BRIDGING INNOVATION WEEK
This series of events will bring together various meetings and competitions from across the state that are promoting and fostering entrepreneurship in West Virginia. These efforts will range from supporting elementary to college students and community members in their pursuit of becoming entrepreneurs to creating more opportunities in West Virginia and building our ecosystem across the Mountain State.
Monday, April 4 | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
University of Charleston i3 Competition
i3 (Idea, Innovation, Invention) is an annual competitive event showcasing the University of Charleston’s culture of innovation through faculty, staff, and student presentations. The main driver behind i3 is to encourage the sharing of innovative ideas, projects, research, and much more to receive valuable feedback from the community. Each year 100’s of UC students, faculty, and staff participate along with 50+ judges from Charleston and surrounding communities.
Hosted by the University of Charleston Russell and Martha Wehrle Innovation Center Point of contact: David Ramsburg- [email protected]
Tuesday, April 5 | 9 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
WV Entrepreneurship Conference (WVEC)
The WVEC aims to bring together key providers in the state to share best practices and inspire collaborations. At its core is the creation of an intentional system of support for entrepreneurs from ideation to visualization to regulatory submissions and into support for sustaining businesses throughout the difficult first years and beyond.
See our conference schedule at WV Entrepreneurship Conference
Tuesday, April 5 | 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Vantage Ventures Networking Reception
Location: The Equities House 900 Virginia St E, Charleston, WV 25301
Please join us for an Open House at The Equities House. Network with fellow conference attendees and VIPs. Take a quick tour of the office and classroom space utilized by the WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics, WVU College of Law and WVU Extension Service. Light refreshments and appetizers will be provided. Hosted by Vantage Ventures.
Tuesday, April 5 | 4:15 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Country Roads Angel Network Investor Meeting
Country Roads Angel Network is hosting an event for investor members and potential investor members. The event will include a catered dinner, networking opportunities and the review of our quarterly investment pitches.
Wednesday, April 6 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
2022 WV Innovation + Business Model Competition Showcase
WVIBMC is a statewide business model competition that is open to all students enrolled in a West Virginia higher education institution. The focus of the competition is designing desirable, feasible, and viable businesses that are attractive to investors. Students learn and apply entrepreneurial best practices like design thinking, business modeling, and lean startup to identify problems, create game-changing solutions, and develop business models by testing their assumptions on real customers. They will take what they learn and either validate key assumptions or pivot and change course. It is anticipated between 3 and 6 of the 2022 WVIBMC participants will demo their presentations before a panel of potential investors. The selected 2022 WVIBMC participants will have approximately 8 minutes to deliver an effective and persuasive demonstration of the proposed solution to a significant problem with the opportunity to secure pre-revenue capital from the investor pool.
Hosted by Marshall University Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (iCenter). Point of contact: Olen York – [email protected]
Wednesday, April 6| 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
West Virginia Statewide High School Business Plan Competition (HSBPC)
The HSBPC offers high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors from across the state the opportunity to learn how to move a business idea from conception to action with the help of seasoned business professionals. Finalists receive the opportunity to pitch to real investors.
Hosted by WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the WV Department of Education. Point of contact: Tara St. Clair – [email protected]
Wednesday, April 6 | 1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition
The Collegiate BPC offers college students the opportunity to receive the education, skills, contacts, and motivation necessary to create a viable start-up company in West Virginia. Finalists receive $1,000 and have the opportunity to pitch to real investors from across the country.
Hosted by WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Point of contact: Tara St. Clair – [email protected]
Wednesday, April 6 3:10 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.
Community Business Plan Competition
The WV Community Business Plan Competition is a $15,000 cash prize contest for new product ideas that can be brought to market in 6 to 12 months and be sold nationally or globally. This contest is open to all WV residents and small businesses. Applications are due 12:00 p.m. on March 15, 2022.
Hosted by WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics. Point of contact: Ryan Angus – [email protected]
Wednesday, April 6 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Vantage Ventures Demo Day
Vantage Ventures will host a Demo Day event for their clients as a part of Bridging Innovation. The sessions will create connections for entrepreneurs with people who want these innovators to succeed.
Hosted by WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics. Point of contact: Sarah Biller [email protected]
Wednesday, April 6 | 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Awards Banquet for Business Plan and Business Model Competitions
Beginning with a networking happy hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Business Plan and Business Model Competition Awards Banquet provides competitors and their supporters with the opportunity to highlight and celebrate their participation in the state’s premiere student student business competitions.
The awards banquet celebration honors the outstanding accomplishments student awards winners from the following events:
- WV Statewide High School Business Plan Competition
- WV Innovation & Business Model College Competition
- WV Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition
Hosted by WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Marshall University Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (iCenter) , and the West Virginia Department of Education Point of contact: Tara St. Clair – [email protected]
Thursday, April 7 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Youth Entrepreneurship In Action
West Virginia high school students are invited to work in teams to create and share ideas for improving their communities through entrepreneurship! This interactive session will include hands-on activities from the WVU My Hometown is Cool! program and a chance to win prizes. Presenters will share information on multiple upcoming opportunities for youth interested in entrepreneurship. This session is limited to participating youth and adult facilitators.
Thursday, April 7 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Veteran Entrepreneur Reception
West Virginia University is at the forefront of providing dedicated programs for veterans and their families. To that end, the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics will be hosting an invitation only reception and dinner to introduce its new statewide veterans entrepreneurship program. During the dinner, veterans, VIPs, and business leaders from around the state will gather to discuss ways to help veterans and their spouses start and grow businesses in the Mountain State.
Hosted by WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Point of contact: Zac Northrup [email protected]
Hotel Room Block Available
Charleston Marriott Town Center
Start Date: Sunday, April 3, 2022
End Date: Friday, April 8, 2022
Last Day to Book: Friday, March 4, 2022
Bridging Innovations Rate for 129 USD – 139 USD per night