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Best Business Idea pitches announced for Sept. 13

Pitch Southern West Virginia Business Idea Competition at WVU Tech; All attendees are allowed to vote for their favorite pitches

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Organizers of the Pitch Southern West Virginia Business Idea Competition, to be held from 6-8 p.m. September 13 on the campus of West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech), announced the six best pitch ideas chosen to present and invited attendees to vote for their favorites.

The West Virginia Hive, in partnership with the WVU Tech Launch Lab, have brought back the in-person Pitch Southern West Virginia competition after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

Diana Woods, director of the WVU Tech Launch Lab and coordinator of the event, said six entrepreneurs have been chosen to give five-minute, in-person pitches of their business ideas before the judges and in-person audience. The judges will engage in a question-and-answer session with each presenter.

Those presenting on September 13 include:

Hills to Hills Shuttles & Tours        Adena Joy                           Fayette County

Rock Root River Tours                    Leah Chester                      Fayette County                                   

Fat Bottom Coolers LLC                  Marcus Fox                        Raleigh County                  

Mountain Mama Stitchery             Ruschelle Khanna            Raleigh County

Botany Tropicals                            Jordan Casey                     Summers County

Elite Services                                  N. Maryanne Perry           Fayette County

Woods said the business idea competition is limited to entrepreneurs of new start-ups and businesses in operation for less than three years. Eligibility was limited to residents or businesses located in Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Summers, Braxton, Webster, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Mercer, Wyoming and McDowell Counties, along with WVU Tech students.

A panel of judges will select three top entries, with one winner earning a $2,000 prize, sponsored by the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority. Prizes will also be awarded to the second and third place winners. An additional prize package of customized technical assistance will be awarded to the entrepreneur with the best Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) focused business idea. The judges will poll those in attendance before making any award determinations.

Woods said the panel of judges includes serial entrepreneurs, investors, representatives from lending institutions, legal advisors and educators.

Judy Moore, deputy director at the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and executive director of the WV Hive, said RSVPs are required for attendance, as space is limited.

Attendees should be at the WVU Tech Life Sciences Building, Room 200, 100 Mel Hancock Way in Beckley, by 6 p.m. Registration is required.

Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pitch-southern-wv-business-idea-competition-tickets-377564364177?utm_medium=email&_hsmi=223388362&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–0IFWJYEU9A35HYbrTw0OQka4DZKOcGK2kbiYKBTPgcsr8RT6E41aw9lNKkKfb6YkqliVScCfj3_i6axKphQNzLNxznA&utm_content=223388362&utm_source=hs_email

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The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and the administrator of the Country Roads Angel Network. Its 12-county service area includes Raleigh, Fayette, Summers, Nicholas, Braxton, Webster, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Monroe, Mercer, McDowell and Wyoming counties. More information about the WV Hive can be found at wvhive.com.

Country Roads Angel Network, administered by the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority’s WV Hive, is a non-profit corporation based in Beckley and serving all 55 counties of the Mountain State. CRAN offers emerging businesses early stage, seed funding to bring their creations to market. CRAN has recruited qualified investors to evaluate, invest in, and mentor individual startup businesses and completes the NRGRDA ecosystem of innovation and health, attracting a new economy to a region of boundless natural beauty and possibilities. wvcran.com

WVU Tech has been training leaders for more than 125 years and offers 30 academic programs, including 9 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

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