West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Update June 2022

Spotlight Programs:

Lauren Prinzo

Community & Economic Development Specialist

WVU Extension Service

Equity in Entrepreneurship Findings Update and Discussion

West Virginia University is conducting in-person strategic planning meetings across West Virginia as part of an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) POWER Technical Assistance grant aimed at expanding entrepreneurship opportunities for rural and low-income youth.

The next round of strategic planning meetings will be held on August 2nd and 4th of 2022. These meetings will focus on utilizing the data collected during the assessment phase to create an action plan. Session 2 will be held in two locations to reduce travel for those who would like to participate.
August 2nd: WVU Potomac State (Keyser) from 10am-2pm
August 4th: WVU Launch Lab (Beckley) from 10am-2pm



Erienne Olesh 


Vantage Ventures

NSF Regional Innovation Engines Funding Opportunity Update

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

Network Updates

West Virginia State is offering a myriad of workshops/webinars this summer:

Problem Resolution (Webinar)

Instructor: Dr. Marlene Hackett, Hackett Praxis

Dates: July 6 & 13 from 12–1 p.m.

Everyone faces occasional issues at home and in the workplace. Most people can effectively communicate if they have a problem, but do not have the skills to professionally and efficiently solve it. This two-part webinar will give you the basic tools needed to identify the root cause of a problem and evaluate, prioritize, test and implement solutions.

Conflict Resolution (Webinar) 

Instructor: Clinton Arnold, assistant professor at WVSU

Dates: July 20 & 27 from 12–1 p.m.

Conflict affects everyone at some point in their everyday lives. Well-managed conflict can actually strengthen relationships, build teamwork, increase productivity and encourage open communication and cooperative problem solving. This two-part webinar will teach participants how to calmly identify conflict, attack the problem (instead of the person), address key issues, move from justification to resolution, develop creative and effective solutions and complete follow-up actions.


WVU’s Launch Lab Introduces LAUNCH Magazine

Executive Director, Dr. Carrie White updates the ecosystem with the first edition of LAUNCH magazine, a student managed and published online magazine.  This collaborative publication is a culmination of writing, design, and photography by the LaunchLab student team. Read stories about some of our current client successes, how the arts are infused into innovation and what some of our alumni are up to now.

Link to Read Issue 1

Position Updates:

  • Tyler Brandstetter (Hello!) has taken the reins as the interim coordinator for the West Virginia BusinessLink after Bill Woodrum’s departure.  For any BusinessLink-related interests, he can be reached at: [email protected]
  • Deacon Stone of RCBI has accepted the position of Director of Entrepreneurship at the EDA University Center at Marshall University.  His previous position of STEM Education Coordinator can be applied for here.

Next Meeting July 12, 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

(We’re currently experiencing some technical difficulties in getting this month’s recording posted.  Please check back in the near future to watch the full video of the June 2022 Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Meeting)