Pitch To Win Up To $10,000 In Prizes


Register to Attend Cox Business and Inc. are bringing “Get Started Tucson” (#GetStartedTucson) to Tucson, Arizona in partnership with Inc. magazine on Thursday, November 5th, 2015, at the Tucson Scottish Rite 160 S. Scott Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701.

Over $10,000 In Prizes!

Get Started Tucson will highlight up to five entrepreneurs who will pitch their idea to a distinguished panel of experts. One winner will be named to receive over $10,000 in prizes including a one year Cox Business technology package.

Prizes Include

From Cox Business
$5,000 Grand prize plus a 1 year Cox Business technology package!

From Cox Media
Digital Media Prize package valued at over $3,000

More prizes to be announced soon!


Pitch submissions are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Please check back to see the list of finalists.



Local businesses not competing are encouraged to attend this free event for networking and learning opportunities from accomplished leaders in digital marketing, funding and business growth strategy.

The evening will include:

  • A pitch competition with expert feedback from our distinguished panel of judges
  • A panel discussion, including audience Q&A, geared towards small business owners and start-ups
  • Complimentary cocktails, appetizers & networking reception – before and after the competition
  • Complimentary  parking

WHEN: Thursday, November 5th, 2015. 5;30pm-8:30pm
WHERE: Tucson Scottish Rite 160 S. Scott Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701
ADMISSION: FREE and open to the public but you must register to attend

Register to Attend

Meet The Get Started Tucson Moderator

kenKen Kraft
Ken Kraft is vice president of marketing for Cox Business, Cox Communications’ $1.8 billion division that provides video, voice and data telecommunications services to businesses. Kraft is responsible for the all B2B marketing including segment marketing, brand, product marketing, pricing, customer education and marketing communications.

He leads a nationwide team tasked with the creation and implementation of marketing strategies and campaigns to further accelerate top line revenue growth and customer retention within Cox Business.

He serves as a senior member of the Cox Business and Cox marketing leadership teams and closely aligns with Cox Business sales, product development and management and business operations organizations.

Meet Our Expert Panelists

basil.fwBasil “Base” E. Horner
Currently, Mr. Horner serves as an Executive Board Member and Chairman of the Screening Panel for the Desert Angels, one of the largest angel investment groups in the country.  He is a co-founder of Arch Partners LLC, a seed capital fund investing in very early stage entrepreneurial ventures.  He serves on the Board of Directors or Advisors of several companies (10).

He is a board member of Invest Southwest and BIOSA Innovation.  He is a guest lecturer at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management and McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, and serves on the board of Eller Executive Education.

In 1999, Mr. Horner was a co-founder of US Capital Partners LLC, a boutique investment banking firm formed to provide middle-market companies with advisory services.  Prior to founding USCP, Mr. Horner spent three years as a Senior Managing Director in the Corporate Finance Division of EVEREN Securities, Inc.

justin2Justin Williams
As founder and CEO of Startup Tucson, Justin Williams has been a leader of regional efforts to develop a vibrant startup community in Tucson, AZ through programs that support entrepreneurs and innovators alike. Programs like Startup Tucson’s Idea to Impact Pipeline have set national standard for strategic integration of programs like Co-Founder Speed Dating, Startup Weekend, Hackathons, Thryve Startup Incubator Growth Accelerators, and Startup Job Crawl. Williams has mentored hundreds of entrepreneurs to help them take their ideas and bring them to impact.

Justin, is also co-founder and Executive Director of InnovateUA, a program to foster a campus-wide culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Arizona. He also teaches entrepreneurship in both the Eller College of Management and the College of Engineering.

Prior to his tenure with Startup Tucson, Justin served as Director of the Arizona Technology Council. There he established the Tucson office as part of its 2008 merger with AMIT – Tucson’s Aerospace, Manufacturing and Information Technology Cluster, where he served as founder and Executive Director since 2005.

sharon.fwSharon Lurtsema
Sharon Lurtsema began as an enterprising babysitter in 4th grade, had her first “real” job at 15 and by 19 was working for a university. She approaches life with a “jump and figure out how to swim later” philosophy, believing when all you see is the goal – you do whatever it takes. In 1990, Sharon moved to NYC to work as a professional nanny. She later returned to Tucson to start her own nanny and adult care agency and Choice Options is proudly still in existence today. With Sharon at the helm, they acquired Raytheon Missile Systems as their first local corporate client. Along the way, she realized the significant need to provide Back-up Child & Adult Care to employers throughout the U.S.

Caring for others has always been what drives her. Her desire to create a national company became her focus. She knew this goal would not be accomplished without hard work, a great team and extensive research. After years in the making, CorporateCARE Solutions proudly launched nationally. U.S. employers contract with CorporateCARE Solutions to add this amazing service to their employee’s benefit package. Breakdowns in family care are inevitable and employees need to go to work. CorporateCARE Solutions provides care in the employee’s home, hotel (if traveling for business) or anywhere in the country their elderly loved ones reside.

As a cancer survivor, Sharon believes wholeheartedly everything is about doing for others. It’s no wonder her company’s middle name is CARE. Therefore, it was only fitting for it to become her company’s outlook as well. Their mission statement says it all … “We believe taking care of and protecting the people you love is the most vital and important job there is.”

jon_fine2Jon Fine
Jon Fine is the executive editor of Inc. magazine. Previously, Fine’s long-running BusinessWeek column “Media Centric” won both American Society of Business Publication Editors and National Headliner awards, and his work for Food & Wine won a James Beard Award.

He has served as an on-air contributor to CNBC, and his just-published music memoir Your Band Sucks was named a top summer book by New York Times and Publishers Weekly.






You can enter the Contest by visiting the official registration page at (the “Website”) and completing all of the required information and following all posted instructions. Contest is open only to legal residents of Arizona who: (1) are at least 18 years of age; (2) are the owner, principal, or general manager of a business that is physically located within a Cox Business serviceable area. Entry Period begins 10/04/15. BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT (1) YOUR MATERIALS ARE NOT CONFIDENTIAL AND NO CONFIDENTIAL OR FIDUCIARY RELATIONSHIP IS INTENDED OR CREATED BY ENTERING THE CONTEST; AND (2) THE CONTEST ENTITIES MAY POSSESS OR COME TO POSSESS INFORMATION THAT IS SIMILAR OR IDENTICAL TO YOUR MATERIALS, AND YOU HEREBY AGREE THAT THE CONTEST ENTITIES MAY USE SUCH SIMILAR OR IDENTICAL INFORMATION WITHOUT LIMITATION, COMPENSATION, OR CREDIT TO YOU. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes subject to Complete Official Rules. To obtain a copy of the winner’s list or a copy of these Official Rules, send your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to “Cox Business Get Started Tucson: Network. Learn. Pitch Contest” Winners/Rules, Shana Keith, Cox Communications, Inc., 1400 Lake Hearn Drive, Atlanta, GA 30319. Sponsor: Cox Communications, Inc., d/b/a Cox Business, 1400 Lake Hearn Drive, Atlanta, GA 30319.