RISE 2010 Call for Hosts, Free Registration Now Open

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4th Annual Entrepreneurs Event Lineup Features Red McCombs, TOMS Shoes Founder, New RISE Funding Forum

Red McCombs, one of Texas' best known entrepreneurs, will give the opening keynote for RISE 2010.

We are reminded in times of crisis that the American economy thrives when small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive. RISE is such a powerful way to connect them to what they need most to succeed - knowledge, resources and one another.

The fourth annual Relationship and Information Series for Entrepreneurs (RISE) returns to Austin, Texas, March 1-5, 2010 with five full days of free sessions covering a wide range of topics of interest to aspiring, new and established entrepreneurs in all industries. Hosts and participants can now register online at http://www.riseaustin.org.

New to RISE in 2010 are the RISE Funding Forum, the RISE Fast Pitch Competition and the Clean Technology Session Series. RISE 2010 also welcomes featured speakers Red McCombs, one of Texas' best known entrepreneurs, and Blake Mycoskie, a respected social entrepreneur who founded TOMS Shoes.

"We are reminded in times of crisis that the American economy thrives when small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive," said Red McCombs. "RISE is such a powerful way to connect them to what they need most to succeed - knowledge, resources and one another - and a great example of what the entrepreneurial spirit can achieve. I'm proud to be part of it this year."

RISE offers a unique forum where attendees can exchange expertise with entrepreneurs from diverse industries and backgrounds and form lasting professional connections. Unlike a traditional conference, RISE is a non-profit event with no cost to participate, and sessions are independently organized, peer-led and limited to 25 participants. Sessions take place in venues around Greater Austin.

"Entrepreneurs represent the true miracle of our country and the engine of job growth. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Austin, Texas, and thanks to our vibrant community of entrepreneurs, we expect RISE 2010 to be bigger and better than ever," said Roy Spence, Co-Chair of RISE 2010 and Co-Founder and Chairman, GSD&M Idea City. Spence delivered the opening keynote for RISE 2009.

The RISE Fast Pitch Competition and RISE Funding Forum are new events designed to give aspiring entrepreneurs venues where they can gain experience pitching their business ideas, receive expert feedback and connect with potential investors and partners. Ten groups will deliver a one-minute business pitch as they vie for Crowd Favorite and Grand Prize Winner in the Fast Pitch Competition on March 3rd. In the RISE Funding Forum, several distinguished panels of experienced investors, executives and entrepreneurs will consult with six groups of entrepreneurs as they share in-depth reviews of their business plans. Early-stage entrepreneurs of all types may apply to participate in either or both events online at http://www.riseaustin.org before February 12.

Red McCombs will deliver the opening keynote for RISE 2010 on Monday, March 1. On March 2nd at 7 p.m., Blake Mycoskie will kick off the Social Entrepreneurship Series from the AT&T Conference Center. Back for a third year by popular demand, the Social Entrepreneurship Series features sessions with topics and speakers of special interest to entrepreneurs who are creating non-profit and for-profit businesses to solve public problems.

Also returning to RISE 2010 are the popular Hispanic Entrepreneurs Series and the Austin Women Entrepreneurs Series, both introduced last year. These and other series - including the new Multicultural Entrepreneurs Series, Clean Technology Series and Retail and Restaurant Entrepreneurs Series - are a signature component of RISE each year designed to ensure sessions reflect the diversity of the region's entrepreneur communities.

RISE participation is free due to the generosity of returning sponsors Acton School of Business, Austin Business Journal, Austin Ventures, Capital One Bank, Ernst & Young, Holtzman Moellenberg Panozzo Perkins, LLP and Silverton Foundation and new sponsors Brown McCarroll, LLP, DLA Piper, Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas, The Entrepreneurs' Organization, FOLIO Communications Group, LLC, Green Mountain Energy, Nationwide Insurance and Sweet Leaf Tea Company.

Created in 2007 by Roy Sosa and Bertrand Sosa, brothers and accomplished Austin entrepreneurs, RISE has grown to attract 1,800 attendees in more than 120 sessions in three short years. In 2010, RISE expects to attract 2,500 entrepreneurs to participate in more than 150 sessions.

For more information, visit the RISE website or follow RISE on Facebook and Twitter.

About RISE
RISE, a Relationship and Information Series for Entrepreneurs, provides a forum for entrepreneurs to connect and exchange ideas that inspire the entrepreneurial spirit. RISE 2010 takes place March 1-5 when more than 2,500 entrepreneurs will participate in more than 150 sessions hosted by successful business leaders throughout the Greater Austin area. There is no cost to participate. For more information, to register or to volunteer to host a session, visit http://www.riseaustin.org. RISE is a program of the MPOWER Foundation, an operating philanthropic foundation affiliated with MPOWER Ventures and MPOWER Labs.

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Cybele Diamandopoulos
FOLIO Communications Group, LLC
(512) 535-4422
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Annie Frierson
RISE
(512) 485-2574
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