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The field has been narrowed to 15 finalist teams going after three grand prizes of $10,000 each in the West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition. There are five teams left in each of the competition categories comprised of STEM, Lifestyle & Innovation, and Hospitality & Tourism. Pictured presenting in the semi-final round are the brother-and-sister team of Kadee and Keegan Mueller of West Virginia University, whose business idea of Whiteline Innovation advanced to the final round.

West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition finalists include would-be entrepreneurs from five state schools

After two phases of competition, 15 teams of college entrepreneurs have advanced to the finals of the 13th annual West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition. The 15 finalists hail from five colleges and universities in West Virginia, as the teams try to capture a grand prize of $10,000 in each of three categories of competition.

The competition categories include STEM, Lifestyle & Innovation, and Hospitality & Tourism. Collegiate teams from Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Marshall University, Shepherd University, University of Charleston and West Virginia University have secured finalist positions, and will receive $1,000 to help further develop their business idea in the final phase. A winter workshop designed to develop business ideas will be held for the teams in February, with the three winners to be announced in April.

“The semi-finals were held Nov. 16 in Flatwoods, West Virginia, where 30 teams — 10 in each of the categories — presented to a panel of judges from throughout this region of the U.S.,” said Tara St. Clair, senior program manager at the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics, which hosts the statewide competition.

This year’s field of teams saw 201 entries from 15 different schools across the state. St. Clair said that it was a good sign to see so many schools participating in the competition, and that a record eight schools were represented among the field of 30 semi-finalists.

“I was inspired by the ideas of the students in the business plan competition this year,” said Kerissa Kuis, a competition judge and CEO of the University of Wellness, a wellness education business she developed after earning her MBA at WVU. “I was extremely impressed by the detail some of the students had in their plans and how much work they had already done on the projects. It was a wonderful experience to be a part of.”

The West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition offers a platform to college students around the state to help make their business ideas come to life. The competition is open to all full-time higher education students from any academic major in the state of West Virginia. As the competition progresses throughout the academic year, students receive extensive education and assistance in preparing their business plans and creating their businesses.

Find out more about the competition.

The Brickstreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is part of the WVU Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Applied Ecosystem, a university-wide web of centers, offices and programs that fosters and supports innovation and entrepreneurship among WVU students, faculty and staff while engaging the statewide community.

Other areas include IDEA Faculty Fellows, WVU Women’s Business Center, LaunchLab Network Davis Young Innovators program, WVU Extension Service, Patent and Trademark Resource Center, Health Sciences Innovation Center, Legal Clinics, Media Innovation Center, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the MakerLab and Technology Transfer.

Below is the complete list of 2018-19 West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition finalists:

STEM

  1.  Loudon Aerial Solutions, LLC- Shepherd University
  2.  New River Manufacturing- University of Charleston
  3.  INSULARM- University of Charleston
  4.  Weedster- Marshall University
  5.  Iconic EDU- West Virginia University

Lifestyle & Innovation

  1. Hydro Sustainable LLC- BlueRidge CTC
  2. Whiteline Innovation- WVU
  3. Second Chance- University of Charleston
  4. Cold Roller- WVU
  5. Farm to Fork Meat Processing- Marshall

Hospitality & Tourism

  1. Hideaway Campground, LLC- University of Charleston
  2. The Neighborhood Kombuchery- WVU
  3. Veggie Crate, LLC- University of Charleston
  4. TCO- University of Charleston
  5. Real Fight Promotions- WVU

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