 2/15, 2/22​
      • 4 inaugural startup teams announced: Feb 22​, 2020
      • Teams move into Roy Place: Mar 2020


      Application period has closed. Join our newsletter and stay tuned for the next round!


      join the newsletter!


      If you have questions, contact:

      Anna Darian

      Incubator Services Coordinator (Forge at Roy Place)

      or join us for a live Q&A Nov 13th 

      RSVP here:



      Frequently Asked Questions:


      Will you only incubate UA startups?​

      • No, the program is open to anyone who meets our rigorous selection criteria.

      My startup isn’t in digital health or sustainability. Can I still apply?​

      • Yes, absolutely. Startups in any industry will be considered.

      I’m running a social venture (non-profit, b-corps, etc...). Is Forge for me?​

      • Yes, both for-profit and non-profit teams are eligible to apply.

       I’m planning to bootstrap and not take venture capital. Should I still apply?​

      • Our programs are not limited to venture-backed business models. If you do want to pursue investors, we can connect you to our network when your startup is ready, but that is not a core part of this program. We focus on supporting you in building a sustainable and revenue-generating business.

      Do I have to be in Tucson to be in Forge?

      • Yes, for the Forge at Roy Place location, we ask that teams be located in Tucson (or willing to relocate if accepted). Stay tuned for updates on future locations...

      I’m not sure if my startup is ready. Who can I talk to?


      join the newsletter!