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 'Success Starts Here' series features Internet business leader 

 

SPOTLIGHT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 7, 2007

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199

 karl.schwab@sru.edu

 

'Success Starts Here' series features Internet business leader

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Raul Valdes-Perez, chief executive officer at Vivisimo Inc., one of the Pittsburgh Business Times' "Pittsburgh 100" companies, will explain how he saw a technology problem, found a solution and is growing his Pittsburgh-based high-tech business when he lectures at Slippery Rock University Feb. 15.

           The lecture, part of SRU's School of Business continuing "Success Starts Here" series, is at 12:30 p.m. in the Advanced Technology and Science Hall. The series is designed to show students and the regional community opportunities and benefits of building a business in Pennsylvania, particularly western Pennsylvania.

           Valdes-Perez is credited with his company's success in building a better Internet search engine. The so-called "Clusty" search system clusters search results into groups rather than into an unorganized list. "It's an organized and efficient way to browse," Valdes-Perez said.

           The computer whiz began his concept as a research project while attending Carnegie Mellon University. He joined co-founders Jerome Pesenti and Chris Palmer, both CMU faculty members, in the invention. "We saw the opportunity to transform the way people deal with information on the Web," Valdes-Perez said.

           The company, started in 2000, has grown from its three founders to now employ 40 workers in downtown Pittsburgh. The company also offers customized search engines to some 130 companies. Valdes-Perez said the firm is doubling and tripling its revenues each year.

          "Our hope is the lectures will pass information on about how others have succeeded locally," said Bruce Russell, dean of SRU's College of Business, Information and Social Sciences. "By seeing models of others' success, our students, SRU alumni and those from other regional colleges, as well as interested entrepreneurs in the community will make use of the information - applying it to ideas they may have for opening or operating a successful business in the region - including Slippery Rock and Butler County."

"By making use of the success of local companies, we will show participants the road to success - including the potholes," Russell said.

SRU's School of Business is using the BusinessTimes' "Top 100 Growth Firms" success story program as the basis of its ongoing lecture series.

Companies selected by the newspaper represent a diverse group. The BusinessTimes reports the combined revenues of this year's Pittsburgh 100 is almost $3 billion with an employee count near 12,000.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


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