2005 RIT Entrepreneurs Conference, April 28-29




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The myriad of successful companies in the global marketplace all have something in common—creative, energetic and aggressive leaders who are willing to go the extra mile to turn their visionary plans into powerhouse businesses.

These entrepreneurs are also willing to partner with academia and share their expertise during the 2nd annual RIT Entrepreneurs Conference on Thursday and Friday, April 28-29. Sponsored by the College of Business, the expanded event will include the Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Awards luncheon, 11 interactive concurrent sessions and keynote addresses featuring Arunas Chesonis, chairman and chief executive officer of PAETEC Communications Inc., and George (Mick) Stadler, executive director of RIT High Tech Incubator.

“Last year's conference was a great success and this year we are looking to build upon that success,” says COB director of development Mark Boylan, “The conference will continue to focus on various aspects of commercializing technology, as well as showcase the entrepreneurial activities and successes of our students, faculty and alumni."

Since every successful business needs a strong supporting cast—the Entrepreneurs Conference will be an eye-opener for RIT students as well as industry-wide professionals who can exchange ideas on the growing and rapid changes in businesses and its economic impact in Rochester and beyond.

“Clearly, the economic health of this region will be a focal point of the conference, addressing the role of universities in promoting entrepreneurship, new business ventures and job creation,” Boylan notes.

Prior to the conference, the COB will host the 2005 Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award luncheon on Thursday, April 28, from noon to 2 p.m. at Oak Hill Country Club—celebrating this year’s recipient, E. Philip Saunders of Griffith Energy Inc. Conference sessions follow from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Park Plaza Hotel.

The all-day Friday conference begins at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast, introductions and opening keynote address at RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Concurrent sessions will be held from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Louise M. Slaughter Building, with a luncheon and keynote address scheduled for noon to 1:30 p.m.

Discussions will focus on a broad array of thought-provoking topics, ranging from entrepreneurial characteristics, teamwork, financing and marketing, to balancing the demands of business and personal life. Industry leaders in the individual sessions include: Lorraine Ellis, president and CEO, Research Dynamics Consulting Group; Michael Finney, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise; Richard Kaplan, president and CEO, Pictometry; John Cococcia, founder, FA Technology Ventures; and Emilio DiCataldo, executive VP and CFO, Soleo Communications.

The cost for the 2005 RIT Entrepreneurs Conference and invitation-only Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award luncheon is $100. The cost for the conference/keynote lunch is $75 and conferences are free for RIT faculty and staff (excluding luncheons and keynote address, which range in cost from $10 to $35). To register, visit www.rit.edu/~entconf/ or call 475-2199.