Providing Skills, Support, Sustainability


The Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation was started by Francine Hardaway in 2005 to address the challenges faced by at-risk populations by providing a pathway to economic self sufficiency through education and  entrepreneurship.

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 Making a Difference

In our early years,  OTEF funding came through our 8 statewide entrepreneurship conferences. With the proceeds, we helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and several non-profit partners start businesses.
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Planned Programs – 2019

OTEF Entrepreneurship Support Programs

  • Women Entrepreneurs Happy Hour 
  • Women funding initiative 
  • Scottsdale Small Business Series 

OTEF/D3Bio  Programs Support Bioscience Education and Entrepreneurship

  • Student Discovery Zones

Student Discovery Zones showcase the work of Arizona’s student researchers and help them connect to internship opportunities with industry and our entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Over 850 Arizona Students have participated in these programs since they began in 2011.  The Student Discovery Zone Program is made possible thanks  to donations from the Millon Family and Dignity Health.  To learn more about this  and other OTEF/D3Bio programs, please visit


OTEF and AZBio are working together to establish AZAdvances to support at-risk populations in the area of health.   AZAdvances is designed to provide grants to non-profit organizations that support the life science entrepreneurial ecosystem and mission related investments in early-stage life science companies who are working to develop services, treatments and cures that benefit people facing health risks and challenges. AZBio is administering the 3-year,  $300K RIS-Seed Fund Support Grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Authority (EDA) which provides infrastructure support for this statewide development effort.

Click here to contact our Executive Director

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OTEF’s strength comes from the many great partners, volunteers and sponsors who make our programs possible.  Our thanks go out to the LaNelle Robson Foundation for their generous gifts in 2016 and 2017 and to all of the community members who have supported OTEF’s mission:

Amanda Vega PR, Angel Capital Education Foundation, Anil Jain, Annie Loyd, Arizona Small Business Association, Arizona Angels, Arizona Department of Commerce, Arizona Internet Professionals Association, APS, Arizona Republic, Arizona State University, Arizona Technology Council, AZ Webcasting, Barbara Daniels, Blackerby Associates, Brain Savers, Brent Richardson, Business Journal of Phoenix, Callaman Ventures, Chris Heuer, Chris Pirillo, City of Mesa, City of Tempe Economic Development Department, City Of Phoenix, Clay Stubblefield, Club Entrepreneur, CorePurpose, Dave Cooke, Dave Lee, Dave McClure,Deru Internet Services, Dan Morrison, Dignity Health,  Dixon Golf, Don Henninger, Ed Nusbaum, EmpowHer, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Ephibian, Essential Event Technologies, Faith Weese, FlyPaper, Flowtown, Francine Hardaway, Funding Universe, Gitenstein & Assadi Public Relations, Infusionsoft, ,Gangplank, Henry G. Miller,  Howard Lindzon, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grand Canyon University, Grid7, Ignite Phoenix, International Research Center , Jigsaw Health, Joan Koerber-Walker, Kathy Sacks, Kauffman Foundation, KFNN, KTAR, LaNelle Robson Foundation, Linda VandeVrede, Lisa Ellis, Lon Safko, Lynn Paige, Marianne Hudson, Maryanne Weiss, Marc Canter, Maricopa Chamber of Commerce, Mark Goldstein, Mark Suster, Matt Mullenweg, McMinn HR, Merlin Ward, Metro Studios, Michael Gerber, Mike Hawksworth,  Michelle Hanna, PhD, Michelle Robson, Microsoft, MIT Enterprise Forums, Millon Family, Morris Callaman, MSS Technologies,, Pam Slim, Pat Sullivan,  Patrick Sullivan, Paul E. Bendheim, MD, Paul Sanders, Paula Satow,  Perfect Power, Peter Burns, Peter Thomas, Phillip and Alice  Blackerby, Phil Gordon, Phoenix Innovation Foundation, Pillsbury Wine Company, PodCampAZ, PourMasters, Raleigh Pinskey, RiboMed Biotechnologies, Rick Gibson, Robert Dunaway, Roberto Guerreri, Robert Scoble, Sacks Public Relations, Sam Pillsbury, SCORE, Sherry Azzarella, Shwaag, Snell and Wilmer, Social Media Club Phoenix, SRP, Stealthmode Partners, Steven Groves, Swartz and Associates, Susan Assadi, Tara Hunt, Telesphere, Teri Spencer,, TIE Arizona, U.S. Small Business Administration,William Carey, WordCamp Phoenix

Click here to donate to OTEF