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Bridging Innovation

The Virtual Bridging Innovation week kicks off on April 12, 2021 and will bring together various competitions from across the state that are promoting and fostering entrepreneurship in West Virginia. The competitions range from supporting elementary to college students and community members in their pursuit of becoming entrepreneurs and creating more opportunities in West Virginia.

All competitions and activities though-out Bridging Innovation week are public except StandWatch Academy High School Competition. Register to watch each competition through the links provided below. If you have any questions regarding a specific event please reach out the point of contact listed below that competition.

Monday, April 12 | 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

West Virginia Statewide High School Business Plan Competition 

The HSBPC offers high school juniors and seniors from across the state the opportunity to learn how to move a business idea from conception to action with the help of seasoned business professionals. Finalists receive the opportunity to pitch to real investors and receive $1,000 for their teacher's classroom.  

Hosted by WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the WV Department of Education.  Point of contact: Tara St. Clair -

Register Here

Tuesday, April 13 | 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

West Virginia Innovation & Business Model College Competition

WVIBMC is a statewide business model competition that is open to  all  students enrolled in a West Virginia higher education institution. The focus of the competition is designing desirable, feasible, and viable businesses that are attractive to investors. Students learn and apply entrepreneurial best practices like design thinking, business modeling, and lean startup to identify problems, create game-changing solutions, and develop business models by testing their assumptions on real customers. They will take what they learn and either validate key assumptions or pivot and change course.

Hosted by Marshall University Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (iCenter).  Point of contact: Olen York –

Register Here

Wednesday, April 14

University of Charleston i3 Competition – public – evening

i3 Day is normally a day-long annual competitive event showcasing the University of Charleston's culture of innovation through faculty, staff, and student presentations. Classes are cancelled for the day so that all UC students can participate – either by presenting or supporting their friends who are. This year’s top 4 student presentations will be showcased in a public final round to determine the overall winner campus wide.

Hosted by University of Charleston Innovation Center.  Point of contact: David Ramsburg -
Watch Live!

Thursday, April 15

Seed WV  |  11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Seed WV is a $15,000 cash prize contest for new product ideas that can be brought to market in 6 to 12 months and be sold nationally or globally. This contest is open to all WV residents and small businesses. Applications are due Friday, March 19, 2021. A final judging event, open to the public online via Zoom, will be held on Thursday, April 15, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Hosted by WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics.  Point of contact: Ryan Angus -  

Register Here

My Hometown is Cool  |  7:00 p.m.

WVU Extension Service and the WVU Chambers College of Business and Economics will highlight the voice of youth leaders through the “My Hometown is Cool” statewide competition. Teams of youths ages 9-18 are invited submit a 3-minute video that demonstrates what makes your hometown cool and one idea for making your hometown cooler. The competition is open to teams of two or more youths in West Virginia.

Hosted by WVU Extension Services and WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics.   Point of contact: Lauren Prinzo -

StandWatch Academy High School Competition – private

The StandWatch Academy program produces real-world businesses that provide high school students with educational and career choices. It successfully bridges the gap between what students learn in the classroom and what they will find in the marketplace after graduation.

Point of contact: Zac Northup -

Friday, April 16 | 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition 

The Collegiate BPC offers college students the opportunity to receive the education, skills, contacts, and motivation necessary to create a viable start-up company in West Virginia. Finalists receive $1,000, have the opportunity to win up to $20,000 and pitch to real investors from across the country.

Hosted by WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics Encova Center for Innovation.  Point of contact: Tara St. Clair -

Register Here