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Learning to dream big

COC hosts entrepreneur conference

Posted: October 7, 2008 8:58 p.m.
Updated: December 9, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Photographer Steve Uzzell was the keynote speaker at the Dream and Discover Entrepeneurs Conference held Tuesday at College of the Canyons.

Speakers challenged more than 200 attendees to find dynamic ways to start and build businesses despite the sluggish economy Tuesday at the third annual Dream and Discover Entrepreneurs Conference.

"My joy in this is that we get to inspire the hard-working small business owner in this community and if someone walks away with the ability to open or enhance their business, then we've done our job," said Paul De La Cerda, director of College of the Canyons' Small Business Development Center. "It's a good packed house," said De La Cerda."I'm glad to see the turn out."

The event attracted local small business owners and starters dressed in business attire and passerby college students geared with backpacks and note pads.

"I'm here just to learn," said Paul Trinkkeller, a COC student. "I am an entrepreneur in the fitness industry and I just want to see what other people have to offer."

A presentation by Pamela Cox-Otto of Interact Communications Inc. on marketing to a multi-generational audience was an audience favorite.

"Dr. Cox-Otto gave an extremely dynamic presentation on the generational subsets," said Steve Chadwick, The Signal's retail advertising manager. "She illustrated the importance of understanding the different generations in order to properly communicate with co-workers and with vendors and clients.

She used humor to engage the audience and had everyone thinking about their own lives and how they can relate."

Constance Anderson, who runs the Small Business Development Center in Los Angeles, said she learned the importance of understanding people in her work environment from Cox-Otto.

"I'm going to take some of the quotes and information back to the center," she said.

The event also featured experience-based presentations from successful entrepreneurs including Dan Katz of Hollywood Aviators, Joe Allison of Solid Concepts and David Dickinson of Delta Scientific.

Allison discussed the "Secrets to Success" and reiterated the importance of writing out a business plan.

"Then you can ask yourself, ‘does my expertise fit this business plan,' and if not, you should probably reconsider," he said.
Dickinson stressed the importance of fulfilling a market need. "Find a need, fill a need," he said, quoting a commercial. "Entrepreneurs should take that phrase to heart. You want people
coming to you."

"The speakers were interesting and helpful," said Ben Tenn, a small business consultant from the San Fernando Valley. Tenn said the event was good for personal networking.

"I was able to meet with sponsors who may have the ability to promote my free small business seminars," he said.

Steve Uzzell, award-winning photographer and entrepreneur, closed the speaker section of the event with a photographic essay on "The Nature of Transition."

"Transition is the most dynamic place to be," he said.

"Do we fear transition or do we embrace it?" he said. "If you greet the sun, then you own the day."


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