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Spotlight will be on business Thursday at daylong Entrepalooza '12 event

Author Keith McFarland will be the featured speaker Thursday at Entrepalooza '12 in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

McFarland's appearance will be part of a daylong program that will include round-table discussions with specialists on a variety of topics. More than 50 businesses are expected to have exhibits.

McFarland wrote the best-selling book "The Breakthrough Company: How Everyday Companies Become Extraordinary Performers." He analyzed 7,000 growth companies over five years and concentrated on a handful that had risen from small companies to industry leaders.

The common threads McFarland found for his book are the type of insights organizers of Entrepalooza '12 wanted to share with the event's audience, said Paul Buckley, chairman of the University at Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Alumni Association.

The Thursday event combines Entrepalooza and the Alumni Association's Ask the Experts & Expo event. Three sets of round-table discussions are scheduled for the morning program, covering topics ranging from market research and hiring to advertising, human resources and leadership development.

Buckley said the event is for any size business but is particularly aimed at smaller companies, with perhaps 150 employees or less. "There's expertise to be gained across the board," he said.

About 250 tickets have already been sold for the event. Registration is available at or