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Development centers offer guiding light to small companies

Nervously practicing her pitch for hours in her home office, the co-founder of educational toy maker Budding Brilliance Corp. tried not to think about the dollars at stake in her presentation to a group of Tech Coast Angels, an influential Southland organization of wealthy investors. Eight months of intense preparation from equity experts, courtesy of TriTech Small Business Development Center in Irvine, had polished Tina Davis’ spiel. Watching herself on video helped curb her unconscious swaying and jittery hands. In the end, her efforts didn’t win the hoped-for investment, but the 15-minute pitch in November 2006 resulted in something almost more valuable for Davis and business partner, Jennifer Cook: The angels validated their idea for a toy that evaluates how children learn, offered a detailed critique of the presentation arranged by TriTech and extended an invitation to pitch again. For the full story visit http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-smallbiz12-2008may12,0,7348052.story

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