Event Date

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 -
8:00am to 5:00pm


Tucson Convention Center
260 S Church Ave
Tucson, AZ 85701

Every October in Tucson, IdeaFunding brings together the best of the Southwestern startup ecosystem for a full day of pitch competitions, panels, discussions, speakers and networking around best practices, key lessons and next steps to launch a company.

The goal of Ideafunding's morning sessions is to look at capital for social and public causes. Afternoon sessions are focused on start-ups and early stage.

The following sessions at Ideafunding are presented by the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. Visit to see the full event schedule.

Morning Sessions

Strategies for Funding and Venturing for Social Impact at Microsoft

Corporate Funding and Venturing for Social Impact at Microsoft Featuring TJ DiCaprio

Gila Room, Tucson Convention Center

8:30 AM Tuesday, October 17

As part of Microsoft’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, Microsoft created a carbon fee that charges internal business units a fee based on their project emissions. By making the cost to achieve carbon neutrality a line item in the operating budgets, business units have a powerful incentive to find lower-carbon alternatives. The funds collected are then invested into efficiency projects, renewable energy, and carbon offset community projects. Join this session featuring Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability at Microsoft to learn how the company fund internal innovation projects and external venture partnerships to achieve their carbon neutrality goals.


The Future of Community Impact Grants

Gila Room, Tucson Convention Center

9:30 AM Tuesday, October 17

Join a cross-sector panel a roundtable discussion with the audience of how corporations and foundations are working on new impact grant strategies in communities across the globe. Discussion will center around recent initiatives, successes, and challenges in current funding models, and how organizations are beginning to shift models and metrics for impact. Panelists will also emphasize how nonprofits and social ventures can better position themselves to receive funding in the future.
Session features:
Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability at Microsoft
Tom Bracy, Director of Urban Education at Conn-Selmer, Inc.
Amanda Kucich, Senior Director of Cradle to Career Partnership, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona
Martha Ostheimer, Assistant Director, of the UA STEM Learning Canter and the Director of Business Development for Teachers in Industry



Connecting Impact Investing Opportunities to Southern Arizona

Impact Investing

Graham Room, Tucson Convention Center

8:30 AM Tuesday, October 17

How can philanthropists and impact investors identify and connect to opportunities and deals that generate a measurable and beneficial social or environmental impact along with a financial return? How do nonprofits and social ventures position their opportunities and prepare their due diligence to meet impact investor expectations? Join this panel for a rich dialogue about how impact investing strategies that can promote social impact. Session features:
Terrance Cheung, Program Manager, Pay for Success, Pima County Administration
Spencer Graves, Program Coordinator, Pay for Success, Pima County Administration
Scott Nance, Head of Business Development at ImpactAssets


Attracting and Deploying Capital for Southern Arizona's Nonprofits and Social Ventures featuring Maura Grogran of the Nonprofit Loan Fund, and Michael McDonald of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona 

Graham Room, Tucson Convention Center

9:30 AM Tuesday, October 17

A consistent challenge for many rural communities and urban core neighborhoods is limited economic opportunity. How can Southern Arizona create more access to capital, philanthropy, and impact investment – especially for those that are underserved? How can the region better promote nonprofit and social venture deals that will attract outside capital? The panel will discuss why Southern Arizona has the ability to better position themselves for impact and growth. Panel features:
Maura Grogan, Loan Fund Director for Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona
Gabriel Gomez, Business Development Officer at Business Development Finance Corporation (BDFC)
Michael McDonald, President and CEO of Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona




1:00 PM Keynote: How to Raise Capital for Your Startup
Manny Fernandez, Co-Founder of DreamFunded

IdeaFunding Keynote Speaker
Manny Fernandez

How can you achieve your dreams by leveraging the internet to attract backers no matter where you live? Whether you are raising capital for a startup or for a social cause, your success is going to be based on merit and on your skill in communicating. In 2015, the Security and Exchange Commission signed off on new regulations under the JOBS Act allowing average investors to buy equity in startups on crowdfunding platforms. To get a sense of how startups stand to benefit from equity crowdfunding and new opportunities such as ICO, blockchain and bitcoin, join us for this keynote session with serial entrepreneur, Silicon Valley Angel Investor, and DreamFunded co-founder, Manny Fernandez. Recently named by Inc. Magazine as one of the 33 entreperneurs to watch in 2016, Manny is an equity crowdfunding thought leader whose platform, DreamFunded, provides pre-screened and proven investment opportunities for investors. Manny will share what entrepreneurs need to know to raise capital from this new crowd of investors.