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AZ Tech Roundtable 2.0

AZ Tech Roundtable 2.0 with Matt Battaglia

The show where EntrepreneursTop Executives, Founders, and Investors come to share insights about the future of business


AZ TRT 2.0 looks at the new trends in business, & how classic industries are evolving

Common Topics Discussed: Startups, Founders, Funds & Venture Capital, Business, Entrepreneurship, Biotech, Blockchain / Crypto, Executive Comp, Investing, Stocks, Real Estate + Alternative Investments, and more… 


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May 3, 2022

AZ Bio & Tech Incubators w/ Russ Yelton

- BRT S03 EP18 (117) 5-1-2022


Things We Learned This Week

  • Tech Incubator: startup incubator is a collaborative program for startup companies — usually physically located in one central workspace — designed to help startups in their infancy succeed by providing workspace, seed funding, mentoring and training.
  • AZ State supporters of Tech: AZ Tech Council, The Flinn Foundation, NAU, ASU, UA, CEI Gateway Tech, AZ Bio, NACET – Moonshot, AZ Advances, & many funding VC & Angel groups – ATI, Desert Angels, Canyon Angels
  • Biotech industry growing in AZ the past 2 decades in Flagstaff and Tucson
  • Fail & Fail Fast – good rule for tech co’s and incubators - Need capital and investors to fund incubators at Universities, plus community (City) support
  • AZ Bio – students talking research and tech, internships




Guest: Russ Yelton, Pres., Yelton & Associates

Immediate Past Chairman, AZBio Board of Directors


Russ Yelton Bio:

Russ Yelton served as Chairman of the AZBio Board of  Directors from January 2015 to December 2017.  He has been an active board members since being elected in 2009.

He is currently president of Yelton and Associates.  The firm provides economic development services as well as early stage business solutions. Yelton and Associates has experience both domestically and internationally and has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs to raise funding and bring their products to a variety of markets. The firm  also has a long history of assisting municipalities with the development of co-work, incubators and accelerators as well as loan funds, student focused entrepreneurial programming as well as shared facilities.

As a Board Member at Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, Inc., Yelton provides executive level leadership to a rapidly expanding tissue bank and medical device company. Yelton served as Pinnacle Transplant’s CEO from 2014 to 2017. 

Pinnacle Transplant Technologies is a multi-service tissue bank dedicated to ethical participation in the donate life process. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registered and American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited, Pinnacle only works with federally chartered Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) and agencies accredited by AATB to help safeguard our employees, provide superior allografts for transplantation and assure reverence to our donor families.

Prior to joining Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, Yelton was President and CEO of the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology   located in Flagstaff.  NACET is a business incubation program that assists companies with commercializing their technologies in both domestic and international markets.  NACET is supported by the City of Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University where it functions as the Technology Transfer Office for NAU.  Clients in NACET’s program received individual business consulting, access to mentors, venture and angel capital and domestic and international student research teams.

Prior to coming to Arizona in 2009, Yelton oversaw the creation of a business incubation program in Asheville, North Carolina in an abandoned 141,000 sq feet former BASF manufacturing plant.  That program, located at a community college, included a commercial food kitchen, biotechnology space with wet, dry and core laboratories, light manufacturing and executive offices.

Yelton received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Appalachian State University, a Masters of Business Administration from Western Carolina University and Doctoral studies in Educational Leadership also at WCU.  In addition, he received a European Union Grant in 2008 to complete Evaluation of Sustainability Training from Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.


AZBio:  Supporting Arizona’s Life Science Industry for 19 Years (2003 – 2022)

Learn more about Arizona's bioindustry:

| Facebook: AZBIO |Twitter: @AZBio @AZBioCEO

We’re part of a movement to create sustainable funding for life science innovation in Arizona.

Learn more at 


OUR VISION OF THE FUTURE: Arizona is a top-ten life science state.

OUR MISSION: AZBio supports the needs of Arizona’s growing life science ecosystem.

Arizona’s bioscience industry is growing rapidly and reached nearly 30,000 jobs spanning 2,160 business establishments in 2018. Industry employment has grown by 15 percent since 2016—twice the growth rate of the nation—with each of the five major subsectors adding jobs during the period. Arizona’s universities conducted nearly $580 million in R&D activities in bioscience-related fields in 2018, fueled in part by steadily increasing NIH awards to Arizona institutions since 2016. Venture capital investments in Arizona bioscience companies increased in 2019, and during the 2016-19 period totaled $349 million. Arizona inventors have been awarded 2,178 bioscience-related patents since 2016, among the second quintile of states in patent activity.


Flinn Foundation

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grant-making organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The Foundation aims to advance the state’s bioscience sector, provide a top-notch education to high-achieving students at an Arizona public university, boost the fiscal and creative capacity of the state’s arts and culture organizations, and develop future state-level civic leaders.

Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations to advance interests in the biosciencesFlinn Scholars, and arts and culture. In civic leadership, the Foundation supports and administers the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership and its Flinn-Brown Fellowship in partnership with the Thomas R. Brown Foundations of Tucson. These philanthropic activities intersect wherever possible, a recognition of the importance of ecosystem thinking.

The Foundation also leverages the additional capacities of a private foundation through its professional resources. These are exemplified by what’s informally known as the Flinn Foundation’s “5 C’s”—to convene interested parties, collaborate and generate partnerships among groups with mutual interests, catalyze solutions, communicate progress and outcomes, and consensus-build among stakeholders. The Foundation often convenes leaders in workshops and educational forums at the Flinn Foundation Conference Center within its office building in Phoenix.





Russ has a tech background, from back east (North Carolina) – originally worked at NAU when he first got to AZ in 2009, working with tech incubators and bioscience


Russ is a consultant and board member, and involved in AZ Bio (since 2009), AZ Tech Council, Chair of The Flinn Foundation, Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, CEI Gateway Tech & more…


NACET – Moonshot – Russ there in 2009,


Investment by incubators, tech community, established business, university and cities in tech and small business


Biotech industry growing in AZ the past 2 decades in Flagstaff and Tucson


Pinnacle Transplant –

Founded in 2010, Pinnacle Transplant Technologies recognized the need to establish a processing and distribution facility that would enable medical professionals to acquire safe quality allograft tissue for transplant. The company manufactures innovative allografts produced to the highest standards of quality and safety. With a dedication to customer service, we are devoted to being the most responsive and accommodating Tissue Bank in the industry.


Regan Med –


Life Science – Gore, founded in Flagstaff -


Medical device – drugs Tucson, AZ


What is a business incubator? A business incubator is a workspace created to offer startups and new ventures access to the resources they need, all under one roof.


A startup incubator is a collaborative program for startup companies — usually physically located in one central workspace — designed to help startups in their infancy succeed by providing workspace, seed funding, mentoring and training.


Startup incubators are usually nonprofit organizations, often associated with universities and business schools who extend invitations to students, alumni and members of the community to take advantage of the program. Some popular incubator programs include Y Combinator, TechStars and Excelerate Labs.


Fail and fail fast – good rule for tech co’s and incubators


Patents and IP plus legal battles


Need capital and investors to fund incubators at Universities

City and University – community, mentors group advisors, workforce


Tier 2 company- grow companies

Build $28K accelerator


Open Book Accounting – run like any business with expenses and revenue, looking to be a viable company developing products or be shut down

Build team – invest in teams

Board different at each funding stage: 2-3 years

3-5 years to get incubators


CEI – Gateway Community College

Incubator seed spot

UA – tech park

Mining –


Life Science and Bio Tech – FDA, regulations, legal


Jim Goulka – ATI and Desert Angels. Canyon Angels

ATI sidecar fund – White Hat Investor – Sept/Oct. Bio-science week.


AZ Bio – State Biotech Flagstaff, Tucson

Flinn Foundation – Bio Science road map

Dr. Flinn – philapothry and grant, scholarship


Policy -  R&D tax credit – Angel Investing Credit

35% tax credit for Life Science investment.

Low reg and low taxes in AZ, so tech industry has been growing with state help

Entrepreneurial eco system

Big University and community college (labtechs)


Collaborative gene –

Hill Labs board at ASU, help students in sciences and health types of tech

Taproots – company using AI treat Alzheimer’s


AZ Bio – students talking research and tech, internships

Edison Program ASU funds students

#1 reason startup leaves because of funding

AZ Advances – Evergreen Fund


Prep before you present

CEI will help prep





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Business Roundtable with Matt Battaglia

The show where EntrepreneursHigh Level Executives, Business Owners, and Investors come to share insight and ideas about the future of businessBRT 2.0 looks at the new trends in business, and how classic industries are evolving

Common Topics Discussed: Business, Entrepreneurship, Investing, Stocks, Cannabis, Tech, Blockchain / Crypto, Real Estate, Legal, Sales, Charity, and more… 

BRT Podcast Home Page:

‘Best Of’ BRT Podcast: Click Here

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this program are those of the Hosts, Guests and Speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities they represent (or affiliates, members, managers, employees or partners), or any Station, Podcast Platform, Website or Social Media that this show may air on. All information provided is for educational and entertainment purposes. Nothing said on this program should be considered advice or recommendations in: business, legal, real estate, crypto, tax accounting, investment, etc. Always seek the advice of a professional in all business ventures, including but not limited to: investments, tax, loans, legal, accounting, real estate, crypto, contracts, sales, marketing, other business arrangements, etc.