VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit a Resounding Success

From VT KnowledgeWorks:

The Summit began with the Basics of Successful Entrepreneurship Workshop, led by Jim Flowers, Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, and author of MOXIE and other fundamental entrepreneurial concepts. The inaugural VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit was a resounding success. 135 zealous attendees packed the sold-out venue at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on April 2, 2009.  The Entrepreneurship Summit provided a unique opportunity for three student teams and five ready-to-fund businesses to present before panels of regional business leaders and three of the top angel groups in the United States. 

The Summit began with the Basics of Successful Entrepreneurship Workshop, led by Jim Flowers, Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, and author of MOXIE and other fundamental entrepreneurial concepts. Flowers spoke passionately about the Four Fundamental Factors that drive entrepreneurial success – Moxie, Market, Magic and Mentors.  Two student participants from the audience had the opportunity to present the strategic essence of their new ventures in an elevator pitch demonstration. 

Ken Ray, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for AT&T Advertising Solutions delivered the keynote address – Optimizing Customer Acquisition in a World of Media Fragmentation. Amidst the media challenges of reaching today’s consumers, Ray stressed “while your web site is the engine that drives success, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are what fuels that engine.”

Ken Ray, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for AT&T Advertising Solutions delivered the keynote address. The winning concept from among the 25 student groups who participated in the Student Business Concept Competition was uService.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to promote volunteer opportunities by creating a portal for volunteers, organizations, and sponsors to interact and share resources.  The two other finalist teams were Autonomy, compact tool kits for user-specific environments and FirstStrides™, innovative footwear for toddlers. 

CVG LiveFire!™, moderated by Letitia Green of the Virginia Active Angel Network (VAAN) was a must-see event for prospective investors, as well as entrepreneurs who wanted to understand exactly what investing angel groups look for today.   Panelists from New York Angels, Private Investors Forum and Virginia Active Angel Network listened to presentations from McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds, Inc., ContraVac, Inc., StarChase, LLC, Gladhandle, and Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc.

The event concluded with a networking reception hosted by signature sponsor, the LeClairRyan law firm. It capped off a productive day spent exploring and celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information about the Entrepreneurship Summit or VT KnowledgeWorks program visit www.vtknowledgeworks.com or contact Jim Flowers at 540-443-9100, extension 1. 

LeClairRyan is a law firm that has deep entrepreneurial roots, having originally been founded as a venture capital boutique. With more than 300 attorneys and offices from Virginia to Massachusetts to California, the firm provides business counsel and client representation in matters of corporate law and high-stakes litigation. Its mission is to achieve excellence for its clients by providing responsive and timely services. Each member and employee of LeClairRyan is asked to effectively contribute toward this mission by committing to excel in individual areas and to provide clients the full benefit of their knowledge, enthusiasm, ability, effort and integrity. By achieving this mission, LeClairRyan provides practical advice that is highly responsive to the business objectives behind the legal needs of its clients.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Programs for Members are divided into two categories according to the evolutionary status of the member company.  Pre-Launch program components are carefully constructed to help market-worthy ventures organize, formulate strategy, obtain outside investment, and launch in an efficient manner.  Enterprise class members benefit from emphasis on strategic support for ongoing growth, continuing intra-preneurship, and professional development for the corporate leader.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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