Media Contact
January 08, 2007

WORCESTER, Mass. - In its January program, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Venture Forum will offer three presentations aimed at helping business owners and entrepreneurs sell themselves and their businesses. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9, in Salisbury Laboratories Room 115 (Kinnicutt Hall.) The cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. No pre-registration is necessary.

At the meeting, three experts will address building and maintaining contacts and customer relationships, including how to build a loyal network, effectively manage contacts, make a high-impact first impression, and create a personal “30-second commercial.”
The evening’s presenters include Dianne M. Durkin, president and founder of The Loyalty Factor, a training and consulting firm that specializes in change management, employee loyalty, and customer loyalty programs. She will speak on how to build a loyal network and the contact management tools necessary to maintain that network.

Presenter Harvy Simkovits will ask, “What’s your story?” and “How can you distinguish yourself and your business in a cluttered marketplace to attract customers, partners and investors?” Founder and president of Business Wisdom, Simkovits has worked with owner-managed companies for 20 years and is the author of Shepherding Business to Your Door.

The evening’s third presenter will focus on the 30-second networking pitch and how to create a powerful first impression. Nationally recognized coach Lauren Mackler will offer tips on concisely communicating with self-confidence who you are, what you do, and what you’re seeking in personal interactions, as well as during cold calls and in sending effective e-mails. Her book, Speaking of Success, with authors Jack Canfield, Stephen Covey, and Ken Blanchard, was published in December 2006.

Upcoming WPI Venture Forum meetings:

  • Feb. 13: Tools for Building a Successful Team
  • March 13: Valuation, Funding, Scaling, and Exit Strategies
  • April 10: Supercharging Your Company with an Advisory Board
  • May 8: Sell the Solution, Not the Technology
  • June 12: Business Failures and the Lessons They Teach

About the WPI Venture Forum

The WPI Venture Forum serves entrepreneurs seeking to launch technology-based businesses. The forum also serve sponsors, service providers, and investors (seeking pre-startup and early stage technology opportunities) by providing knowledge through programs and a venue in which to network. WPI Venture Forum activities include monthly programs and a concurrent newsletter, free networking events, a weekly radio program, an annual breakfast event, and an annual business plan contest. Membership consists of entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, researchers, inventors, and WPI faculty, alumni, and students. Directed by a volunteer executive board of leaders of regional businesses and service organizations, some of whom are WPI alumni, the WPI Venture Forum is a 501 (c)(3) program of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in WPI’s Department of Management. For more information on how to become a member, please see the Venture Forum website.