Building a Launching Pad

The Press Enterprise-LogoThe Innovation Economy Expo in Ontario seeks to put people with ideas in touch with the investors who can back them

BY JACK KATZANEK | STAFF WRITER | May 10, 2013
Success in business is based largely on whom you know and how you react to the people around you, all of which has to start somewhere.
One of those launching pads could have been at the Ontario Convention Center on Thursday, May 9, at the first Innovation Economy Expo, an event designed to put people with good business ideas on the track to success and, more importantly, put some of those success-starved men and women in the same room with the entrepreneurs who can make it happen.
The event was hosted by Innovation Economy Konnect, a company started about a year ago to bring together various stakeholders in Southern California with a goal of increasing economic development. Several hundred people attended the all-day event. One of them was James Coats, a 29-year-old freelance Web designer, graphics artist and photographer who attended Cal Poly Pomona and will soon enroll in Cal State San Bernardino’s entrepreneurship program. In his short career, he’s worked for Riverside Community College District and at telecom giant AT&T.
But Thursday, he was doing what a young freelancer has to do: He was working the room, going from booth to booth and networking.
“I want to see how technology shapes marketing and advertising in the future,” Coats said. “But for now, I have to build a base and that takes time.”
A few tables away, Bruce Coleman, economic development director for Murrieta, was having a conversation with three men who represented a group called the Korean Innovation and Investment Cluster, part of an organization whose goal is to facilitate trade between South Korea and the United States. The organization gets interested in communities that are encouraging technology development, something Murrieta and other Inland Southern California cities are doing.
James Lee, director of the Korean group, said his country has free-trade advantages with the United States that other countries do not have, and American interests should be aware of the potential rewards of doing business globally, he said.
“We have to be connected to the world on every level,” Lee said.
But for many the first level of successful entrepreneurship is personal, and a panel of business people who have gone that route before discussed how relationships, both inside and outside the company, are vital to putting together a formula that works.
Bill Stierle, the founder of Corporate Culture Development, a Southern California-based consulting firm that specializes in executive coaching and the moderator of the panel, held up colored index cards and used them to illustrate four major players within a company, among them a CEO, a human resources director and a marketing chief.
They can be different and yet have complementary strengths, and it’s important that the right people are used to solve problems.
“Sometimes Batman has to come to Superman’s rescue, but I don’t want to have Batman do Superman’s job,” Stierle said. “It’s different men, different powers.”
Virginia Green, growth manager for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, said that customers tend to look for ethical companies, and that starts with CEO, even if that person does not make sales calls and has little contact with customers. The trust factor should resonate from the executive suite.
“It comes from the top down,” Green said. “If the leader is an ethical, open and communicative leader you want to follow, the customer will notice those ethics.”

INDUSTRY: Innovation Economy Expo is Thursday

The Press Enterprise-LogoThe Innovation Economy Expo is Thursday in Ontario, a first step to linking product thinkers with those who can make it happen

BY JACK KATZANEK | STAFF WRITER | May 06, 2013; 04:14 PM

In America there never has been a shortage of ideas. Many years ago, if someone had not asked, “Hey, what’s that fungus?” the world would never have discovered penicillin.

What happens, more often than not, is that there are not enough people with the resources to facilitate putting a great idea — such as the development of an antibiotic that saves countless lives — into motion.

That is a problem that the organizers of a daylong event, Innovation Economy Expo, hope to take a first step toward alleviating.

The event will be held Thursday at the Ontario Convention Center, and it will attempt to put some of the people who have ideas that can make a difference in the same building with entrepreneurs and investors who know how to take the ideas and run with them. It only takes one successful meeting and a handshake to create a marketable product that can bring great changes to an area’s economy.

The event starts at 7:30 a.m. with a networking breakfast and includes more than 50 sponsors, 40 speakers and nearly a dozen partners.

It is the brainchild of Aaron Knox, who is president of Innovation Economy Konnect, a subsidiary of Innovation Economy Corp., and has been in the works for more than a year.

“This is the first step in launching a crowd-driven collaborative platform,” Knox said in an interview.

There is no shortage of people in Inland Southern California with ideas, and they don’t necessarily come out of laboratories or college campuses or even out of workshops in garages. Knox said some of these ideas come from housewives in kitchens “who come up with a better way to make it work.”

But in most cases, finding the entrepreneur with the money and the strategies to make these ideas successful is difficult because what usually happens is that numbers do not add up in the innovator’s favor.

“There are vastly more innovators than there are entrepreneurs,” Knox said. “There are more people with clever ideas than there are people with the means to carry those ideas out.”

Many new ideas that do make it out of the innovator’s mind do not last more than five years, Knox said, because they don’t have the well-developed strategy needed to execute the plans.

Thursday’s event also will bring policy-makers, service providers and educators together to talk to inventors and investors. Many of the new innovations that find their ways to corporate marketplaces start their most serious phases of development at universities, and there are three-dozen colleges of various levels in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The Inland Empire is not considered a center for technical development. The percentage of salaried workers in the sector that includes science and technology makes up about 3 percent of the workforce, according to the latest state report.

But the pain caused by the recession on the area’s blue-collar labor force has convinced more people that investors and entrepreneurs should be paying attention to the area. Knox said this was a tough sell at first.

“There was some push-back,” he said. “But once people started to see the level of participation, it went away pretty quick. It really does transcend the region. This is a global discussion.”

Present Your Investment Opportunity to National Venture Capital Firms

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Venture Capital Seeking Investment Opportunities at Inaugural
Innovation Economy Expo, Southern California

Major Event to Host Investor “Shark Tank”, Panels and Networking for Innovators and Entrepreneurs Building High-Growth Venture

Four large national venture capital funds are joining ieCrowd’s inaugural Innovation Economy Expo on May 9, 2013, at the Ontario Convention Center in Southern California.

The event is attracting organizations from around the region and world for an interactive, event-packed day focused on new collaborations for innovative business growth in today’s economic and regulatory climate.

The venture capital groups, lead by FundingPost, one of the nation’s largest network of angel and venture investors, will be seeking new investment opportunities among Inland Southern California businesses.

“Success stories come when entrepreneurs are introduced to investors who can finance their ideas and put them into action,” said Joe Rubin, Director and Co-Founder at FundingPost.  “Innovation Economy Expo will provide all the tools necessary for this kind of success,” said Rubin.

The venture capital firms include Honda Research Institute, Thomvest Ventures, The Soho Loft Capital Creation Events, and FundingPost.

ieCrowd’s Expo is the largest event of its kind, focusing on bringing together all of the critical participants in building a new innovation-oriented economy. The event is featuring 10 breakout sessions on critical topics in today’s business, education and regulatory climate, as well as a large Innovation Pavilion for interaction between entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers.

Led by one of the nation’s largest angel and venture investor groups, ieCrowd’s event will feature a live “Shark Tank” with venture investors seeking investment opportunities.

Registration is open to anyone who purchases a ticket to the event. FundingPost will choose three entrants, who register online, to participate in the pitch contest in front of the venture firms.

To register, entrepreneurs can visit http://www.innovationeconomyexpo.com

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Focusing on innovation, collaboration and commercialization, Innovation Economy Expo combines ideas, people, knowledge and resources, to create global business opportunities.

The more stakeholders who participate, the more opportunities that will be created!

We invite you to be a part of it with us

www.InnovationEconomyExpo.com

Key to Charting a New Course

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Innovation Economy Expo to Explore New Ways to Approach
Business Creation and Growth

Featured Speaker Calls “Agility Mindset” a Key to Charting a New Course

“The next wave of business innovation will come from teams with an ‘agility mindset.’ This mindset enables teams to work in a collaborative manner to achieve optimal performance, “according to Larry Ransom, the morning speaker at Innovation Economy Expo, May 9th at the Ontario Convention Center in Southern California.  

Ransom, Founder and President of The Synergy Network, has worked with top companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Hallmark. His message, “New Game, New Way”, is designed to help attendees take ownership of the idea that having an agility mindset is one of the most valuable tools we have in business, given the fast-changing economic landscape that we are faced with today.

Innovation Economy Expo is a unique, crowd-driven, interactive forum designed to connect businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs with the global resources needed for success. This is the first step in launching a collaboration platform for high-growth business creation in the new, innovative, global economy.

According to Ransom, “Innovators and entrepreneurs have the ability to let go of the certainty of how they ‘think things are’ and are willing to take risks by stepping into the unknown where greater possibility exists. Too often business owners and their employees maintain rigid viewpoints, stifling the creative flow and synergy that is needed to thrive.”

Ransom maintains that the willingness to consider different vantage points will help business owners and their employees navigate today’s dynamic and complex business environment.

Ransom goes on to say, “when business owners and their employees are willing to question their points of view from which their problems arise, they are able to see their challenges as opportunities to innovate rather than road blocks to their desired future. Only when leaders and employees are empowered to see the big picture from multiple points of view and engage in creative collaboration will the business and the individuals within it be able to create an extraordinary future. This is ‘agility mindset’ in action!

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Focusing on innovation, collaboration and commercialization, Innovation Economy Expo combines ideas, people, knowledge and resources, to create global business opportunities.

The more stakeholders who participate, the more opportunities that will be created!

We invite you to be a part of it with us

www.InnovationEconomyExpo.com

International Enterprise Singapore Joins Innovation Economy Expo

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International Enterprise Singapore Joins Innovation Economy Expo to Help Expand International Exposure for Innovative, High-Growth Businesses in Southern California

International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), which has spent 30 years promoting the interests of Singapore-based businesses abroad, has joined Innovation Economy Expo as a Collaborative Partner.

IE Singapore is the latest addition to the line-up of more than 160 Participating Stakeholders and Collaborative Partners who are bringing resources to this unique, crowd-driven, interactive forum. Innovation Economy Expo, taking place on May 9, 2013 at the Ontario Convention Center, in Southern California, is designed to connect businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs with the global resources needed for growth.

IE Singapore is the government agency driving Singapore’s external economy, spearheading the overseas growth of Singapore-based companies and promoting international trade. The agency has a global network of more than 35 locations around the world, including Los Angeles, California and New York.

IE Singapore helps identify and cultivate relationships benefiting companies in Singapore that either have or would like to develop a stronger market presence around Asia and the world. The organization is seeking potential partners for Singapore-based companies in the U.S. and elsewhere at the Expo.

A dozen other Collaborative Partners have also joined Innovation Economy Expo, including: FundingPost, a national leader in venture capital and investing; California Manufacturing Technologies Consulting, a non-profit company that deploys technology, management and technical expertise for improving the competitiveness of manufacturers, and; Startup California, which has assembled more than $1 billion worth of commitments from dozens of partners to support the development and growth of start-up companies.

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Focusing on innovation, collaboration and commercialization, Innovation Economy Expo combines ideas, people, knowledge and resources, to create global business opportunities.

The more stakeholders who participate, the more opportunities that will be created!

We invite you to be a part of it with us

www.InnovationEconomyExpo.com

Thomvest Ventures Joins FundingPost at Innovation Economy Expo

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EB-5 Investment Report is presenting program for matching foreign investors withbusiness growth opportunities at May 9th, event in Southern California

Southern California, April 4, 2013 – Seeking the very best, high-growth business investment opportunities, Thomvest Ventures is in the early phases of investing a $250 million evergreen fund and joins FundingPost at Innovation Economy Expo taking place on May 9th, at the Ontario Convention Center in Southern California

Having organized over 220 investor conferences throughout the United States, FundingPost is one of the nation’s leading networks of angel investors and venture capitalists, and is leading an investor forum, a “shark tank” business pitch and a crowdfunding workshop at
Innovation Economy Expo.

Thomvest Ventures has a fantastic track record of success, and their joining us at Innovation Economy Expo makes the funding opportunities there even greater,” said Joe Rubin, Co-Founder and Director at FundingPost.

Thomvest Ventures, the California-based venture fund has invested in 45 companies since they began in 1996, with over 70% going public, acquired, or continuing to grow as independent businesses.

“Investing our own capital allows us to be more flexible and patient than most venture investors,” said Andrew Tweed, Associate at Thomvest Ventures.  “We are long-term partners with the companies we invest in, and we have the ability to scale the size of our investment with our portfolio companies as they grow.”

Innovation Economy Expo is a unique, day long, interactive forum designed to connect businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs with the global resources needed for success.

Driven by hundreds of Participating Stakeholders representing sole proprietors to large international organizations, Innovation Economy Expo is attracting global attention as one of the largest collaborative efforts in Southern California to focus on advancing the creation and success of high-growth of business.

This is the first step in launching a crowd-driven global collaboration platform to advance innovation and build high-growth companies in today’s new innovation economy.

All who are interested in advancing the economic and social benefits of business success are encouraged to participate.

Visit www.InnovationEconomyExpo.com or call 888-960-EXPO for more information.

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Focusing on innovation, collaboration and commercialization, Innovation Economy Expo combines ideas, people, knowledge and resources, to create global business opportunities.

The more stakeholders who participate, the more opportunities that will be created!

We invite you to be a part of it with us

www.InnovationEconomyExpo.com

Former Leader of Small Business Administration to Speak at Innovation Economy Expo

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Hector V. Barreto, one of the nation’s most influential business leaders
will deliver the keynote address at the May 9th event in Southern California

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – Hector V. Barreto, an international recognized entrepreneur who previously led the nation’s effort to grow and strengthen small businesses across the country, will be a keynote speaker at the Innovation Economy Expo on May 9, at the Ontario Convention Center in Southern California.

After being appointed by President George W. Bush, and unanimously approved by the United States Senate to be Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Barreto led the SBA to record-breaking achievements in small business loans and private-public procurement opportunities.

He is the founder and president of Barreto Associates, a California-based international consulting firm, and is a member of the National Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He also is founder of Business Matchmaking, the nation’s leading non-profit small business procurement program.

“The Innovation Economy Expo is an example of how collaboration fosters the growth of small business, which is the engine that really drives our economy,” Barreto said. “I am proud to be a part of this transformation with so many other like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs.”

Barreto, who was inducted into the Minority Business Hall of Fame, serves as chairman of The Latino Coalition, the most effective national Latino groups addressing issues that directly impact Hispanic business.

He is the author of “The Engine of America” (http://TheEngineofAmerica.com) which provides motivation and inspiration for entrepreneurs through the stories and ideas of business leaders nationally.

Barreto founded “Tributo a Mi Padre Tequila,” the only tequila in the world to have earned the 5 Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, to honor his late father, Hector Barreto Sr., who founded the United States Hispanic Chamber. Barreto is a former vice-chairman of the organization.

“Small business growth is what drives the U.S. economy, but high-growth business is what creates the jobs and wealth needed for a sustainable economy”, said Adalberto Quijada, District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “Innovation Economy Expo is bringing innovators and entrepreneurs together with those who provide the resources needed for high-growth business success at a time when it is needed the most”.

Other Innovation Economy Expo participants recently announced include FundingPost, one of the nation’s leading networks of angel investors and venture capitalists; Startup California; and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

All who are interested in advancing business creation and growth are encouraged to participate. Visit www.InnovationEconomyExpo.com or call 888-960-EXPO for more information.

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About the Innovation Economy Expo

Innovation Economy Expo is an annual, day long interactive forum designed to connect local businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs with the global resources needed for growth.  Visit www.innovationeconomyexpo.com for details.

Focusing on innovation, collaboration and commercialization, Innovation Economy Expo combines ideas, people, knowledge and resources, to create global business opportunities.

The more stakeholders who participate, the more opportunities that will be created!

We invite you to be a part of it with us

www.InnovationEconomyExpo.com

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