What is OTEF?

You’ve probably heard of AZAdvances, but do you know about OTEF?   The Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation (OTEF) is the the 501c3 public charity that houses AZAdvances.

 OTEF, the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation, educates and invests in people and organizations that create hope. OTEF is a grass roots organization that provides entrepreneurial education, mentoring and support to individuals and organizations. Its programs focus in three areas, Small Business Mentoring; Creating Opportunities for Students; and Supporting the Discovery and Development of Health Innovations. OTEF achieves its goals through direct programming, grants, and mission related investments.

OTEF has supported Arizona entrepreneurs and at-risk populations since 2005. OTEF was a catalyst in the Arizona entrepreneurial community, hosting the state’s first large scale social media conference and the annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conferences (AZEC)  from 2006 to 2014. These conferences provided funding for OTEF’s work with  community organizations including ASBA, SARRC, SEEDs, SySTEM School, Tumbleweeds Youth Centers, and others.

OTEF AZGives Day with QR code

April 2, 2024 is AZ Gives Day.  You can help make a difference for our students here.

Beginning in 2011, OTEF became AZBio’s partner in the Student Discovery Zone. This popular program has provided over 1,400 Arizona high school and university students to showcase their work and make valuable connections with industry. 

In 2019, AZBio needed a 501c3 public charity partner for a new program designed to  increase Arizona’s STEM workforce and provide higher levels of entrepreneurial support to our emerging life science companies.  The OTEF Board of Directors recognized the value of the plan and agreed to host the new program as part of OTEF. The result is AZAdvances. 

Today, the Student Discovery Zone program is a key component for the AZAdvances Talent program.

AZAdvances works with Arizona researchers and early-stage companies to develop discoveries and advance health innovations by providing mentoring, support, and the seed funding that is needed to accelerate the process while our AZAdvances Talent program creates opportunities for Arizona students to explore careers in this exciting and rewarding field. 

In 2022, OTEF was selected by the State of Arizona to be the Arizona nonprofit  that will deploy distributions from the Arizona Health Innovation Trust Fund to support our entrepreneurs and to develop our future life science workforce for many years to come.  The first distributions from the Arizona Health Innovation Trust Fund will begin in 2027.  Currently AZAdvances and the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation (OTEF) are making an impact thanks to support from our community

Learn more at: OTEF.org and AZAdvances.org
Posted in AZBio News.