Phoenix Events & Groups For Entrepreneurs
Article rom NewAvenue.com by GREG HEAD
In the last two years, there have been a growing number of new organizations and events that provide education, ideas and connections to Phoenix entrepreneurs. If you haven’t visited these groups lately, you’ll be surprised how many local leaders, nationally-known experts and talented specialists show up to these events to network and share ideas.
Whether you are a seasoned technology leader or a startup newbie, there are a variety of well-run groups that have plenty to offer. Here’s a list of the best local organizations and events that support Phoenix tech entrepreneurs.
TiE Arizona is the local chapter of TiE, the largest global association of technology entrepreneurs. Useful monthly meetings with networking and interactive sessions on venture funding, growth issues and CEO success stories. Local TiE Charter members (experienced, successful leaders) also help with mentoring and connections for budding entrepreneurs. http://www.az.tie.org
AZ Tech Council
The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s largest technology trade association that connects local technology executives, provides monthly educational forums and represents Arizona tech companies in public policy initiatives. http://www.aztechcouncil.org
MIT Enterprise Forum
The MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix is a chapter within MIT Enterprise Forum, a global organization that promotes entrepreneurial networking, inspiration and education. They bring local, national and even global leaders together throughout the year to discuss real issues and hear success stories. http://www.mitefphoenix.org
Arizona International Growth Group (AZIGG)
AZIGG hosts monthly events with local experts who provide information and resources to Arizona-based business owners as they look to grow internationally. These are effective discussions that appeal to local leaders in medium or large companies in many industries. http://www.azigg.com
Invest Southwest is a popular annual capital conference in Scottsdale that connects local Arizona ventures with knowledgeable angel and VC investors. The annual event each December features investor presentations by 8-10 entrepreneurs, networking, and nationally-known keynote speakers. http://www.investsouthwest.org
AZ Entrepreneurship Conference
The AZ Entrepreneurship Conference is an annual event for the Phoenix entrepreneurial community, hosted by Valley startup maven Francine Hardaway. The full-day event is held every November and includes nationally known speakers and local expert panelists. Great networking, too. http://www.azentrepreneurship.com
For the younger, web-savvy tech entrepreneur, Gangplank in Chandler is a great place to get work done, network with other startup junkies, learn from tech and social media experts, and get connected to people who can help market or build out your idea. http://www.gangplankhq.com
FastTrack is a practical education program that provides existing and aspiring entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills they need to grow their businesses. Delivered by experienced entrepreneurs, FastTrack is sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation supporting business enterprise. http://www.fasttrac.org
Local business executive networking group that meets monthly to hear from speakers on funding, growth and other business issues. http://www.enterprisenetworkaz.ning.com
ASU Technopolis offers several intensive entrepreneurship programs including one-one coaching, an eight week “Launch Pad” course, workshops, and mentoring programs. The program operates within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs at Arizona State University. http://www.asutechnopolis.org
Women in Technology International (WITI)
Phoenix WITI is the local chapter of the global WITI networking and career advancement group for women in leadership roles in science and technology businesses. Local events cover career development, networking and technical topics. http://www.witi.com/phoenix
Association for Corporate Growth (ACG)
ACG is global association for the professional financial community. Monthly meetings and events include topics on corporate growth, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions. http://www.chapters.acg.org/arizona
The Phoenix chapter of SCORE is a group of experienced businesspeople who advise small business owners on all aspects of running and growing a small business. SCORE counselors volunteer their experience and knowledge to help small business owners in a variety of industries. http://www.scorephoenix.org
For CEOs, owners and C-level executives, Vistage (formerly called “TEC”) is a peer group and coaching organization that allows leaders to share and learn from other entrepreneurs in a confidential group setting an and experienced facilitator. http://www.vistage.com
Angel Investor Groups in Arizona
There are several angel investor groups that hold regular meetings to hear pitches from selected Arizona entrepreneurs, including ATIF and Arizona Angels. Learn more here.
Ironically, I believe the recent growth in events and organizations is fueled by the explosion of social media conversations and information on the Web. At some point, people just need to have face to face conversations and hear the stories firsthand.