Learn how to launch a successful business and grow revenue

May 04, 2016

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at North Central College and Fox Valley SCORE will present the second annual Ideas to Profits Business Conference on May 21. It will include the Business Pitch Contest with a $5,000 grand prize and entry into a business accelerator.

The conference will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21, in North Central’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Fox Valley business owners, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, inventors, students and early-stage start-up professionals are welcome to participate. Attendees will learn about current trends and information and acquire new skills to help them start or grow a business and become more competitive.

North Central College President Troy D. Hammond will present the lunch keynote. He will share information about a new business accelerator and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which acts as a bridge between the College and the regional business community. He also will discuss the College’s campus-wide transformation through the new Science Center, an interdisciplinary facility where students of every major will deepen their understanding and appreciation of STEM fields.

“Throughout the day, we will have many industry experts presenting 17 training sessions and panel discussions in two distinct tracks: one for individuals wanting to launch a successful business and one for existing businesses and manufacturers wanting to grow revenue,” said Martha Carney (photo), executive director of the Center. The day provides a platform for businesses to engage with lenders, investors and customers through wide-ranging educational presentations. “One of the day’s highlights will be the pitch session,” Carney said. “Three entrepreneurs will present their business in hopes of winning $5,000 to fund their businesses and participate in the accelerator.”

The deadline to enter the pitch contest is 5 p.m. Sunday, May 1. The judging panel will select 15 semifinalists; each semifinalist will receive 15 minutes to present their pitch and answer questions during scheduled appointments before the event. The panel will then select three finalists, who will each have 10 minutes to present during the May 21 conference.

The Ideas to Profits Business Conference early-bird registration fee is $79 ($99 after May 13), with registration closing May 18. For more information, visit northcentralcollege.edu/ideastoprofits or email questions to entrepreneur@noctrl.edu.

Bob Hitchcock, Fox Valley SCORE coordinator for the event, said, “This is a rare opportunity, in a single location, for Fox Valley entrepreneurs to meet and learn from a wide variety of successful business people.”

Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in five areas. Just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop, North Central’s campus is located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live” and by Chicagoans as the most desirable town to live. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence; a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service; a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation; and a caring environment with small classes. Visit northcentralcollege.edu and discover what it means to #BeCentral.

Fox Valley SCORE chapter is part of a nationwide, volunteer organization, partially funded by the Small Business Administration, exclusively devoted to promoting the growth and health of small businesses.  Serving DuPage, DeKalb, McHenry, Will, Kendall and Kane counties, SCORE’s 85+ mentors provide free mentoring and workshops to current and aspiring small business people. Visit the website at foxvalley.score.org to learn more about its services and resources.