Your catalyst for growth

The Chrysler Corporation Duquesne University SBDC is very pleased to host the second annual Entrepreneur’s Growth Conference.

This exciting event, dedicated to helping both existing and start-up businesses grow in our region, was attended by more than 500 people last year. Our objective is to create opportunities for business owners to gain exposure to a variety of stimuli in one day, resulting in numerous positive results for their businesses. We call these stimuli “catalysts for growth.”

This year’s catalysts for growth include:

  • Motivating keynote addresses by marketing guru Robert Smith, better known as Jungle Bob, president of Jungle Marketing Inc., and David Nelsen, CEO and co-founder of local high-tech high flier CoManage Corp.;

  • two workshop tracks specifically targeted to growth and start-up businesses, with expert speakers who are prepared for audience participation;

  • One-to-one mentoring sessions with business experts eager to answer your questions;

  • Networking with other attendees at the luncheon event, trade show and reception (bring your business cards and brochures);

  • Trade show with more than 35 vendors eager to help businesses grow; and

  • Interaction throughout the event with individuals in all phases of business development, including the presidents of major firms, service organization representatives and business owners in all industries.

Planning and hosting this event is very exciting because this region’s vision is focused on creating and growing small businesses. We realize that the development and growth of small firms is the key to job creation, generating opportunities for our young people to stay here or move back to the region, and for fueling healthy communities where the high quality of living that is traditional in our region will be sustained.

We have selected a mix of regional and national experts familiar with the nuts and bolts of business growth to serve as speakers. Workshop, mentoring and keynote topics cover the essentials of business success: leadership, marketing, traditional and nontraditional financing tools, planning, e-commerce, Internet and technology, procurement and export, employee issues, networking, etc.The conference also offers special-interest sessions for minority, woman-owned, family and home-based businesses.

We are grateful for the financial and programmatic support of numerous businesses in our region, dedicated to helping small businesses thrive, that make this event possible. Each of the sponsors is working very diligently to ensure this event meets the expectations of business owners who want to learn, be motivated and network, as well as gain new customers, partners, vendors and contacts in a stimulating environment. Sponsors include:

Presenting Sponsor: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Gold Sponsor: National City

Banner Sponsors: SBN magazine, Appalachian Regional Commission, Bell Atlantic, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, DUQ 90.5 FM, Eckert Seamans, Microsoft, Pittsburgh Technology Council, SMC Business Councils, Stargate and Tippins Foundation

Blue Ribbon Sponsors: Buchanan Ingersoll, CEO Club of Pittsburgh, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, U.S. Small Business Administration

Contributing Sponsors: Donald and Sylvia Robinson Family Foundation

Supporting Sponsors: Entrpreneurial Assistance Network, Uptown Community Action Group, Small Business Development Centers of Gannon University, St. Francis College, St. Vincent College and University of Pittsburgh.

All of our missions are devoted to seeing businesses in this region thrive. The growth of businesses is a win for all. This conference is truly a community event. It is very gratifying when a business owner tells us that he or she made key decisions as a result of attending this event.

We have assembled the tools and invite you to participate with us in growing entrepreneurship and the region. Let’s make this event even larger in attendance than last year’s.

We look forward to seeing you on June 15th at Duquesne University. Mary McKinney, Ph.D., is the director of the Duquesne University Chrysler Corp. Small Business Development Center. Reach her at (412) 396-6233.