AZEC10 News

A Student Entrepreneur Shares His AZEC10 Take-Aways

Audience Experiences from AZEC10

Austin Frogge

Each year at AZEC, members of our entrepreneurial community sponsor student entrepreneurs to connect, engage and learn with seasoned veterans, venture capitalists, angels, and thought leaders.  Joining us this year was Austin Frogge, co-founder of .  One of the “next generation” of entrepreneurs, Austin and his co-founder Boris Fowler started Crayons to Diplomas to start a conversation about fundamental flaws in the education system.  Students have valuable input and feedback that can better universities and schools, and entrepreneurs are well positioned to implement and bring about a necessary change. They describe their purpose like this:


A Man of Many Hats – Rob Dunaway

People you will meet at AZEC10

The Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference, AZEC10, is one of the premiere events for entrepreneurs in the Southwest. On November 17th, at the Desert Willow Conference Center will bring together national thought leaders, local CEOs, and entrepreneurs to share ideas, connect, and engage.

Did you know that AZEC is more than just a conference? It is the primary funding source for OTEF, the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation, an organization that provides entrepreneurial education, mentoring and support to members of our community that are at-risk?  OTEF was founded in 2005 when three friends, Francine Hardaway, Ed Nusbaum, and Rob Dunaway. 


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

Registration for the conference is at  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, @azentrepreneurs


Capital is Key to Growth and Growth Brings Jobs

Effective November 5, 2010, the US Small Business Administration will be adjusting the limits and guidelines as to what defines a “Small Business” for a number of SBA programs including SBA loans, small business set asides for government contracts, and other programs.  Basically “small” just got bigger. This change is designed to make capital and opportunity more accessible to entrepreneurs and small business.  The goal:  help these businesses grow so they can create more jobs.


A message to Arizona’s Entrepreneurial Community from Joan Koerber-Walker, Chairman of OTEF

AZ Ent logoThis year, for the fifth year in a row, Arizona’s entrepreneurial community will be gathering at AZEC10 on November 17, 2010 at the Desert Willow Conference Center in Phoenix, AZ for a day where we will share ideas, engage, and build the kind of connections that help our businesses and community grow. I will be there and I hope that you will join me. (Click herefor more information. )

The theme of this years’ full day conference is The Great Re-set.