West Virginia Entrepreneurship Conference

Tuesday, April 5, 2022 


West Virginia Entrepreneurship Conference

Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center

Ballrooms A-E 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The WV Entrepreneurship Conference aims to bring together entrepreneurs and entrepreneur serving organizations in the state to share best practices and inspire collaborations.   



8:30-9:00 a.m.


Setup for vendors in atrium


9:00-10:00 a.m.  

Showcase of resources (Atrium)


10:00-10:15 a.m.

Welcome  (Ballroom C)

The Honorable Jim Justice, Governor of West Virginia

Video Comments from Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Connelly Manchin

Moderator: Bill Woodrum, Coordinator, WV BusinessLink


 10:15–11:50 a.m.




Opening Keynote  and Response Panel  (Ballroom C)

Nathan Ohle, President and CEO

International Economic Development Council (IEDC)

How does the system support entrepreneurs? 

Moderator: Joe Kapp, National Center for Resource Development


Panel Discussion- Removing Barriers to Entrepreneurship in WV (Ballroom C)

Sponsored by Small Business Development Center of West Virginia

Ben Queen, West Virginia House of Delegates

The Honorable Mac Warner, West Virginia Secretary of State

Amber Ravenscroft, The EdVenture Group

Joe Kapp, National Center for Resource Development


Moderator: Deb Martin, WV Small Business Development Center


11:50- 12:00 p.m.


12:00-12:50 p.m.

Lunch Sponsored by The Encova Foundation (Ballroom C)

Video Comments from The Honorable Joe Manchin, Senator, West Virginia

Video Comments from The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito, Senator, West Virginia

Fireside Chat with President Brad Smith, Marshall University hosted by Toney Stroud, Encova Insurance

1:00-1:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1 (Ballroom B)

Sponsored by WV Department of Education

Entrepreneurship in Education – Creating Pipelines


Dr. Chris Treadway- WV Community  & Technical Colleges

Clinton Burch, WV Department of Education CTE programs

Dr. Carrie White, WVU

Moderator: Scott Rotruck, WV Board of Education 


Breakout 2 (Ballroom D)

Sponsored by WV HIVE

Small Business Entrepreneurship (how to start, resources for entrepreneurs)


Kyle Gillis, Iconic Air

Michele O’Connor, West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust

Ursulette Ward,  Unlimited Future, Inc.

Mary Hunt, Benedum Foundation.


Moderator: Judy Moore, WV HIVE




Breakout 3 (Ballroom E)

Sponsored by Country Roads Angel Network

Innovative Financing Models and Approaches for Small Business 


Bradley Sergent-Jobs Investment Trust

Kevin Combs, CRAN

Christy Laxton, Wyoming County EDA


Moderator:David Lieving, HADCO

1:50 – 2:00 p.m.

Move back to Ballroom C


2:00 – 2:45 p.m.

Entrepreneurship Fireside Chat  Sponsored by Vantage Ventures

Ballroom C

Dan Wright
CEO at  DataRobot


President E. Gordon Gee

West Virginia University


Moderator: Sarah Biller, Vantage Ventures

2:45- 3:00 p.m.

Closing/ Takeaways/ Next Steps /Survey

Ballroom C 


Tara St Clair

Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, West Virginia University

3:00-5:00  p.m.                                                                     

Networking Reception with Vantage Ventures

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.

4:15-8:00 p.m.        

Country Roads Angel Network Investor Meeting 

Ballroom D  

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.

Hosted by the West Virginia Department of Economic Development Small Business Development Center and West Virginia BusinessLink Point of contact: Bill Woodrum –  [email protected]

Registration  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wv-entrepreneurship-ecosystem-conference-tickets-192373593597