Four Bold, Informative and Inspiring Talks Every Phoenix Entrepreneur Should See


For most entrepreneurs, there is nothing better than having the opportunity to learn directly from those who have chased a similar path. They are among the few who have the insight, experience and empathy for those innovators launching startup companies. Here are three of our favorites, all from Phoenix entrepreneurs who have been there, done that, and have some nuggets of wisdom to share.

“Journey of a Dream”
Courtney Klein
Women in Leadership Summit, 2013

Categorize this under the “inspirational” category because if you ever needed to identify - and more importantly nurture - your personal and professional purpose through the ups and downs of life, then this is for you. Courtney shares how she found her “raspberry seed” through the founding of New Global Citizens and subsequently Seed Spot, the latter where she helps other entrepreneurs realize their dreams of changing the world. One of the gems from her speech: “Don’t doubt yourself, there are plenty of people who will do that for you…”

“Customer Discovery and Validation”
Hart Shafer
Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, 2015

There is no person who can better communicate the importance and the process by which a startup should validate its customer and market than Hart Shafer. An Adobe consultant and founder of his own company, Theraspecs, Hart takes you through the best ways to engage customers early on in the company lifecycle and how to identify the biases and assumptions that might inhibit your efforts. I've personally seen 3 or 4 different versions of this presentation, and Hart never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

“Lessons Learned Building 3 Software Companies”
Hamid Shojaee
AZ Tech Beat Bus Tour, 2015

As the founder of one of Arizona’s top tech companies, Axosoft, Hamid Shojaee certainly has the street cred to his name that makes his experiences worthy of an audience. In this highly-tactical talk, he addresses some of the biggest misconceptions and opportunities related to building a software startup. There’s plenty of tidbits for non-software entrepreneurs too, which elevates this one to a must-watch video.

“How to Stand Out”
Pat Sullivan
Free Lunch Friday, 2013

Pat Sullivan presentations are almost always some of the most entertaining that you can find, no matter what the topic is. In this refreshing session from 2013, Pat discusses how he successfully positioned his companies to excel in competitive markets and how any entrepreneur can survive through it all. One of the best takeaways is the need for innovators to be flexible and adapt, or as he puts it, “you got to be able to sing and dance…”

Greg BullockComment