West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Update May 2022

 Spotlight Program:

Amber Ravenscroft
Manager of Innovation 
The EdVenture Group

NSF Regional Innovation Engines Funding Opportunity

The Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, or TIP, is pleased to announce the launch of a bold, new initiative called the NSF Regional Innovation Engines, or NSF Engines, program and funding opportunity. NSF Engines is committed to creating technology-driven innovation ecosystems throughout every region of the U.S., driving economic growth, addressing key societal challenges, and advancing national competitiveness.

Facing global competition for talent and leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research and education1, the U.S. must expand its innovation capacity by leveraging the resources, creativity, and ingenuity that exists across all geographic regions of the country.  The U.S. National Science Foundation initiative named NSF Engines is a program catalyzes and fosters innovation ecosystems across the U.S. to:

  • Advance critical technologies
  • Address national and societal challenges
  • Foster partnerships across industry, academia, government, nonprofits, civil society, and communities of practice
  • Promote and stimulate economic growth and job creation
  • Spur regional innovation and talent


Bridging Innovation Review –Tara St. Clair & Bill Woodrum

Tara started with a video review of the 2022 event.

Discussion was held around  improvements including:

  • Tara: moving the event around the state and looking for local communities who want to host and pull the event to their region.    Wheeling was suggested by some attendees.
  • Carrie: More pitch contests including various thematic pitches like an Arts Pitch and more engagement with Creative Class entrepreneurs
  • Anne :  Interested in supporting the arts opportunities and continuing/expanding the pitch evaluations
  • Mike G:  suggested reaching out to Renee Margocy from the Tamarack Foundation
  • Erriene: thematic groupings could be done around energy, sustainability, finance/fin tech, etc.
  • Tara:  would love to see more evening networking in coffe shops, bars, restaurants, etc. supporting local business
  •  Betsy:   some consideration to evening activities for students would be good
  • Joe: Curated Matchmaking, Experiential Work Shops, and Cativating Keynote Speakers


Changes to Ecosystem

Bill announced he would be stepping down as Ecosystem Co-Chair as he has accepted a job with the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.   Amber Ravenscroft will be taking his place as the co-chair of the Ecosystem and Tara St. Clair will continue her role as co-chair for another year.      WV BusinessLink position will be filled at a later date.


Other Notes:

  • Intellectual Property Series ContinuesMary Hott– Will be having event tomorrow. Trademark Basics with an Overview of Copyright Basics May 10 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am EDT and also the next week May 17 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am EDT   Resources for Inventors, Innovators & Entrepreneurs
  • Ribbon Cutting for WV Women’s Business Center
  • Strategic Planning meetings Youth Entrepreneurship-This Thursday (Marshall Campus) and Friday (WVU campus)
  • Marjorie Cooke, Advantage Valley , announced the next in their FASTER program on June 14 and the work they are doing to work with business owners on receiving certification as a minority owned business

Next Meeting June 14, 2022 2:00 p.m.

Register in advance for this meeting 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


See the full meeting video below:

WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Meeting