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WVU entities to participate in Bridging Innovation Week

Bridging Innovation Week

WVU will engage in multiple ways during the 2023 Bridging Innovation Week in Wheeling, April 17-21.

The goal is to promote and foster entrepreneurship by bringing together ecosystem members, entrepreneurs and educators. Engaging events offered from across the state will focus on creating more opportunities in West Virginia and cultivating a thriving, entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“West Virginia has created an abundance of entrepreneurial resources throughout the state in the past several years,” said Tara St. Clair, co-chair of Bridging Innovation Week. “This week will build upon the success of last year’s inaugural event to spotlight an engaging agenda that contains four days of expositions and competitions designed to inspire, support and fund entrepreneurs in West Virginia. I am proud to host the West Virginia Statewide Business Plan Competitions during Bridging Innovation Week.”

Ascend WV will provide a scholarship to five members representing the Morgantown, Greenbrier Valley and Eastern Panhandle areas to attend and participate in the WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Conference on April 19. 

Azfar Rizvi, a member of Ascend Greenbrier Valley, will present as a member of the Design Thinking/ Storytelling Panel. 

The Morris L. Hayhurst LaunchLab will host two pitch competitions open to the public on April 18 in the Towngate Theatre. One competition will focus on arts, while the other is open to veterans and their family members. Incredible entrepreneurs, who need your support, will pitch their businesses during this event. Be sure to also check out additional artisan tables in the venue.

Competition applications are due by April 1. 

Submit an application to the Arts Entrepreneur Pitch competition.

Submit an application to the Veteran Entrepreneur Pitch competition.

New challenges call for new approaches and it is no longer a secret that West Virginia is home to start-ups that are translating technologies into investable, scaling companies that are solving these challenges. Vantage Ventures is pleased to be part of the Bridging Innovation conference’s ambitious agenda to showcase the incredible founders and the organizations who work tirelessly to support them

Vantage Ventures will feature five companies this year including Carrie Gamper, Co-founder of BASE Sports Group, and Kelsey Riggi, Director of Special Projects and Strategic Growth at Libera, who will speak on the Emerging Entrepreneurship panel set for April 18.

Be sure to attend the Vantage Ventures demos at 4:15 p.m. April 19, where critical members of Rank One Computing, Co-Founders of Ridge, and founder and CEO of MNDYRR will demo and showcase the impact they have on our communities and the Mountain State.

WVU Extension will hold “Youth Entrepreneurship in Action” on April 20.

West Virginia high school students are invited to work in teams to create and share ideas for improving their communities through entrepreneurship. This interactive session will include hands-on activities from the WVU My Hometown is Cool! Program and a chance to win prizes. Presenters will share information on multiple upcoming opportunities for youth interested in entrepreneurship. This session is limited to participating youth and adult facilitators.

The West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem expects hundreds of entrepreneurs, high school and college students, veterans and established companies who are looking to scale to participate in the week of events. 

These current and prospective entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet with ecosystem builders and investors from across the state.

Find more information and the full schedule of events. 

For questions, information on participation and potential sponsorship opportunities, contact St. Clair at