Entrepreneurship Resources in the “Wild West” Arizona: Right Here, Right Now

by francine Hardaway on September 14, 2010

One thing about Arizona: it is kind to entrepreneurs if you know how to work it. Here in Arizona, the Kauffman Foundation’s Fasttrac programs for entrepreneurs have taken root and grown in the Phoenix area over the past decade. We have some of Kauffman’s most successful programs, although some people still don’t know they exist!

So here’s the drill. This year, Tempe, Gilbert, Maricopa, and Mesa –four suburbs of Phoenix — are offering incubation/acceleration programs for businesses in their areas, led by Stealthmode Partners, our eleven-year-old accelerator for businesses at any stage that want to grow. You may enroll and meet other resources and businesses in the community and learn how to make your business grow to the next level, or even get off the ground. Yes, we deal in tech businesses, but we also help swimming pool maintenance businesses and financial planners, and anyone who has to survive on his or her own (that’s all of you, whether you know it or not).

The state has had the crap kicked out of it by the media this summer because of the radical/reactionary actions of its state government and Sheriff Joe, and I hid out in the Bay Area with the innovators while this was happening. But I am back with new ideas and the same willingness to lead our entrepreneurial community out of the recession by doing what people have done since the beginning of time–being self-sufficient.

Over the last decade, I have secured funds to make these programs affordable for startups and businesses that can’t afford pricey consulting, and my wide network of volunteer resources who offer their time and talent to mentor each week means that you don’t have to listen just to me, or Ed, or Phil. Most important, you can listen and learn from each other.

If you don’t know what these programs are, they are the network of other founders and CEOs that you always wished Arizona had — the safe place where you can discuss everything from “Will this idea work?” to “How do I get it to market?” to “Why am I having so much trouble getting good work out of my people”? to “How so I make payroll without a bank loan?”

In our programs, we don’t discuss getting seed funding from SuperAngels. We deal in reality. How do you make Stone Soup? How do we all work together to make things happen for ourselves, our families, and our state.

Please spread the word. If you have been in a program, tell your friends. Or come back to visit. I’m not going to keep this funding if I can’t prove the demand. Entrepreneurs of Arizona, come forth and be counted:-)

Gilbert: Growth Venture tonight

Maricopa: New Venture accelerator starts Oct.7

Tempe: Tech Venture starts Monday, 9/20

Mesa: West Mesa Incubator resumes soon

Phoenix: Individual counseling available from Stealthmode by requesting it from Kedrick.Ellison@phoenix.gov, 602.262.6007

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