A record-setting field of 141 entries in the West Virginia Statewide Business Plan Competition has been narrowed to 20 teams representing five different colleges and universities in the state.

The 20 semi-finalist teams comprise two categories of competition, Lifestyle & Innovation and Hospitality & Tourism. Those advancing to the second round of competition hail from Concord University, Glenville State College, Marshall University, Shepherd University and West Virginia University. Their business plan ideas were judged by business experts from across the state and throughout this region of the U.S.

“Teams who have advanced did so on the strength of their business ideas,” said Steven Cutright, director of the West Virginia University Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The center is housed in the WVU College of Business and Economics, which hosts the annual statewide competition. “The second round will require competing teams to submit a five- to seven-page business feasibility summary, provide a two-minute ‘elevator pitch’ on their proposed business and participate in a seven-minute, face-to-face interview with business and industry professionals who are serving as judges.”

See http://be.wvu.edu/bpc/updates/index.htm for the complete list of semi-finalists.

The semi-final round will take place Nov. 13 at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont. This year’s competition also saw a record 11 participating schools in a single year and, along with the 141 entries, represents a high in the seven years of this event.

Semi-finalists continue to chase two $10,000 prizes for winning entries in each of the two categories. The winning teams must establish and open their businesses in West Virginia. They will receive a one-year professional services package that includes legal and accounting services and space for one year in the WVU Business Incubator. The prize package is valued at more than $6,000.

Cutright said there were 90 entries in the Lifestyle & Innovation category and 51 entries in the Hospitality & Tourism category. A total of 677 teams from 14 different West Virginia colleges and universities have participated in the seven years of statewide competition.

For information on the West Virginia Statewide Business Plan Competition, see www.be.wvu.edu/bpc.



Check http://wvutoday.wvu.edu daily for the latest news from the University. Follow @WVUToday and the WVU College of Business and Economics at @wvucobe on Twitter.

CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics
patrick.gregg@mail.wvu.edu; (304)-293-5131