Biofuels Conference Promotes Renewable Energy Opportunities

Experts to address emerging industry for local entrepreneurs

FRESNO — The October 15th Biofuels or Bust! conference at the UC Center in Fresno aims to educate small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs about business opportunities available in the cutting-edge biofuels industry, which has received significant attention recently as a potential growth arena for Central California agriculture and entrepreneurship.

Local and nationally recognized experts spoke to conference attendees about what homegrown fuel can do for regional economic development. UC Merced participants include Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, who will welcome attendees, and Dean Jeff Wright of the School of Engineering, who will address UC Merced's Energy Initiative.

Other speakers include Mark Yancy from BBI International, who will address the demand for ethanol; Graham Noyes from World Energy Alternatives, who will speak about biodiesel fuels; Professor Mark Holtzapple of Texas A & M University, who will cover biofuels research and technology; and Bill Jones, the Madera County entrepreneur who founded Pacific Ethanol.

Panel discussions covering Biofuel Business Opportunities and Getting your Business Funded will include representatives from the Department of Energy and the State of California, as well as the banking and investment community.

Registration is limited to 120 attendees for the 8:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. conference, and the cost is $50, including lunch. Booth display spaces are also available. To register or obtain booth space, individuals and organizations should contact Katrina Roubedeaux at kroubedeaux@ucmerced.eduor (559) 241-7406.

The conference is being co-sponsored by the UC Merced Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Regional Network, the Small Business Administration, and Valley Independent Bank.

The UC Merced SBDC Regional Network provides quality management and technical assistance for existing and potential small business resulting in success for the entrepreneur and sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all Central Californians.

The University of California Center in Fresno was established in 1997 in order to serve the educational needs of San Joaquin Valley residents and to prepare for the opening of UC Merced. The Center provides a setting in which academic degree, extension, outreach, and research initiatives can be established and delivered to students, parents, alumni, professionals, and the community.

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