From Silicon Valley to the Navajo Nation: Change Labs Launches Native American Business Hub in Tuba City

ChangeLabsRendering.jpg

Tuba City, Navajo Nation—With the help of a $1.2 million grant from the W.W. Kellogg Foundation and support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pakis Family Foundation, Silicon Valley veteran Heather Fleming has teamed up with the Grand Canyon Trust’s business incubator to launch Change Labs, a space for Native entrepreneurs and community members to access the infrastructure, expertise, and support they need to build small businesses. Change Labs will occupy 4,000 square feet in Towering Cliff 8, a new development project in Tuba City, Arizona, with a community grand opening ceremony slated for late summer 2019. Member startups will have access to laptops, software, desk and workshop space, printers, a business mailbox, and more. Entrepreneurs can apply for a business incubator program, get help applying for a tax ID number and registering their business with the Navajo Nation, meet with business counselors one-on-one, online or in person, and attend monthly classes in website design, financial planning, and other topics. Services will also be available at scheduled locations via a Change Labs mobile unit.

WHAT: Change Labs launch event, including: Change Labs mobile unit on site, dinner and presentation on what co-working is, and an unveiling of renderings of what the space will look like, followed by a group activities to give the community a chance to help prioritize features and determine fair pricing for access.

WHERE: To'Nanees'Dizi Local Government (formerly the Tuba City Chapter House), 220 Main St, Tuba City, AZ 86045, Navajo Nation

WHEN: Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 6-8pm

WHO: Free and open to the media and the public. RSVP required for dinner: https://westernagency.eventbrite.com

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES

  • Heather Fleming , Executive Director, Change Labs, founder and former CEO of Catapult Design

“During my time in the tech industry, I saw how creativity and great ideas feed off each other in places where people came together to work.  When I started my business in 2008, I couldn’t have done it on Navajo, but now, just a decade later, Change Labs is creating a space where entrepreneurs can get the tools and the expertise they need to thrive.”

  • Jessica Stago, Change Labs Director, Grand Canyon Trust

“Our people are entrepreneurial, but starting a business on Navajo isn’t easy. Most homes on the reservation don’t have internet access, and many don't have physical addresses, so it’s hard to apply for a tax identification number. By providing these things, plus desk space, laptops, classes, and business counseling, we’re helping people overcome the barriers to starting a new business on Navajo. ”

Change Labs Member Startups

  • Carlos Deal, Sushi chef and owner, AlterNativEats

  • Marisa Mike, Fashion designer and owner, Marisa Mike Designs

More info: http://nativestartup.org/

Press Contact: Ashley Davidson, (928) 225-1811



Heather Fleming