California’s Wasabi Ventures to launch Scottsdale office

Wasabi Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, announced today the formal launch of its operations in Arizona.

After a nine-month due diligence process, Arizona was selected as the most promising location for a new office by the bi-coastal firm that has existing offices in Silicon Valley, Greater Boston, and Baltimore, M.D, according to a press release.

Wasabi’s principal office will be based in Scottsdale, at Deskhub, an innovative co-working space located at 4900 N. Scottsdale Road, suite 400. According to the release, Wasabi Ventures will be run by CEO Jay Chernikoff and Community Manager Gabe Gasca.

“Wasabi Ventures’ decision to open up shop in Phoenix is a reflection of the strong and growing tech scene in Phoenix and across Arizona,” stated Mr. Chernikoff in the release. “We are pleased to host them and look forward to collaborating in offering regular programming to the community. We are delighted to begin this partnership and expand it to San Diego in coming months.”

Wasabi Ventures will host a launch party in the valley at Deskhub on Thursday, June 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m., where the firm will be announcing its plans to form a cohort in Phoenix, commencing in July, according to the release.  Interested applicants are invited to apply now at www.academy.wasabiventures.com.

“We see great potential in the Arizona ecosystem,” stated Wasabi Ventures General Partner Tom “TK” Kuegler, in the release. “The combination of strong universities, visionary government leadership, plus an active and increasingly cohesive ecosystem full of strong talent gives us great confidence that the Silicon Desert is a great place to be. We are committed to be an active contributor to building that ecosystem, and will do that in partnership with some of the leading actors in the space across the state. We plan to start 20 companies in Arizona in the next 24 months, and will run cohorts in Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tucson.”

Mr. Kuegler participated in Startup Week Phoenix and sponsored Invest Southwest’s Venture Madness, while General Partner Chris Yeh covered Startup Weekend Tucson, as demonstration of the firm’s commitment to the ecosystem.

In January, Wasabi Ventures was selected by Arizona State University’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group to be the official Acceleration Partner for the Furnace PACE T2 Defense Technology Transfer Accelerator program, a partnership with the US Department of Defense.

Through this program, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to form startups around patented technologies from the US Air Force’s AFRL Rome lab, The US Army’s Natick NSRDEC lab in Massachusetts, and the US Navy’s SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific lab in San Diego.  Selected teams of entrepreneurs then participate in the Wasabi Venture’s Academy and receive 6 months of direct acceleration support.

There are more than 20 companies across 3 cohorts in New York, New England and Southern California, according to the release.

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