Looking for a way to jumpstart your career for 2015? Come and be a part of the annual Jumpstart Conference, scheduled Feb. 26 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre in Flint.

This year marks the 8th annual Jumpstart Conference and Chemical Bank will serve as the event’s corporate sponsor.

Over the years, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce eTEAM has worked to support the local entrepreneur and small business community by honoring startups as well as businesses that continue to grow after several years of operation.

Jumpstart Conference Co-chair Karena Hamlet says the event enables the Chamber’s eTEAM “to offer programming to several types of businesses -- either a startup or someone who has been in business for a few years.” Hamlet believes that “Everyone will learn something new from this event.”

The conference will feature five breakout sessions:

  1. Inventors: Idea to FabLab to Market:Featuring insights on prototyping, product development and other available tools to take your idea from concept to creation.
  2. Lending: What to Expect: Learn to obtain a commercial loan from the bank and the SBA, including SBA loan support programs.
  3. Business Plan Basics: It isn’t simply a requirement for getting a loan – find out how it helps you figure out and virtually test your business concept.
  4. Marketing: Old, new, tried, true: Get insights on what to do, why to do it and how to create a larger “footprint” on the web.
  5. Business Symposium: Exclusively for businesses with at least three years of history that are ready to build on what they have already achieved, with experts in finance, marketing, talent and strategic planning.

In addition to the breakout sessions, there will be a keynote speaker and an award ceremony. Awards include the Spark and Rising Star awards, recognizing businesses each year. The Spark Award is reserved for businesses that have been in operation for two years or less, has a clearly identified market and has exhibited growth potential. The Rising Star Award is awarded to businesses with 50 or more full-time employees and $200,000 or more in annual revenue. Rising Star awardees are businesses that have stood the test of time and continue to grow, despite previous setbacks.

Jumpstart offer a continental breakfast, and lunch is also provided. The event is open to the public at $20 per person, $5 for students who pre-register and $10 for students at the door. A student ID. is required to obtain the student fee. Approximately 150 people attended last year and attendance is expected to grow for 2015.

­Please contact Co-chair and Business Development Manager Karena Hamlet at 810-600-1440 or khamlet@flintandgenesee.org for more information.