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Having a winning idea is one thing, but making enough money at it to support your ambitions and lifestyle is another. Start with a good idea that fills a need or void in the marketplace. Add a strong team, sound strategy and add a little capital, and watch your dreams become reality. As this competition evolves, visit this section to review timely information to help you turn your idea into a reality.

Disaster Relief Resources




Round 1

In Round 1, you will formulate  your business idea, build a team, and complete the Business Model Canvas, a high-level overview of what  your business will be. Successful teams are able to competently convey an innovative business idea in a few words.

Idea Generation - click here to visit our "Get Inspired" page

The Business Model Canvas

Social Entrepreneurship

  • What Is a Social Enterprise?

Round 2

In Round 2, semifinalists write and submit a feasibility study, sit in one-on-one interviews with multiple judges, and present a 2-minute pitch to judges and other semifinalists. Successful teams can showcase enthusiasm for their business and ultimately convince judges that their business is needed in the market and feasible to operate. 

Pitching a Business Idea

Writing a Feasibility Study

    Round 3

    In the final round, teams write and submit a complete business plan, and give a presentation to a panel of judges followed by Q&A. Successful teams in the final round have well-thought-out business ideas, can clearly convey the market's need for their business, and can demonstrate their commitment to the success of the business.

    Writing a Business Plan

    Financial Information

    Other Resources

    No matter how far you go in the competition, these resources are helpful to startups and businesses in any stage of development.

    West Virginia Business Information

    National Business Information

    Starting a Business

    • Key Business Metrics

    Intellectual Property

    Intellectual Property, often known as IP, allows people to own their creativity and innovation in the same way that they can own physical property. The owner of IP can control and be rewarded for its use, and this encourages further innovation and creativity to the benefit of us all.

    The four main types of IP are:

    • patents for inventions - new and improved products and processes that are capable of industrial application
    • trade marks for brand identity - of goods and services allowing distinctions to be made between different traders
    • designs for product appearance - of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation;
    • copyright for material - literary and artistic material, music, films, sound recordings and broadcasts, including software and multimedia

    For more information, visit the  US Patent and Trademark Office website.

    Contact Marian Armour-Gemmen ( at the WVU Patent & Trademark Resource Center at the Evansdale Library (304)-293-9758. This is a free resource to all West Virginia students. 

    WVU Resources

    • Jessica Vanderhoff
      WVU Library Research Services Department
      PO Box 6069, Morgantown, WV 26506
      (304) 293-0334
    • WVU LaunchLab

    Recommended Books

    • Tough Things First (Ray Zinn)
    • The Ten Day MBA (Steven Silbiger)
    • The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley & Danko)
    • Seven Habits of Highly Successful People (Stephen Covey)
    • Talking to Humans (Giff Constable)