Thinkzilla expands to Scottsdale, Ariz. to support minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs
Greater Phoenix continuing to lead in DE&I with public-private collaboration moving region forward
SCOTTSDALE (June 16, 2021) – Thinkzilla, a culturally aware brand engagement firm based in Atlanta, today announces plans to open a new office in Scottsdale, Ariz. where it will hire 25 employees in the first six months. The female and minority-owned company selected Greater Phoenix because of the region’s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, diverse demographic and talent base, and leadership in advancing strategic diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. These efforts align with Thinkzilla’s goals of providing equitable opportunity by expanding resources and knowledge for minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
“As we broaden our supplier diversity, and diversity and inclusion programs across the country, we look forward to helping more companies boost economic empowerment, find meaningful social engagement and manage social equity initiatives,” said Thinkzilla CEO Dr. Velma Trayham. “We are incredibly proud of our track record of helping diverse businesses, communities and individuals, and look forward to connecting with the Scottsdale community to grow innovation and opportunities.”
Thinkzilla will lease space at SkySong, the Arizona State University (ASU) Scottsdale Innovation Center. SkySong attracts cutting-edge and innovative companies while integrating the resources of ASU with the opportunities of the private sector. In April 2021, the City of Scottsdale unanimously adopted an anti-discrimination ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
“Dr. Trayham’s company, Thinkzilla, as well as her entrepreneur accelerator program to support minority women as they scale their businesses, aligns with Scottsdale’s mission to support and attract businesses that promote diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega. “The City adopted economic development strategic plan and our anti-discrimination ordinance lets businesses know that Scottsdale is a destination for innovative and diverse companies like Thinkzilla, who we are thrilled to welcome to their new home at SkySong.”
Natural synergies exist between Thinkzilla and ASU as seen through the university’s leadership in DE&I and entrepreneurship and innovation. For the sixth year in a row, U.S. News & World Report named ASU the most innovative university in the nation. The J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute serves as connecting and collaborating resources for entrepreneurs at all stages across ASU and Greater Phoenix, which helped lead Thinkzilla to SkySong. “The addition of Thinkzilla to the SkySong community presents new opportunities for important and meaningful collaborations throughout the Valley,” said Grace O’Sullivan, Vice President of Corporate Engagement and Strategic Partnerships at Arizona State University. “We’re delighted to welcome Thinkzilla to Arizona.”
The Arizona State of Black Business March 2021 Report notes, ‘Black/African Americans have the highest percentage growth rate in the state. Black/African Americans face unique barriers to entrepreneurship and there is a need to increase support for Black-owned businesses including access to capital and direct financing pathways, startup resources, education, collaborative research, and assistance in identifying and navigating business opportunities.’ Thinkzilla reinforces that inclusive, equitable businesses and communities drive prosperity, and by building, managing, and bringing awareness to those programs and initiatives further supports underserved and underrepresented communities.
“Thinkzilla is an exciting addition to Greater Phoenix’s robust service and business sector that will help propel our innovation-centered economy forward and provide resources and knowledge to our growing minority-owned businesses population,” said Chris Camacho, president & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Our diversity is our greatest strength. Creating opportunity and an equitable community is accomplished only through inclusive growth, and we look forward to working with Thinkzilla, the City of Scottsdale and ASU to support their continued success.”
The Coppola-Cheney Group and Lee & Associates Arizona assisted with the real estate transaction. Plaza Companies is the master developer of SkySong, in partnership with University Realty, the City of Scottsdale and Holualoa Companies.
“We are pleased to welcome Thinkzilla to the SkySong family,” said Sharon Harper, chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies. “This is the kind of forward-thinking, innovative organization that will grow and thrive in the SkySong environment, and we are gratified they chose SkySong for their presence in the Phoenix area.”
About ThinkZILLA Consulting Group
ThinkZILLA specializes in multicultural branding, digital engagement, program development, experiential events and Public Relations. Making brands more relevant, ThinkZILLA builds meaningful connections between brands and consumers. For more information on ThinkZILLA or to schedule a consultation, please visit thinkzillaconsulting.com
About the City of Scottsdale
Scottsdale is one of the state’s leading job centers, with a diverse economy built on medical research, high-tech innovation, tourism and corporate headquarters. Scottsdale is home to nearly 18,000 businesses supplying over 150,000 jobs. The high-tech innovation center SkySong, located just a few miles from Downtown, is designed to help companies grow through a unique partnership with nearby Arizona State University. For more information, visit ChooseScottsdale.com.
Learn more about City of Scottsdale’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.
Learn more about the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute and ASU’s ranking as most innovative university by U.S. World & News Report.
Plaza Companies is the developer of the project in partnership with Arizona State University Foundation, the City of Scottsdale and Holualoa Companies. Lee and Associates provides the brokerage services and Plaza del Rio Management Corporation provides the property management and construction services. Architects at SkySong include Pei Cobb Fried and Partners, DMJM Design, Butler Design Group and Kendle Design Collaborative.
About Plaza Companies
With offices in Peoria, Scottsdale and Tucson, Plaza Companies is a full-service real estate firm specializing in the management, leasing and development of medical office and commercial office properties, technology and bioscience facilities, mixed-use properties and senior housing communities. Since 1982, Plaza Companies has established a proud track record as a competitive, connected and conscientious real estate firm with partnerships throughout the industries it serves. For more information, visit theplazaco.com.
About University Realty
University Realty is a subsidiary of ASU Enterprise Partners, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to generating resources for the benefit of Arizona State University. universityrealtyllc.org
About Holualoa Companies
Holualoa Companies is a real estate investment firm focused on the successful acquisition, repositioning, redevelopment and disposition of real estate assets. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with offices in Phoenix, Santa Monica, Hawaii and Paris, its investments span the United States and Europe and include office, retail, industrial, multi-family, hotel and mixed-use investment properties. Holualoa is an experienced investor for its own account and on behalf of a select group of private investors.