AZ Entrepreneurship Conf to Feature Brian Solis

By Linda VandeVrede on September 30th, 2010 In Professional Development

The AZ Entrepreneurship Conference this year includes PR thought leader Brian Solis as one of the featured speakers.   Since he is rarely in Phoenix, mark your calendar for Wed., November 17th and be sure to attend this event.  He’ll be talking about “Engagement as Customer Service,” based on the concepts laid out in his book, “Engage:  The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success in the New Web.” Read more at the Valley PR Blog

OTEF Launches New Website

Phoenix Arizona

OTEF, the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation today announced the launch of its new and improved website at

The non-profit, which collaborates  with other community organizations to provide at-risk populations with a path to economic self sufficiency through entrepreneurship offers  educational programs, mentoring and support to individuals who have  been side tracked by past actions, personal challenges, or the economy.

“Hundreds of Arizona entrepreneurs have participated in OTEF programs without ever knowing it” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, OTEF’s chairman of the board. “Each year entrepreneurs come from across Arizona and across North America to connect, engage, share ideas, and build their businesses. What they may not realize is that as they do, they are also supporting OTEF’s mission to help others since all of the proceeds from the conference support OTEF’s work in the community throughout the year.”

This year’s full-day conference, AZEC10 (  will be held at the Desert Willow Conference Center on Phoenix, Arizona on November 17, 2010.  Early registration discounts are currently in effect until October 15th.

The conference’s theme is  “The Great Reset” and will connect the  300+ attendees  together local entrepreneurs and ceos who will  share their stories as well as national thought leaders including Dave McClure, Jeremiah Oywang, Brian Solis, Kathy Kolbe, and Sharon Lechter.

Getting ready for the conference  inspired the OTEF team internally to hit their own reset button and when the screen refreshed, the new appeared.

OTEF hits the Reset Button with AZEC10

Phoenix, Arizona

September 25, 2010

OTEF, The Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation, is again hosting Arizona’s Annual entrepreneurship conference to support the organization’s mission of  providing training and support to help at-risk youth and adults improve their lives by creating and growing entrepreneurial ventures.

This year’s conference, AZEC10 – The Fifth Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference, will focus on what new entrepreneurs and established business owners alike can do to hit the ‘reset’ button in their businesses and get things growing again.

The full day conference will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at the Desert Willow Conference Center in Phoenix from 8 AM to 7 PM.

Combining national thought leaders and local CEOs in a forum for best practices, networking, and collaboration has been a hallmark of the conference since its inception in 2006 and this year’s conference is no exception with an all star line up including Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Dave McClure, Technology Analyst Jeremiah Owyang, marketing and online media expert Brain Solis, Flowtown founder Ethan Bloch combined with local leaders from Callaman Ventures, Arizona Angels, Beanstalk CFO, Infusionsoft, Kolbe Corp, EcoEdge,, Pay Your Family First, BrainSavers, Gangplank, and Pillsbury Winery.

Early Registration Discounts (though October 17th) and tickets are available on the conference website at  Members of the community may also elect to Sponsor a Student or support  OTEF and AZEC10 through donations and sponsorships.

“AZEC10 and OTEF’s efforts would not be possible without the ongoing support of our community” stated OTEF Chairman Joan Koerber-Walker. “We are deeply grateful to all of this year’s speakers for their willingness to share  their experiences and ideas and to our conference sponsors: the Business Journal Phoenix, Infusionsoft, Stealthmode Partners, Gangplank, AZIPA, Metro Studios, RynoWeb,, and Deru Internet Services along with the  many community partners who lend their support year after year.”

For more information contact:

Francine Hardaway, OTEF Executive Director, 602.412.3315

Joan Koerber-Walker, OTEF Chairman of the Board, 602.456.9636

Grow VC Interview with Francine Hardaway showcases OTEF and AZEC10



On September 3, 2010,  OTEF executive director and co-founder Francine Hardaway was interviewed on the popular GrowVC blog.  In this interview she shares OTEF’s story and gives a seak peek at what you might find this year at the Fifth Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference.

To read the recap and listen to the podcast – click here

Bright Enterprising Ideas at AZEC09 Show Rise in Sales, Employment

AZEC09 in the News:  via Tech News Arizona

By Tom Gibbons
Special Business Correspondent to TNAZ


AZWebcasting sent out the AZEC09 live online from the conference’s Desert Willow Conference Center site.
Credit: AZWebcasting

Dixon Golf makes a ball that is biodegradable, and the company says it performs as well as conventional golf balls.

The eco-friendly ball does not defy gravity. But the company is defying it — at least for now.

The Mesa-based company was one four companies chosen to speak on sustaining growth in a recession at the recent Arizona Entrepreneurs Conference – AZEC09 — in Phoenix. The four firms were averaging more than 70 percent sales growth over the past year.

For start-ups and young companies and the people who invest in them, the current recession presents challenges — and opportunities.

Entrepreneurs have the time, the talent is available and cheap, and the price is of investing is more likely to be reasonable.

These companies — DreamSpan, a developer natural health supplements in Phoenix, MxSecure, a medical transcription service in Scottsdale, Synergy Homecare of the East Valley, a provider residential non-medical care, and Dixon — are bright spots in sea of economic gloom. Read More…

Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference to become more tech-oriented

From the Business Journal Phoenix

by Lynn Ducey

Although it is months away, organizers are gearing up for the Third Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference, featuring software developer Matt Mullenweg as the keynote speaker.

The technology entrepreneur is a founding developer of WordPress, a blogging software tool and platform used by thousands on the Internet.

“What Matt did is use social media to create a business. Today, WordPress has had over 900,000 downloads,” said Joan Koerber-Walker, chairwoman of the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation, the nonprofit putting on the event.

“This is really a great thing for us to have him here,” said Francine Hardaway, founder of Stealthmode Partners in Phoenix and a member of the foundation.

While details still are being worked out, organizers aim to add more tech-oriented facets to this year’s program.

“One of my goals in starting these conferences is to bring people from Silicon Valley (California) to Phoenix so they can see what’s going on here,” Hardaway said.

In addition to Mullenweg, the event will feature Bill Rinehart, co-founder of Limelight Networks, a Tempe-based content delivery network; and Howard Lindzon, founder of startup video blog Wallstrip.

Read more: Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference to become more tech-oriented – Phoenix Business Journal

Co-founder of Macromedia to Address Entrepreneurship Conference

Nov.8 Conference helps anyone in or contemplating an entrepreneurial venture

Phoenix, AZ – (October 11, 2007) – Businesses and entrepreneurs looking for funding, talent, real estate plays for the future, green initiatives or innovative ideas will find them all at The Second Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship conference November 8 at the Phoenix Airport Marriott. The day-long event will connect participants with local and national entrepreneurs and investors.

While Arizona will never be Silicon Valley, this conference is designed to connect the two and help entrepreneurs here build their businesses,” said Francine Hardaway, organizer of the event.

Keynote speakers include a collection of heavyweights sharing their in-the-trenches experiences in building, funding and selling their companies.

Keynote Speakers:
Pat Sullivan, the founder of ACT! and SalesLogix, currently Chairman of Jigsaw Health and an active angel
Michael Gerber, Best Selling Author of “The E-Myth”
Marc Canter, co-founder of Macromedia and CEO of Broadband Mechanics
Dan Morrison, Co-Founder and CEO, ITtoolbox

Full Conference will Include:
• Access to Capital in Arizona
• Exit Strategies by IPO or Acquisition, featuring the CEOs of Limelight Networks and Zenter (acquired this year by Google)
• Recruiting and Keeping Talent in an Era of Free Agents
• Real Estate 2.0 – Technology Changes Ahead for Arizona’s Major Industry
• Green in the Desert
• Women as Entrepreneurs: Some Surprises About How Successful They Are, and in Which Industries
• The Process of Innovation: How You and Your Company Can Innovate Better
• Social Entrepreneurship: Making Money and Making a Difference
• Social Media Connection: An open invitation to Arizona Social Media Mavens to Come and Meet-up

Conference details:

Location: Phoenix Airport Marriott Hotel
7:30am to 4:30pm — Keynotes and panels
4:30 to 6:30pm — Networking reception

Registration includes lunch and a continental breakfast:

Early-bird registration until Oct. 15: $99

After Oct 16: $125

The First Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference [photos | video] was held in Fall 2006 and was standing-room only.


Arizona Corporate Broadcast Center

Arizona Small Business Association

Business Journal of Phoenix

City of Tempe Economic Development Department

Deru Internet Services


Gitenstein & Assadi Public Relations


Sacks Public Relations

Stealthmode Partners

Swartz and Associates

Community Partners

Essential Event Technologies

Arizona Internet Professionals Association

Arizona Small Business Association

Arizona Technology Council

Club Entrepreneur

Social Media Club Phoenix

TIE Arizona