Building community the old-fashioned way…
When the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation (OTEF) got its start in 2005, the founders addressed a question that every entrepreneur must face –
“Where will the money come from?”
We need support from our community, but how would we get them involved? The answer was to engage our entrepreneurial community and encourage them to get involved by offering a place to connect filled with educational content by and for entrepreneurs. With that, AZEC was born.
The first conference in 2006 began a series of conference which were held each November during Entrepreneirship Week.
The Arizona Entrepreneurial Conferences have:
- fully funded OTEF’s programs in the community for the period from 2006 – 2013.
- allowed over 200 local CEOS to share their experiences
- brought nationally acclaimed keynote speakers to the stage including Michael Gerber, Robert Scoble, Chris Heuer, Chris Pirillo, Gary Vee, Howard Lindzon, Kevin Surace, Matt Mullinweg, Michelle Robson, Tara Hunt, Pam Slim, Pat Sullivan, and many more.
- given local companies and organizations the opportunity to exhibit their products and services
- been the place where a new company has officially launched each year.
- connected thousands of Arizona Entrepreneurs.
AZEC06 was the first conference in Arizona to recognize the important role that entrepreneurship plays in our community and our economy. Each year the annual conference brought the community together to both connect and collaborate. As the community has grown, incubators, partner organizations and other groups have added a wealth of educational and networking resources to the equation. Seeing that the original gap has now been filled, OTEF’s leadership team declared “mission accomplished” and discontinued the program after AZEC13.