Community Partners

Community Partners

Startup Tucson

Startup Tucson is a Pillar Community Partner at FORGE at Roy Place. Startup Tucson is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to transform the Southern Arizona economy through entrepreneurship and innovation. Under this collaboration, Startup Tucson is able to call Roy Place home to its offices, workshop, and event spaces.

Startup Tucson offers low-cost technical assistance, educational workshops, coaching, and mentoring for entrepreneurs of all types and in all stages including cohort-based activities for industry-specific founders (including the Recipes for Success program for food businesses) and on-demand support through spaces like the Design and Media Studios. Startup Tucson supports the larger innovation ecosystem by organizing the Tucson Innovation Partnership and the Startup Ecosystem Guide. Startup Tucson aims to advance the economic future of our region by reducing the barriers to creating a successful business. Their model is designed to allow under-represented founders and individuals to join the growing startup and small business ecosystem.

Andrew More at BlueStone Venture Partners

BlueStone Venture Partners

BlueStone Venture Partners is an early-stage Life Science focused venture capital fund founded in 2018. Their goal is to invest in companies outside of traditional startup hubs, such as Silicon Valley or Boston, and instead target Arizona and the Southwest. The firm invests in medical device, diagnostic, digital health, and life science instrument companies that are near or already commercial. Beyond investment, they provide strategic value and expertise to their portfolio companies by being active members of boards, serving on committees, and aiding in other ways to help companies hit milestones.

BlueStone Venture Partners supports FORGE through volunteering at mock board meetings, taking part in Q&A panels, and offering guidance and insight on the venture investment process. BlueStone has been an official FORGE partner and investor in residence, hosting office hours for FORGE startups and providing ad-hoc feedback and training for practice pitches to VCs. As an early-stage healthcare venture capital fund here in Tucson, with the ability to invest in local startups, they are an important resource to entrepreneurs and members of the community.

Growth Partners Arizona

Growth Partners Arizona

Growth Partners Arizona is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that is dedicated to empowering small businesses and nonprofits in Arizona by fostering innovation and collaboration. As partners of FORGE at Roy Place, they leverage this relationship to offer historically underserved communities unparalleled access to resources, mentorship, workshops, and growth opportunities in today's dynamic economic environment. Their vision is a community where everyone has the means to succeed, supported by their efforts to eliminate financial barriers and encourage economic development.

At the heart of their vision is a community equipped for success, a place where financial obstacles are dismantled, and economic growth benefits everyone. Their commitment is to fuel progress, empower financial independence, and carve out a path to a more inclusive economy. Through strategic initiatives centered on economic development and financial empowerment, they are dedicated to nurturing an environment where small businesses and nonprofits not only survive but thrive.  For more about their work and engagement opportunities, visit or reach out at


FORGE Welcome Local First Arizona

Local First Arizona

Local First Arizona is a nonprofit organization committed to community and economic development throughout Arizona. Thier work connects people, locally-owned businesses, and communities for meaningful actions that build a diverse, inclusive and prosperous Arizona economy, including: Educating consumers about the interconnectedness of the economy -- how and where they spend matters, Training small businesses to be more resilient, while helping our larger partners tell their story as champions of Arizona, Creating programs and events that make it fun and easy to discover local businesses and buy local and Targeting systems of inequity and building prosperity for all Arizonans by proactively identifying comprehensive solutions and taking action.

Local First Arizona partners with FORGE on initiatives and events including The Hustle Hour happening every 3rd Thursday at FORGE at Roy Place.

Tucson City of Gastronomy

Tucson City of Gastronomy

Tucson City of Gastronomy is a community-based non-profit that manages the Creative City of Gastronomy designation for Tucson and its Southern Arizona foodshed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It leverages the designation to increase appreciation of our food heritage and culinary assets, highlight them on a global platform, and link them to economic development.  TCoG’s vision is a community that values and is valued for its unique food cultures and supportive ecosystem for locally grown food businesses.

Tucson City of Gastronomy partners with FORGE on initiatives and events including The Business of Heritage Foods happening every 2nd Thursday at FORGE at Roy Place.

TCoG incubates and promotes local food businesses; certifies and endorses restaurants, food artisans, culinary events, and experiences; and exchanges chef ambassadors worldwide to promote Tucson’s food internationally. TCoG also works to strengthen and improve the local food system through advocacy, building connections, and promoting community organizations, and develops and enhances events through collaborations.  FORGE offers its Venturing 101 curriculum to TCoG-certified businesses and food startup workshop participants. This resource helps fill gaps in venture education for entrepreneurs who have created a business without going through traditional business school programs.