CSU, Chico News

eWeek Attracts Successful Entrepreneurs to Campus April 20-24

Date: 03-26-2015

Peter Straus, Director
Center for Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial-Focused Events Planned throughout April

California State University, Chico’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) has released its schedule for the upcoming eWeek, to be held April 20-24 on the CSU, Chico campus. The event has become so successful organizers have planned activities throughout the month of April.

“This is our fifth consecutive year hosting eWeek and it’s bigger and better than ever,” said CEF Director Peter Straus. “Over the course of the month there will be 24 speakers—our most ever. We’ve assembled an impressive list of successful entrepreneurs in both the business and social sphere ready to deliver their messages of, ‘This is how we did it, now it’s your turn to make your mark.’ We welcome the business community, entrepreneurs outside the University and students to join us for all of the events.”

The highlight of the month will be the Northern California Business Concept Competition, a four-school contest on Friday, April 24. Contestants from CSU, Chico and Humboldt, Sacramento and Sonoma state universities will present their business ideas to a highly experienced panel of judges including Debra Cannon, Lulu’s.com; Scott Bedford, Peninsula Capital; Cedar Reuben, Humboldt Investment Capital; and Marc Nemanic, 3Core. Cash prizes, including a month at BootUp Academy in Palo Alto worth $6,500, will be awarded to winners. The event is from 4 to 7 p.m. in Selvester’s Café.

The eMonth starts in earnest on Wednesday, April 8, when Christian Friedland, CEO of Build.com, addresses the CSU, Chico entrepreneurship club at 6 p.m. in the Bell Memorial Union auditorium. The next day on April 9, Maurice Gallagher, CEO of the upstart airline Allegiant Air, will be on campus throughout day and will give a talk at 7 p.m. in Ayers Hall, Room 106.

Highlights of eWeek itself include a keynote address on Monday, April 20, by Sacramento-based Christian Hendricks, vice president for interactive media at the McClatchy Company, a leading publishing firm. That event takes place at 7 p.m. in Colusa Hall.

Evening events on Tuesday, April 21, feature two of Chico’s leading social entrepreneurs. Alexa Benson-Valavanis, CEO of the North Valley Community Foundation, will introduce Matt York, founder of One Mobile Projector Per Trainer (OMPT) and Chico-based VideoMaker. York will recount his recent trip to West Africa to help combat the spread of the Ebola virus. The event begins at 7 p.m. in Colusa Hall.

On Wednesday, April 22, attendees will enjoy a screening of the award-winning film “Something Ventured” tracing the early days of venture capitalism in Silicon Valley. The film will be introduced by Bob Bozeman of East Lake Ventures and the 530 Fund. The screening will begin at 7 p.m. in Colusa Hall.

Thursday, April 23, will feature a talk by Kathryn Schifferle, CEO of Work Truck Solution, a startup that works directly with Ford and GM dealers around the country in an ambitious gambit to change the face of the work truck industry. Schifferle will give a rare insider’s view of what goes into getting a venture off the ground. The talk begins at 7 p.m. in Holt Hall 170.

Finally, Thursday, April 30, will cap off an incredible month with the “Professor for a Day” celebration throughout the College of Business. Fourteen successful and illustrious business alums will return to campus teach classes and consult. Among them are Friedland; Andrew Gazdecki, a former winner of CSU, Chico’s Business Concept Competition and CEO of Bizness Apps.com; and Crystal Estes, CFO at 11Main.com. For a complete list of all the visitors, please visit the College of Business website.

The Center for Entrepreneurship on the CSU, Chico campus is dedicated to keeping the same entrepreneurial spirit alive that founded the City of Chico in 1860. The center strives to connect students with the community and a wide range of entrepreneurs from around the country. Learn more by visiting www.csuchico.edu/cfe or calling 530.898.4835.