This isn’t the same business plan competition you may be familiar with in West Virginia.
Things just took a step up for the West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition with an increase from two to three categories of competition. That means three grand prizes of $10,000 for each category’s winner.
The new category is that of STEM, the acronym that stands for the fields of study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For the competition, the emphasis will be on engineering, technology, energy and health care. The two other categories will remain intact: Lifestyle & Innovation, which will focus on products or services that are part of daily life or new innovations; and Hospitality & Tourism, which will focus on products or services relevant to hospitality, restaurants, hotels, tourism or related fields.
“As the West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition has evolved over the past seven years, so has our thinking,” said Steven Cutright, director of the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics. WVU’s business school is the host for the annual competition that runs throughout the collegiate academic year.
“We now have the infrastructure in place where we could expand the categories to include STEM disciplines. Breaking new ground in areas such as engineering, technology, energy and health care is dependent upon innovation. This competition will cultivate, encourage, and promote great business ideas in the STEM areas that are born in this state, and we’ll do everything possible to transform those ideas into real businesses. It’s good for the collegiate landscape and it’s good for West Virginia.”
The competition has seen change in the past as well. The original categories of Lifestyle and Innovation were combined when the Hospitality & Tourism category was added in 2010. Hospitality & Tourism was added as a competition category because it is the second-largest industry in the state.
Open to all majors at West Virginia’s 19 four-year higher education institutions, the Business Plan Competition welcomes participation from individuals or teams up to four members. Participants must be full-time students and winners must start up their businesses in West Virginia. Grand prizes in each category include $10,000 in cash and a prize package that includes accounting and legal services worth an estimated $4,000.
Last year’s competition had a record 141 entries from a record 11 participating schools.
For further information on the West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition, go to www.be.wvu.edu/bpc/ .
CONTACT: Tara St. Clair, WVU BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
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