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WVU LaunchLab pitch competitions prepare student innovators for challenges of real-world entrepreneurship

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 C.J. Locke, MakerLab staff and mechanical engineering major, uses resources in the MakerLab at Evansdale Crossing.
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One of the most powerful tools in the West Virginia University LaunchLab array is the pitch competition, in which students prepare tightly-timed presentations about their products or businesses that they then deliver to a panel of judges. WVU LaunchLab aims to support student entrepreneurs, innovators and start-ups by helping to develop business models, and introducing students to potential investors and customers. The Fall Kickoff Pitch Competition was held in September, and WVU LaunchLab is currently accepting entries in its Women’s Pitch Competition.


Quotes and Comments

“It feels good to have other people recognize the worth of your idea.  Being able to explain the idea to people who have no experience working [in the field], and having them agree that our idea is important is very validating.” —Kristen Hanlan, one of the winners of the September competition.  Hanlan, along with Samantha Farley, won for their idea for a dental hygiene prototype.  Both are dental hygiene students at WVU.

“Our pitch competitions really challenge LaunchLab students to do everything they need to do so sell their product or idea to potential investors.They have to talk to a lay audience and truly make their case in just a few minutes, without a lot of props or gimmicks. Every entrant, whether they win or not, builds confidence and poise that will serve them well when they go talk to real investors.” —Mindy Walls, assistant vice president for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at WVU. 


Photos available for download

WVU LaunchLab

Target Audiences

State legislators and policymakers

Corporate/Business community

Potential students

Entrepreneurs and innovators



CONTACT: Melinda Walls
Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Office of the Provost

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.