More than 25 students will compete in a day of elevator pitch competitions as part of the Community College Entrepreneur Pathway (CCEP) Pitch Competition, Friday, Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District (808 4th Street). Students from community colleges across California, as well as Fresno State, will compete for a chance to attend the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) national conference in November.

Students and faculty from eight California community colleges will attend the event, which features a morning of breakout sessions lead by local student entrepreneurs.

Gayraud Townsend, director of business development and strategic sales for the media management company ShareStream, will give the keynote address. At the age of 20, while still a student at Cornell University, Townsend became the youngest elected official in the United States. Upon concluding his city council term, Townsend moved to New York City to work on Wall Street before joining the founding team of ShareStream. He has worked with the company for six years.

The top four winners of the pitch competition will receive an all-expense paid trip to Kansas City, MO to attend the CEO national conference in November. The overall winner will automatically be entered into the CEO National Pitch Competition. Nearly 80 entrepreneurs and business leaders will share their ideas and expertise at the conference and attendees will be able to network with some of the biggest names in entrepreneurship.

“CCEP enhances students’ pursuit of self-employment through their college career,” said Dr. Timothy Stearns, executive director of the Lyles Center. “By linking faculty and campuses with common curricula, entrepreneurial growth will increase dramatically. Similarly, this event allows for collaboration among our Pathway campuses and will introduce their students to entrepreneurial topics and opportunities they otherwise would not have access to.”

CCEP fosters entrepreneurial education and development among community colleges. Through CCEP, faculty members receive training in a specialized set of hands-on curricula, as well as access to classroom resources and tools to engage learners. The Pathway acts as a community to support collaboration and encourage networking among its members, aiding in the delivery of entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to community college students across the country.

For more information, contact Angelica at 559.278.3735 or