Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization hosts competition

Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) is a premier entrepreneurship network for pre-professional students with over 240 chapters across America, with one here at Fresno State.

Entrepreneurship is a field of study at universities and is becoming a leading subject for students who have entrepreneurial minds that want to develop ideas for businesses.

“CEO Fresno is different in several fundamental ways from other organizations on campus,” said CEO Fresno President Josh Maxfield-Janer.  “I joined spring 2012 because I wanted to be around other people who think about their future career like I do.”

The experience provides tools that build skills for the entrepreneur and future business leaders, but also helps foster relationships that will help you when you leave Fresno State and need to get a job.

Today, Sept. 19, students from all disciplines at Fresno State will have the opportunity to try entrepreneurship at the Elevator Pitch Competition.

An elevator pitch is a persuasive speech, but done in about 90-seconds, giving you the opportunity to get your product or service point across simply and quickly.

“I joined the fall semester in 2011 and I liked how the organization didn’t force you to attend all meetings and basically told us, what we put in would be what we got out,” said CEO Fresno Treasurer Traci Robertson.  “After being part of CEO for a few weeks, I was offered a free trip to the CEO National Conference.  It was so beneficial because I got to meet and network with great people.”

In November, 12 members from CEO Fresno will have the chance to attend the CEO National Conference where more than 1,200 students, faculty and young entrepreneurs will come together to network, learn and inspire each other their entrepreneur passions.

The first prizewinner of the Elevator Pitch Competition will present his or her pitch at the CEO National Conference in Chicago and receive their trip for free.

CEO Fresno is not limited to only entrepreneur majors.  The value in knowing a variety of people is important for when we step into the workplace, said CEO Fresno vice president Josh Yavitch.

“In today’s market, entrepreneurship as a skill is imperative, even if you do not want to own your own business,” said Yavitch.  “The skill and knowledge of entrepreneurship will help anyone accelerate in the job force and surrounding yourself with students who have that passion is motivating.”

“Even if you aren’t an entrepreneurship major, or even a business major, we try our best to find speakers and plan events that everyone will benefit from,” Robertson said.  “There are ways to be entrepreneurial in the workplace, in your home and we also teach networking skills that you can use throughout your life”

CEO also works for students who may feel like they don’t have a place on campus and can’t afford high dues or have the time to spend endless hours with a club.  CEO meets once a week at the Lyles Center, 6 to 7 p.m.

“Whatever you are interested in doing in life can be accomplished with CEO.  We all have dreams, join CEO and make them a reality,” said Maxfield-Janer.

For more information on CEO Fresno or the Elevator Pitch Competition, you can email

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