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The Origins of TENWEST

Updated: Oct 3, 2023



TENWEST's First 3 Years


As TENWEST 2023 approaches we’re excited to announce more speakers, sessions, and experiences. Looking back, TENWEST has come a long way and the first three years of the festival really laid the foundation for the mission and drive of TENWEST to this day.


The first year of TENWEST Impact Fest was in 2015 and was originally called 10West. Participants experienced, for the first time, Tucson’s intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, and the creative arts. It was embraced by all corners of the community – the City of Tucson, the University of Arizona, business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, creatives, and, of course, the budding entrepreneurs, inventors, and future leaders of southern Arizona. In 2015, we hosted:

  • Over 3300 attendees to sessions and partner events

  • 18 unique events and experiences

  • 90 learning sessions

  • Toole Art Walk, Envision Tucson Sustainability Festival, Daft Punk Tribute and More!

  • The 19th Annual IdeaFunding with $10,000 of prize money won by Tucson Entrepreneurs

The second year of TENWEST was even better than the first! The energy of the performances, the expertise of the speakers, and the creativity of the attendees really shone through in every event, presentation, and experience. In 2016, we hosted:

  • Over 5,600 attendees to sessions and partner events

  • 90+ Experts Leading Sessions

  • TEDx Tucson

  • Film Fest Tucson, Planets on the Big Screen with Tucson Orchestra, TENWEST Community Capstone, Flash mobs, and more!

In 2017, we felt the excitement and commitment build into our third year of TENWEST! TENWEST in 2017 really created a platform for participants to teach, learn, network, and develop relationships that broadened access to the resources that will encourage success in all their diverse endeavors. In 2017 we hosted:

  • 60+ Unique talks, workshops, and panels

  • FUSE- Local Music and Makers Block Party!

  • 1414 conference registrants - 65% increase!

  • Over 3,200 attendants at 10 unique partner events

  • Social Impact Pitch Competition with $30,000 won in prizes

  • McGuire Social Impact Summit, Tucson Improv Movements Show, Inaugural Film and Television Desert Pitch Competition, a performance by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and so much more.

In 2017, we had more pitches than ever before. The creativity, energy, and passion of creators from all sectors were inspiring. We’re excited to see what TENWEST 2023 has in store for us!


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