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Vivisimo Chairman to Keynote 14th Annual Entrepreneur’s Growth Conference

Raul Valdes Perez, co-founder and executive chairman of Vivisimo, which was acquired by IBM just last week, will deliver the keynote address at this year's Entrepreneur's Growth Conference on Wednesday, May 9. Presented by the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the conference will be held in the Duquesne Union from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A longtime newsmaker in the Pittsburgh technology community, Valdez Perez co-founded Vivisimo, a business software company, in 2000 and led it as CEO through 2009, when he recruited his successor and became executive chairman. Today, Vivisimo is in the process of being acquired by IBM. When the deal closes, Vivisimo's 120 employees will join the IBM's software group, and the computing giant will incorporate Vivisimo technology into its big-data platform.

Valdes Perez's talk-Advice is for Winners: Seeking, Getting and Using Advice-will explain how seeking advice at the right times and from the right sources can help entrepreneurs make winning decisions.

The conference will also include 15 workshops and a business-building networking mixer. Workshop tracks are geared toward new ventures, established businesses and technology companies. Topics include marketing, public relations, strategic planning, finances and technology.

"We really offer a great variety of topics to suit any type of small- to mid-sized business," said Christine Hughes, SBDC training manager. "No matter where they are with their business-whether just starting out or looking to grow-attendees will get real-world advice that they can apply the next day."

The networking mixer doubles as a tradeshow, allowing participants to meet new contacts while finding solutions to their business challenges. Exhibitors will showcase everything from health insurance to technology.

More information is available by visiting www.duq.edu/sbdc or calling 412.396.1633.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.