Three Arizona-based college students travel around the state to explore the creative and original ways residents are pushing innovation to its limits.
As a child, 19-year-old Anna Mackey traveled with her dad to Arizona’s forgotten towns. She’d step into a whole different world shaped by the stories of the people who lived there.
Nashville, Tennessee native Jonathan Reiss didn’t grow up in the state, but when it came time to choose a college, Arizona just felt right. The freedom of a new, wide-open place helped him focus on what makes him happy.
Shandin Gormin, 18, is looking to the future. She wants to find what it holds for journalism, and for the Navajo Nation where she grew up. Her future, ideally, will combine both.
Follow along as they meet record store owners, engineers, rocketeers, and more, all the while figuring out how they’ll uniquely contribute to Arizona’s culture of innovation themselves. When people think of “startups,” they tend to think of Silicon Valley. But as access to tech education and capital spreads, the barrier to entry for startups across the country has lowered, and as a result, there’s been explosive growth in areas beyond San Francisco. One such area? Arizona, a state whose commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation has attracted tons of new startups, inspiring locals to start calling the state the “Silicon Desert.”
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