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The 2017 Investors Choice Venture Capital Conference takes place this week, with Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger delivering the event’s Friday keynote luncheon address.

Ruettiger was immortalized in the 1993 film “Rudy,” which tells the story of his relentless efforts to advance from being an undersized athlete to playing for the Notre Dame football team.

“Clearly, ‘Rudy’ is the most inspirational sports movie of all time,” said Brad Bertoch, president and chief executive officer of, the conference organizer. “So it’s not surprising that Ruettiger has gone on to become an inspirational author and a highly sought-after motivational speaker. But that’s not all of his story.”

In 2011, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had brought charges against Ruettiger and 12 others, alleging that they had been involved in a “pump and dump” stock-promoting scheme involving the Rudy Nutrition sports drink company. Without admitting or denying the allegations brought against him, Ruettiger settled the SEC charges.

“Ruettiger and I have agreed that his keynote address will focus on the lessons he has learned, both on and off the field, lessons of perseverance and inspiration, as well as his lessons of caution and redemption,” Bertoch said. “Rudy has great stories to share — stories I believe entrepreneurs of all stripes can embrace and apply in all aspects of their lives.”

The conference is the oldest VC conference in the U.S. — held annually since 1984 — and the largest investor conference in the Rocky Mountain region. It takes place 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. Activities include 10-minute investor “pitches” from 27 vetted startup business looking to raise between $200,000 to $10 million per company from the hundreds of investors expected to attend the conference.

Company presentations will be delivered in two tracks running from the morning through midday. Following Ruettiger’s luncheon address, conference attendees will be able to attend several panel discussions from 2-4 p.m., as well as the closing reception from 4-6 p.m.

Related Investors Choice events include Thursday’s ski/snowboard day at Solitude Mountain Resort and a reception from 6-9 p.m. at Gallivan Hall in Salt Lake City.

Details about the conference are at Discount codes to attend the conference are available to accredited investors, venture capitalists, strategic investors and family office executives by contacting David Politis at, formed in 1983 as the Wayne Brown Institute, is a nonprofit venture acceleration organization. More than 850 firms have participated in its annual Investors Choice Venture Capital Conference. Since 2009, alumni companies have realized over $7 billion in monies raised or investor payouts via merger-and-acquisition transactions.