Over 200 attend event.
Story and photos produced by College of the Canyons for KHTS AM-1220.
College of the
Canyons hosted its third annual “Dream and Discover” Entrepreneurs Conference
on Tuesday, as roughly 250 business-minded community members met to enhance
their knowledge on business topics including planning for growth, utilizing
marketing tools and taking advantage of transition periods.
“The goal we had in mind for this year’s conference was to
have people walk away with some new knowledge, some new business connections
and a feeling of reinvigoration to go out there and take the next step in their
business,” said Paul De La Cerda, Director of the Small
Center at COC, “and I believe we
achieved that goal.”
presentations from nationally acclaimed communication strategist Dr. Pamela
Cox-Otto, and award-winning photographer Steve Uzzell, the event also sought to
provide a creative spark for individuals looking to launch a new business or
other entrepreneurial endeavor.
Highlights of the
day included an opening presentation by Dr. Cox-Otto, which focused on
marketing to multi-generational audiences while discussing how businesses can
more effectively reach various audience groups through the use of specific
Though geared toward
business minded individuals, Cox-Otto — whose personality has drawn comparisons
to that of famed actor/comedian Robin Williams — both entertained and informed
the audience with her own wild sense of humor.
multiple generations is a hot topic, and our audience really responded to it,”
De La Cerda said. “That topic is especially suitable here in Santa Clarita
because we have such a diverse work force in terms of people’s ages and
backgrounds, so it’s important to continue that dialogue.”
As a follow up to
his highly motivational presentation at last year’s conference, award winning
photographer and successful entrepreneur Steve Uzzell again served as the
conference’s closing keynote speaker with his presentation “The Nature of
Sharing slides from
a collection of his photographs taken from around the world, Uzzell provided a
philosophy on the principles of transition while attempting to empower the
audience with a new appreciation for what he feels is the most exciting step in
the creative process — transition.
has, and always will need to get to the other side,” said Uzzell, while
photographs taken of various bridges from around the world appeared behind him.
“So remember curiosity is what gets any successful transition started.”
Later, as majestic
images from golf courses in Scotland and Ireland filled the screen, Uzzell used
the game of golf as a metaphor for the many transitions in daily life. “The
essence of the game is that the only thing you can control is yourself,” said
Uzzell, listing the many factors golfers must consider before each swing. “The
rules of golf are the rules of life.”
Rounding out the
conference’s panel of accomplished presenters was Joe Allison, co-founder and President of Solid Concepts
Inc.; Dan Katz founder and operator of Hollywood Aviators; and Harry Dickinson
of Delta Scientific Corporation.
Later in the
afternoon the Small Business Development Center at
COC and the college’s i3 Advanced Technology Incubator hosted the interactive information session SpeedBIZ. Considered the business version of speed
dating, the 30 SpeedBIZ participants were able to quickly and informally speak
with SBDC business consultants and ask questions before moving on to the next
consultant — thus providing an informative and fun alternative to an in-depth
these are important because you learn so much and make a lot of good contacts
all at the same time,” said De La Cerda, “and that’s what I saw at today’s
2008 “Dream and Discover” Entrepreneurs Conference was put on by the College of
the Canyon's Economic Development Division, which includes the SBDC, Center for
Applied Competitive Technologies, Employee Training Institute, and the i3
Advanced Technology Incubator.
Corporate sponsors for the event include Citi, the
city of Santa Clarita, Southern California Edison, The Entrepreneur’s Source,
Sign-A-Rama, JEDA Enterprises and KHTS.
Other partners include the U.S. Small Business Administration,
California Community College Economic & Workforce Development Department,
city of Los Angeles, city of Palmdale, city of Lancaster, Santa Clarita Valley
Chamber of Commerce, Palmdale and Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce, and
Valley Industrial Association.