Visit to West Virginia University Launch Lab and State PitchCompetition
You editor has been invited to talk to the WestVirginia University Launch Lab about startup publications, a great honor. The presentation has been scheduled to coincide with the annual West Virginia Business Plan Competition April 11th and 12th. The Chambers College of Business has been recognized in the top 50 of the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Online MBA Program rankings in part because of its entrepreneurship program. Enter the West Virginia Business Plan Competition
The West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition affords college students around the state the unique opportunity to make a business idea come to life with the support of state institutions of higher education and seasoned business professionals from around the country. The goal of the competition is to provide students with the education, skills, contacts, and motivation necessary to create a viable start-up company in West Virginia. Three grand prize packages consisting of $10,000 cash and consulting services are awarded to the top team in each category. The competition is free to enter.
The WVU LaunchLab Network was recognized on the global stage as an Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center at the Global Consortium for Entrepreneurship Center’s annual conference in Chicago, Illinois on Oct. 21.
Awarded as a top finalist for having a clearly defined target audience and purpose as a center that has been open for five years or less, the LaunchLab Network received recognition for championing its exceptional engagement with students and community members, encouragement of cross-departmental collaboration and ability to raise funds that support clients’ innovative ideas.
“Our LaunchLab Network’s powerful role in helping our students and community members bring their ideas to fruition is widely known on campus,” said Provost Joyce McConnell. “It is wonderful to see the Network recognized internationally for the caliber of the work they do to inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.”
Since WVU LaunchLab Network’s inception in 2014, more than 660 venture ideas have passed through the center’s doors, nearly $90,000 in funding have been awarded to clients for innovation development and its female clientele has increased by 77 percent over the last two years. Success has also expanded to the Beckley campus LaunchLab and a third location is slated to open in 2019.
The award winners were selected through a rigorous nomination and evaluation process undergoing review by a panel of 35 academic peers. More than 100 university programs were nominated this year among the 250+ GCEC worldwide membership. Other finalists included: The Entrepreneurship Center of the Federal University of Itajuba; the Jill Ker Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at Smith College; the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship; the Wond’ry at Vanderbilt University; and the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs at Virginia Tech.
Carrie White, Assistant Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Nora Myers, Director of WVU LaunchLab at Beckley, expressed their excitement to be distinguished by a global entity among their international peers. They said: “Our rapid growth, including the expansion to the Beckley campus and securing grant funding, has helped us realize a number of success stories among our students, faculty and staff. They are launching businesses, securing patents and licensing deals. This international recognition by a global body is a tremendous honor, and we look forward to continuing to expand our reach across West Virginia to empower more discoveries that can transform our state and beyond.”
West Virginia University’s LaunchLab Network serves as a comprehensive, one-stop shop to help students develop and commercialize their ideas, innovations, inventions or business models. In a motivating and supportive environment, the LaunchLab Network is an applied innovation center offers hands-on idea development support, education, mentorship, prototyping facilities, resources and connections to empower entrepreneurs across West Virginia.
We will report on the contestants, the launch lab, and the WVU program in the coming days post visit. Stay tune for information on one of better entrepreneurship program in the country!