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Office of Community and Economic Development

OCED Proudly Sponsored the Central Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum

Fresno State OCED was a proud sponsor of the Central Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (CVIEF) on October 23rd, 2019. The Forum is a collaboration between the Central Valley Fund, Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Craig School of Business, and the Water, Energy & Technology Center at Fresno State.  CVIEF served as a venue for entrepreneurs in the region to listen to industry leaders, angel investors, venture capitalists, and other entrepreneurs about topics related to the field of entrepreneurship. Speakers at CVIEF included Fresno State Alumni and current Fresno State students. 

The featured activity at CVIEF was a “Shark Tank” style competition where various start-ups pitched their products and services to a panel of judges and investors.  There was also a stock exchange where attendees were provided $100,000 “Bulldog Dollars” to invest in the startups that were tabling at the event. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to listen to panel discussions from different industry leaders and entrepreneurs.  They included: Eric Nasalroad, COO of Aplos, who discussed entrepreneurship and what investors look for in startups; Manu Pillai, CEO of inspirit IOT and Founder of WaterBit, who discussed his fundamental viewpoints on product-market fit, sales growth, and venture capital while also providing commentary on building a startup in the Central Valley; Ashley Jacobsen, Business Assurance Senior Manager, Moss Adams LLP, who discussed business transitions and bringing in new investors; and Geoff Dillon, Co-Founder of Sellhound and Partner at Catalyst Tech Innovation Group, who discussed how to create strategic partnerships that lead to acquisition.  

The winners from the event were:
Pitching Showcase - $10,000 Ecoli Sense 
Audience Award - $2,500 Get Served Transportation 

OCED is proud to be a partner of CVIEF, which offers valuable opportunities that shape the entrepreneurial landscape in the Valley.