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Aspiring West Virginia collegiate entrepreneurs build innovative mindsets, ideas through WVU LaunchLab’s first annual ZinnStarter Pitch Competition

Seven aspiring collegiate entrepreneurs from three West Virginia colleges and universities equipped with innovative ideas participated in the first annual ZinnStarter Pitch Competition, held virtually on October 28th, 2020 hosted by the West Virginia University LaunchLab.

Supported by Silicon Valley CEO Ray Zinn, the ZinnStarter Pitch Competition gave participants an opportunity to win $5,000 in cash prizes to build their ideas into the next groundbreaking product or business – and a network of support and resources to guide them on their journeys.

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5 Differences Between Great Entrepreneurs of the 2010s vs. 2020s

The transition from the 2010s to the 2020s has been rough, to say the least. Similarly to how the burst of the dot-com bubble marked the divide between the 1990s and the 2000s, the global health crisis and ensuing global recession will mark the divide between the last decade and the present one.

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Second annual WVU Manufacturing Day Pitch Competition showcases innovative products that can transform today’s manufacturing industry

An innovative idea to combat infectious diseases, another to improve the patient experience and an invention to help musicians perform with ease won the day as the West Virginia University LaunchLab Network hosted its second annual Manufacturing Day Pitch Competition Tuesday (Oct. 8). 

Ryan Mezan, a 3rd year medical student in the WVU School of Medicine, won first place for his Ever-Clean Stethoscope Sterilizer. His idea involved a new, creative way to sterilize a stethoscope to combat infectious diseases. 

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WVU entrepreneurs selected to participate in National Science Foundation I-Corps training

Two West Virginia University entrepreneurs have been selected to attend the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) training program beginning May 5 in Nashville, Tenn. The researchers were chosen after completing the WVU program, which was hosted by the Evansdale Innovation Center and the WVU LaunchLab Network.

Joining more than 1,800 teams from across the country who have already gone through the program, Dr. Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, research assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute and Nanda Siva, an incoming medical student at WVU Medicine program at WVU Health Sciences, have been competitively selected for this intensive mentored training program to learn how to accelerate their product into the marketplace.

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WVU holds second annual Demo Day

This features day long activities focused on innovation, design, and entrepreneurship. WVU students, faculty, and staff took part in pitch competitions, expos on social issues, and fashion and design displays, to name a few. "You have everything from creative arts, ceramics, we have dance, we have engineering, we have virtual reality displays, we have hovercraft displays, we have landscape architecture. It's just everybody across campus is being represented, so we're really excited," said Carrie White, Assistant Vice President Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Expert judges determined the winners of many key events held throughout the day, including the Social Action Showcase and Challenge. 

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WVU celebrates explosion of innovation and entrepreneurship at second annual Demo Day

At West Virginia University, students, faculty and staff are charged with pursuing world-changing discoveries, innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges, academic engagement and excellence, and they are responding to the call. WVU’s second annual Demo Day (April 25) is an example in living color of the University-wide commitment to cultivating a robust and dynamic culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and design.

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WVU LaunchLab Network hosts third annual March Idea Challenge

The West Virginia University’s LaunchLab Network hosted the third annual March Idea Challenge Wednesday (March 27), lauding Statler College students James Carnes, Kyle Gillis and Alan Brockman for pitching their company, ICONIC EDU, as the winning team after four contested rounds of competition. As the eighth pitch competition of the academic year, these events are designed to hone the students’ skills to help them successfully promote their innovative ideas or products to investors, while also advancing their concept, business or invention. 

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