Start-up businesses will get an opportunity to make their pitch to a panel of angel investors and venture capitalists at the Valley Entrepreneur Showcase on Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Clovis.

The event is part of the Fourth annual Central Valley Venture Forum presented by The Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at California State University, Fresno in collaboration with the Central Valley Fund and the city of Clovis.

Applications are being accepted for businesses to participate in the showcase where five new or early-stage businesses will compete for the Best in Show title.

The deadline to enter is Thursday, Sept. 3.

“The showcase offers fast-paced businesses an opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities to a number of leading angel investor groups, venture capital funds and commercial banking institutions,” said Brad Triebsch, a partner with Central Valley Fund.

Each business presents its idea for 10 minutes followed by a Q-A session with the judging panel and audience. Selection will be based on idea viability, innovative nature, technical feasibility, entrepreneur credibility, opportunity assessment and potential for a sustainable competitive advantage. The winner earns an opportunity to present to the prestigious Keiretsu Forum in the Bay Area.

“Competing in the showcase is the perfect opportunity for businesses to gain visibility and support in the community, practice their presentation skills and get feedback from seasoned investors,” said Dr. Timothy M. Stearns, executive director of the Lyles Center. “The Lyles Center will advise and work with the selected businesses to help them prepare for the presentations.”

The showcase is part of the day-long forum, which features presentations by California Controller John Chiang and Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay and a candidate for governor, and panel discussions on subjects such as raising capital and surviving the recession.

For more information, contact Prashant Joshi at the Lyles Center at 559.294.2045 or

Related link:

Showcase entries

Venture Forum