WV Hive, WVU Tech Launch Lab announce new sponsor, increased prizes for 2023 Pitch Southern W.Va. Business Idea Competition

Last Call for applications: Deadline for Entrepreneurs to Submit Proposals Is Sept. 19

WV Press Release Sharing

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Leaders of the West Virginia Hive and West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) Launch Lab announced today a new sponsor and the extension of the last call deadline for entries to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in the upcoming Pitch Southern West Virginia Business Idea Competition, to be held on October 12, on the WVU Tech campus in Beckley, W.Va.

Diana Woods, director of the WVU Tech Launch Lab, said the addition of Stephens Auto and WV Auto Buyers as a sponsor will increase the top prize award for community submitted business entries to $2,250 for first place. There will also be a technical assistance package added to the community and student divisions in the amount of $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $750 for third place awards. The technical assistance funds will be used to contract vendors to provide important startup business services including marketing and accounting services or training, and website development.

Woods expressed appreciation for those who have already submitted their business ideas and encouraged others on the fence to finalize their submissions and pitch to the judges. In addition, Lee Ann Goins, co-owner of Hinton Outfitters who took home first place in March’s competition, said, “The Pitch competition is the perfect opportunity to share your business ideas and watch them come alive. By interacting with local business leaders and peers, you receive valuable feedback and exposure to the community. It’s a win-win.”

Judy Moore, executive director of the WV Hive and deputy director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, said a panel of judges will select the winners and the funding for the awards is from private contributors. She added that the pitch competition is open to residents and businesses located in Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Mercer, Wyoming, McDowell, Logan and Mingo Counties and WVU Tech students, faculty and staff. Entries to the business idea competition are limited to entrepreneurs of new start-ups and businesses in operation for less than three years.  Applications will be divided into community (non-student) and student divisions.

Applications can be downloaded at wvhive.com and should be emailed to Woods at: [email protected]

Woods said a new element with this installment is the “audience favorite” award.  Everyone in attendance will have opportunity to vote and the entrepreneur who receives the most votes will win $250.  In addition to silver sponsor Stephens Auto and WV Auto Buyers, this edition’s gold sponsors of the event are United Bank and the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority. All sponsorship funds are provided to the contestants as winnings.

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The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority.  More information about the WV Hive can be found at wvhive.com.WVU Tech has been training leaders for more than 125 years and offers 30 academic programs, including ABET-accredited engineering programs. Ranked in the top 15% of earning potential in the country by PayScale and among the best undergraduate engineering programs in the nation by US News and World Report, WVU Tech has a rich history of academic excellence. More information is available at wvutech.edu

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