"It's a great place to meet people, get my name out there, learn from them, learn from their mistakes so I don't have to make the same ones in the future," said Forrest Miller, an entrepreneur student at Fresno State. He said he knew early on that he wanted to be his own boss.
"I've always kind of not like to follow the rules and kind of do my own thing and once I heard the word entrepreneurship and realized its starting your own business and doing it your way, I knew that was me," said Miller.
"These are the young talent we want to support and develop and they're going to be looking for investment money with the ideas they have and the types of businesses they're going to pursue," said Timothy Stearns, professor of management at Fresno State. He said right now is the perfect time for entrepreneurs to start building their business so they can hit the ground running when the economy picks up.
"I tell students all the time, there's more risk right now in going out and trying to find a job that you may lose in the short-term than there is in trying to start a business," said Stearns.
State Controller John Chiang was also in attendance. He said times are hard for young innovators to succeed during a sluggish economy but companies need to take risks. "We know that small businesses are having tremendous challenges, individuals are having challenges and unless they get access to capital, you're not going to have new job formation. You're not going to have new business formation," said Chiang.
Risks many entrepreneurs say they'll have to take if they want to see their ideas come into fruition.