I’m knee-deep in the planning of the Third Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference, to be held Nov. 19th in Phoenix. The conference does three things: 1) Provide high quality content about starting and growing a “gazelle” business to entrepreneurs; 2) raise money for my foundation, the Opportunity for Entrepreneurship Foundation, which trains disadvantaged populations in entrepreneurship skills; and 3) show people from outside the Valley of the Sun that we’re more than golf and retirement.
Every year, although I keep a framework adopted from the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurial education programs (Stealthmode provides them in metro Phoenix), I try to make the content totally new. This means I’m constantly going outside my Rolodex, which I used for the first conference, and trying to listen to the customer and give him/her what she asks for.
This year, we are having Chris Brogan on Social Media best practices for marketing, Bill Reichert of Garage Technology Ventures on early stage funding, Matt Mullenweg talking about youthful entrepreneurship (he started WordPress as a mere child and a slew of local talent with success stories and pointers.
This is SUCH a big job, especially since I am a lousy manager and delegater, and seem to wind up doing everything myself except the logistics (of which I am incapable). But I truly believe that, even though social media goes a long way to connecting the world’s dots, it’s really fun to bring people together to share ideas and information once in a while.