Mesa Summer Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Programs

MeinJuneFor the past two summers, OTEF has offered five-week programs in entrepreneurship skills to residents of West Mesa, Arizona, a neighborhood impacted by an aging population, changing demographics, and light rail construction.

The West Mesa, Arizona neighborhood is now considered a low-income portion of a Phoenix suburb.

To offer our programs, we partner with The West Mesa CDC (WMCDC),  a nonprofit organization incorporated for the purpose of bringing economic and community development activities to West Mesa.  A group of long-time residents petitioned Arizona Public Service (APS) for a grant to attend training and conferences focused on community development and resident initiatives that succeed in creating effective change.

Many of those residents, as well as other neighborhood people, have come to our programs. We have trained people who sell on EBay, people who have small local businesses in the neighborhood, and people who want to start home-based businessesOur programs are received with outright joy by the neighborhood, and people participate in more than one session. In addition to the programs, which we now run as Roundtables, we provide 1:1 counseling over a long period of time. We differ from SCORE or SBDC in that we keep in touch with our participants long after the program ends, and take steps to help assure that they stay in business.

This is the same neighborhood in which we started our very successful Cup o’Karma coffee shop with the Nation Seeds women. Cup o’Karma is still in business after five years!

This summer’s program begins June 2, at 5:30 PM, and neighborhood residents and businesses may register here.

AZEC12 is October 30!

The work of OTEF is almost entirely funded by the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conferences.

The keynote speaker this year is Robert Scoble of Rackspace, renowned tech evangelist, blogger, and champion of entrepreneurs. He will be joined at the conference by Bill Reichert, Managing Partner at Garage Technology Ventures. Local entrepreneurial heavyweights Matthew Pittinsky, CEO of Parchment, Jeff Pruitt (Tallwave), Mark Rukavina (iMemories), Alex Brigham (Corpedia), Clate Mask (Infusionsoft), Jan Ziff (Heckerty), Bart Steiner (Bulbstorm) and many others will also share insights.

And we will bring you the latest updates on Crowdfunding!

The conferences always sell out,  so sign up early and save your spot.

What are we doing? This year, OTEF has begin a series of new initiatives to help disadvantaged entrepreneurs. We worked with the Halle Foundation to help a domestic violence victim ramp up her business.

We are working with a new not-for-profit that teaches art to the autistic, and we are still doing individual counseling and mentoring for disadvantaged would-be entrepreneurs through Gangplank.

New FastTrac programs roll out in AZ this September

The  FastTrac Team has been busy this  summer and is rolling  new programs this September.

Several new entrepreneurship programs are starting this month. Please spread the word to friends and associates who want to start a new business or advance their existing businesses.  (FastTrac Graduates can attend any program below for Free.)

Continue reading

RoadMap to Launch a Rousing Success

This year, OTEF’s entrepreneurship training program was held in conjunction with the City of Chandler and Gangplank, a not-for-profit community collaboration space in downtown Chandler. Entrepreneurs with an idea gathered first at StartupWeekendChandler to collaborate in 54 hours of non-stop idea pitching, team formation, and preliminary planning.

The teams that emerged from StartupWeekendChandler were invited to participate in a Roadmap to Launch program for eight weeks at Gangplank. OTEF conducted that program, and we’re happy to report that the room was full to overflowing all summer long, and about twenty-five attendees participated.

In this program, disadvantaged entrepreneurs from Chandler and environs received the same Lean Startup training given to Silicon Valley’s best and brightest, thanks to the OTEF facilitation team. Continue reading

Entrepreneurs: Get your business growing in 2011

Attention Arizona Entrepreneurs:  Four FastTrac entrepreneur training programs are open for registration at www.arizonaft.com :

Kauffman FastTrac®

Take Charge of Your Business™

What is FastTrac?

FastTrac is a practical, hands-on business development program designed to help entrepreneurs hone the skills needed to create, manage and grow a successful business. As a FastTrac participant, you won’t just learn about business, you’ll live it. You will work on your own business ideas or ventures throughout the course – moving your ventures to new levels of performance. Continue reading

The OPPORTUNITY THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOUNDATION Celebrates the Vital Role Entrepreneurs Play in Innovation, Job Creation and Economic Recovery as a Partner in Global Entrepreneurship Week 2010

OTEF joins more than 650 organizations in the United States to educate and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs

PHOENIX, AZ  (Nov. 11,2010) – This November, young people around the globe will get together to change the world. To celebrate the vital role entrepreneurs play in innovation, job creation and economic recovery, OTEF is participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week on Nov. 16 – 22, 2010 to inspire, connect, mentor and engage young people.

OTEF will hold its major fundraiser, the Fifth Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference, at the Desert Willow Conference Center all day on Nov. 17 as a local kickoff for the week.

Co-founded in 2008 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the United States and Make Your Mark, a business-led government-backed campaign in the United Kingdom, Global Entrepreneurship Week will connect young people through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. Students, educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, non-profit leaders, government officials and others will participate in a host of activities that include virtual and face-to-face events, large-scale competitions and intimate networking gatherings.

In 2010, the Week is estimated to exceed the 3 million people and 8,800 organizations around the globe that participated in the inaugural Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2008. Already, more than 650 organizations in more than 80 countries have signed up.

OTEF’s creator, Stealthmode Partners, has been a partner of the Kauffman Foundation since 2003, offering Fasttrac New Venture, Fasttrac Growth Venture, and Fasttrac Tech Venture programs to educate and mentor entrepreneurs throughout Maricopa County.

“The world knows that entrepreneurship is the key to economic recovery, and the next generation of innovators holds that key,” said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. “Now more than ever, we need to unleash the creativity and ingenuity of our youth by engaging them in the endless possibilities of entrepreneurship.”

Arizona has a vibrant entrepreneurial community whose bright stars are busy changing the world and growing their companies, bootstrapping, borrowing, begging — as entrepreneurs do in good times and bad. Each year, the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference highlights local companies and invites some out-of-towners to see what we’re doing.

This year, it will highlight four entrepreneurial growth segments.

Sponsors include:   Phoenix Business Journal, Ernst and Young, Infusionsoft, Osborn Maledon, Mashable, Metro Studios, Snell and Wilmer, Barnes and Noble,  Stealthmode Partners, Gangplank, Kolbe Corp, Pay Your Family First,  and many more local businesses and community organizations. To see the full listing visit www.AZEC10.com.

Registration for the conference is at http://www.azec10.com/.  Follow us on Twitter at @azentrepreneurs.

About OTEF

The Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation (OTEF) provides training and support to help at-risk youth and adults improve their lives by creating and growing entrepreneurial ventures.

Contact:FRANCINE HARDAWAY816.974.8836francine@azentrepreneurship.com, @azentrepreneurs