CalPERS’ head of private equity Réal Desrochers and Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, will be the featured speakers at the Ninth Annual Central Valley Venture Forum from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 at Clovis Memorial District.

Central Valley Venture Forum is a collaboration between the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fresno State and the Central Valley Fund.

Desrochers will talk about “Investment Opportunities in California and Around the Globe. Where is CalPERS allocating capital over the next 24 months?”

Costa will discuss “Election Impacts for Business — 2015 and Beyond.”

The forum will also include a panel about “California and Mexico Trade and Investment — The Central Valley Secret,” as well as a panel of business leaders and CEOs in agriculture and technology. Other sessions will cover how to raise investment capital in the Valley.

Presenters will include public policy leaders, angel investors, venture capitalists, Valley entrepreneurs, business owners, lawyers, accountants, bankers and community leaders. They will share advice, information and strategies for both surviving and thriving in today’s economy, said Dr. Timothy Stearns, executive director of the Lyles Center.

Also featured is the annual Valley Entrepreneur Showcase, in which five new or early-stage businesses present to a panel of investors and compete for best in show.

“This conference provides the only venue in the Central Valley for growth companies to demonstrate their readiness for private equity investment,” Stearns said. “Entrepreneurs can learn and make valuable connections in this powerful yet informal setting.”

Tickets, which include lunch and an afternoon reception, cost $75. Students can attend for $25. Tickets and more details are available at

For more information, contact Tina Baker at or 559.294.2045.