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Non-profit group helps start-ups get off ground

PHOENIX — The site of a former bank is doing part of the job of bank — helping businesses.

The City of Phoenix is leasing space at 24th and Washington streets to non-profit group SEEDspot, a small business incubator, which hopes to get more entrepreneurs off the ground.

The site will open in the fall.

“It’s a place where [start-ups] can come through to receive mentors, guidance, resources, tools, templates and access to potential funding sources,” said SEEDspot co-founder, Courtney Klein-Johnson.

The start-ups that SEEDspot will help only stay for 18 weeks. The group shows them the basics — how to set up a business model, create a budget and how to analyze all the trends in their chosen industry.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and the city council are both pushing the idea. The hope is some of these small start-ups will eventually rent office space in the city.

SEEDspot can only house 20 small businesses at one time. There are over 40 applications to sift through and the list is expected to grow to 100.

“We’ve seen some pretty good ideas so far,” said Klein-Johnson. “Everything from people doing something in solar energy or recycling, to manufacturing, to product services. We have a wide spectrum.”

Klein-Johnson said SEEDspot is mainly looking for companies that will benefit both the Valley and the world.