Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Pam Marrone, CEO and founder of Marrone Bio Innovations, will be the featured speakers at the 10th annual Central Valley Venture Forum from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Clovis Memorial District Auditorium.

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

Swearengin will discuss “The Central Valley Investment Ecosystem – Celebrating 10 Years of Progress.” Marrone will share “Lessons from Start-up to IPO.”

The forum will include the annual Valley Entrepreneur Showcase in which five new or early-stage businesses present in front of attendees 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,” said Dr. Timothy Stearns, executive director of the Lyles Center. “Entrepreneurs can learn and make valuable connections in this powerful yet informal setting.”

The morning panel session will feature Central Valley business leaders and CEOs in the areas of agriculture and technology. Topics will include Valley Hispanic business secrets, California and Mexico trade and investment and 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, Stearns said.

Individual tickets, which include a continental breakfast, lunch and an afternoon reception, are $65 before Nov. 1 and $75 after. Students can attend for $25. Tickets and more details are available at

For more information, contact Tina Baker at or 559.278.3735, or Betsy Hays at or 559.916.6844.