< Go Back


3rd Annual Irvine Entrepreneur Forum to Feature Director of Strategy at IBM Venture Capital Group Drew Clark as Keynote Speaker


Drew Clark, Director of Strategy and Co-Founder of IBM's Global Venture Capital Group will be the keynote speaker at the March 1, 2012 Forum.

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The 3rd Annual Irvine Entrepreneur Forum (IEF), the signature event for the Irvine Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, will be held March 1, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Irvine California featuring Drew Clark, Director of Strategy and Co-Founder at the IBM Venture Capital Group.  Clark is a chief strategist with IBM's key business imperatives including Sustainability/Cleantech, Information Management and Cloud Computing, where he works closely with the global venture capital community across multiple IBM brands and industry units to help drive new business opportunities.  

The IEF, with a theme of "Start – Build – Thrive", will provide an environment to learn from experts, gain exposure as well as networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs, investors, local businesses and resources.  The forum will provide experience, knowledge and mentoring to more than 300 participants to help lower the barrier of entry for these startup companies.  The forum program will feature this year's keynote speaker Drew Clark and six entrepreneurial companies from Orange County who will make "Shark Tank" type pitch presentations before a panel of angel and venture capitalists in this day-long event.  In addition to the Tech Expo and the high-profile keynote speakers, the attendees will be able to choose between topical sessions such as finance, distribution strategies, innovative marketing, protecting your intellectual assets, business planning and others designed to prepare entrepreneurs in emerging their businesses.  The complete program may be viewed as it emerges at:

A serial "entrepreneur", Clark has led a range of internal startup initiatives, including a key role in the formation of IBM's Internet Division.  Later, Clark led IBM's search, knowledge-management, social media and Web 2.0 initiatives.  Named IBM "Search Czar", Clark is responsible for managing search and information retrieval products and solutions across IBM.  

"The Irvine Entrepreneur Forum is designed for entrepreneurs to roll up their sleeves to learn about startup business strategies and tactics that will deliver results to emerge businesses, find funding or an investment," said Christopher Lynch, Vice President Business and Economic Development for the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.  "It is about current companies and service groups coming together to support entrepreneurs with mentoring and services to help them launch their companies."

Fifty-two entrepreneurs submitted business plans for the IEF Shark Tank competition.  Video business presentations are on website where people voted on their favorite company.  A winner from each category will present to a panel of angel and venture capital judges during the forum.  The two companies with the best overall business plan presentations will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Angel and venture capitalist in Southern California will receive complimentary registration to encourage networking among CEOs, business development executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and academicians to connect in sharing experiences and exchanging ideas.  In addition, there will be Tech Expo tabletops for entrepreneurs and service provider companies to present business models, products and services.   

No forum initiative is complete without the content to fill it with the skills and knowledge that some entrepreneurs may lack in starting a business.  The program combines "here's what works" insights of real world, best practice practitioners with the big picture viewpoints from respected thought leaders.  Some of the most prestigious Southern California leaders in finance, marketing, legal and growing a business will lead sessions for all attendees.

If you or your company is interested in being an IEF sponsor, please contact Chris Lynch via e-mail:

About Irvine Chamber of Commerce
The Irvine Chamber of Commerce represents roughly 1,000 local companies and is a premier business member organization dedicated to serving as advocates for pertinent issues affecting the local business community, while serving as a vehicle to promote business and community development in Irvine. For more information about the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, please call (949) 660-9112, or visit

SOURCE Irvine Chamber of Commerce

Back to top