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Business Owners Get Ready For Entrepreneurs Conference

College of the Canyons will play host

Community members interested in either starting or expanding their own business or learning from those who have already achieved business world success are being invited to the second annual Dream and Discover Entrepreneurs Conference hosted by College of the Canyons.

The conference will feature an accomplished panel of speakers, including award-winning photographer and entrepreneur Steve Uzzell as the event’s closing keynote speaker.

This year’s conference will take place Tuesday October 2, 2007 from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.

"The Dream and Discover Entrepreneur Conference will provide timely information to entrepreneurs and small business owners in Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas," said Peter Bellas, Director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies at College of the Canyons. "It will be equally valuable to entrepreneurs who have a great idea involving technology as well as those small business owners and entrepreneurs in the retail or service sector."

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at College of the Canyons serves a 2,838 square mile service area, which includes the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and Antelope Valleys. Since opening its doors in January 2006 the SBDC has assisted more than 2,500 individuals with free consultation services and low-cost business training.

Last year’s conference provided tips to more than 200 small business owners and budding entrepreneurs about business marketing methods and how to better plan for business growth and access capital, while also discussing the various challenges associated with starting a new business.

”This event is extremely important in the continuing economic development of our community," COC Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook said. "It will prove valuable to entrepreneurs and small business owners alike, and will no doubt help them turn their ideas into new ventures."

As this year’s keynote speaker, Uzzell will use samples of his work to present conference attendees with a lesson on how to remain open to unexpected business solutions, while also stressing the importance of preparation and groundwork in order for magic to happen.

Now one of the top advertising and corporate photographers in the country, Uzzell got started in the photography business 35 years ago as an assistant to the editor of National Geographic and a member of their photography staff. He now shoots for a roster of clients including airlines, automobile manufacturers and various travel and fashion magazines.

Joining Uzell at the conference will be Rohit Shukla, founder and CEO of the Larta Institute a professional services firm providing entrepreneur training, commercialization and technology transfer services to its clients and Kevin Malone, co-owner of Mercedes Benz of Valencia and former executive vice president and general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Shukla will present an action plan for entrepreneurial success in today’s global markets while also examining knowledge flows, the process of achieving entrepreneurship as a team and the U.S. market as the launching pad for building an effective global presence.

Malone’s presentation will discuss what it was like working for a big organization versus what it is like working for himself, while also touching on the role of vision, teamwork and planning in the business world.

In addition, a three-member investment panel made up of Nia Stefany, founder and managing partner of Xnergy, Al Schneider, vice chairman of Pasadena Angels, and Matt Ridenour, managing director of Momentum Venture Management, will try to raise the awareness of entrepreneurs about available capital possibilities and the financial needs in a business’ startup and growth stages.

"Small businesses are the economic engine for business growth in our region and the SBDC is committed to providing more resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the area," said Paul De La Cerda, SBDC director and chair of the event. "The conference will continue to help small business owners and entrepreneurs learn how to build their business and reach their financial goals."

Ticket prices for the event, which include a continental breakfast, are $39 if purchased in advance, $49 at the door, or $15 with a valid student ID.

Immediately following this year’s conference the college will host SpeedBIZ an interactive information session featuring eight SBDC professional business consultants and representatives from Citibank and Poole & Shaffery, LLP from 12:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. The cost to attend SpeedBIZ, which includes lunch, is an additional $20.

The 2007 Entrepreneurs Conference is being organized by the College of the Canyon's Economic Development Division which includes the Small Business Development Center, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, Employee Training Institute, and the i3 Advanced Technology Incubator.

Business Owners Get Ready For Entrepreneurs Conference

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