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“Invitation to Innovation” Will be Theme of CEI Entrepreneurship Expo February 19th at U of M

For release: February 11, 2013
For press information, contact Kelly Penwell, 901-678-5266

The Center for Entrepreneurship (CEI) will host “The Invitation to Innovation” Entrepreneurship Expo on Feb. 19 at the University of Memphis’ FedEx Institute of Technology.  The event will feature a day of presentations by people knowledgeable about business start-ups, plus an “Entrepreneur Village,” where successful start-up creators will showcase their new businesses.

The Expo is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served.

The Entrepreneur Village, which highlights 18 successful entrepreneurs, will open at 10 a.m. in the FedEx Institute’s lobby. Businesses such as Magician’s Marshmallows, Custom Coin Holders, PreTTi Sweet Cupcakes, and others will be stationed at booths, displaying their products, providing samples, and answering questions about their entrepreneurial ventures.

The line-up of speakers in the Methodist Presentation Theatre will present ideas that can help entrepreneurs realize their dreams. The first session, by Galen Gower, will begin at 11 a.m.  Gower will discuss the manufacture, storage, and transport of a product with the help of a third-party-logistics (3PL) warehouse provider.

The second speaker, at 12:30 p.m., is Butler Snow attorney Joey Dudek, who serves as the CEI’s legal counsel.  Dudek assists CEI’s entrepreneurs with legal matters related to the establishment of a business, and Expo participants can ask him their own questions.

At 1:15 p.m., a panel of representatives from AutoZone, Wal-Mart, and Whole Foods will talk about the steps needed to get a product from initial production onto the shelves of the “big box” stores.

Margaret Brooks, an expert in virtual communities, will speak at 2:30 p.m.  She will outline ways to use the Internet and social media to communicate with customers and build brand awareness.

Charles McVean, chairman & CEO of McVean Trading & Investments, is the 3:30 p.m. speaker.  He will share his story of social entrepreneurship and his founding of the Peer Power organization, a program designed to provide challenged youths with opportunities for professional growth.

The 4:15 p.m. wrap-up speaker will be Bill Sehnert, executive director of the Peer Power Foundation.  He will lead an interactive session, involving the audience in creating innovative ideas to further the mission of the Foundation – helping young Memphians realize their dreams of financial independence.

A schedule of the CEI Expo is available online at or at

More information is available from the CEI office at 901-678-5266 or

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