West Virginia Entrepreneurship Update September 2021

Program Spotlight for September

2021-2022 WV Statewide Business Plan

Tara St. Clair, Director of Operations, Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship [email protected]
Tara provided updates regarding the 2021-2022 WV Statewide Business Plan Competitions. The competitions provide high school and college students across the state of West Virginia with the unique opportunity to make a business idea come to life. The competitions award technical assistance funding each year to eager entrepreneurs in West Virginia. Students will receive consulting services from WVU Launch Lab coaches, Access to Fab Labs, Mobile Maker Space, seat time at RCBI and potential investors.
High School: open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors at public or private high schools
College: undergraduate and graduate, part-time and full-time, open to all majors

Competition Overview
Round 1: 90-second YouTube video entry online
Round 2: Business Model Canvas submitted online
Round 3: Business Plan & final presentations in Charleston, WV


New Additions to Staff at WV Secretary of State

Mike Queen, Deputy Chief of Staff for the WV Secretary of State Office (WVSOS), introduced Chris Alder, the new Director of the WVSOS Business & Licensing Division.   Chris is a native West Virginian and a graduate of Marshall University.

WV BusinessLink Launch Video

Bill Woodrum, WV BusinessLink, thanked everyone for their help and announced that WV BusinessLink was officially being launched today.   Here is the launch video:

The Women Innovate Pitch, WVU Launch Lab

Carrie White, Executive Director of the WVU Launchlab [email protected]

In conjunction with Women Entrepreneurs Week 2021 and Monteclair University, the Morris L. Hayhurst Launchlab and WVU partners contacted, will host the 2nd annual Women Innovate Pitch Competition. This competition serves as an opportunity to highlight any female innovators and entrepreneurs in the state, and to pitch their idea to a panel of esteemed female judges. Applications will open on September 17, and close on October 8 @ 5 PM.

The event will be held virtually on October 20 from 5 – 7 pm on Zoom. Prizes of over 5000 will be awarded.

The Women Innovate Pitch Competition

Tamarack Foundation for the Arts Creative Class Trainings

Angelica Armstrong, Tamarack Foundation for the [email protected]

Tamarack Foundation for the Arts (TFA) invites you to join us (virtually) for a day of interactive workshops and artist-led discussions that will help prepare you to take the next step in your creative journey.
Our stellar lineup of speakers, listed below, will share the wisdom they’ve gained from their own experience “making it” as creative entrepreneurs, providing a little personal coaching as well. In addition, you’ll get to hear from this year’s Emerging Artist Fellows and have numerous opportunities to connect with artists from around the state and at many different stages in their careers.
WV Creative Arts & Business Summit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/168148804601

Also, TFA is offering a  cohort based program that empowers creative entrepreneurs to launch their business. 10wks 6-9pm on Thursdays.

What You Will Gain
Our programs and tools are designed to help you:

– Have a safe place to share, experiment, fail, and learn together.
– Learn how to ask the right questions to better identity and address key issues.
– Understand WHY specific business activities matter, HOW they fit together, and WHETHER they are relevant to your situation.
– Connect with people and resources who can help you make progress.
– Find accountability to accomplish your goals.
– Identify the most critical activities to focus on going forward and know your next step.

CO.STARTERS Core program is a cohort-based program that equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action.

Co.STARTERS for Creative Entrepreneurs: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/169135299233

Upcoming Ecosystem Topics: A discussion

Bill Woodrum, WV BusinessLink,  led a discussion of topics for future meetings.  Would like to assist with emerging issues that members can see occurring throughout the state.  Please contact Bill with ideas, comments, and concerns.

Come In, We’re Open Campaign

Deb Martin, Director, WV Small Business Development Center [email protected]

#WeAreOpenWV A Small Business Development Center campaign to encourage all West Virginians to support the Mountain State’s small businesses and for small business owner to participate and spread the word that they are open and ready for business.  Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and have faced tremendous challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they’re back open and need the support of community members more than ever. https://wvsbdc.com/weareopenwv/


Next Meeting October 12, 2021 2:00 p.m.  Register HERE for future meetings.

or watch the full video below.

West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem September 2021