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WVU LaunchLab hosts workshops to support entrepreneurs and innovators across campus


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –The WVU LaunchLab hosted back-to-back workshops to support entrepreneurs and innovators across campus who were interested in starting a business or learning about various funding opportunities. Students, faculty, staff and community members attended the discussions to hear firsthand from innovation experts, investors and entrepreneurs what they need to know to potentially move their ideas and discoveries into market. 

To kick off the day, WVU Evansdale Libraries and the LaunchLab Network hosted a panel discussion on Business Formation and Trademark Registration. Free of charge and open to the public, panelists tailored the discussion to students, entrepreneurs and small business owners who wanted to better understand the path to commercial success, with a focus on entity formation and trademark registration. Panelists included: Craig Morris, Managing Attorney for the Trademark Educational Outreach for the United States Patent and Trademark Office presenting: “Trademarks: The Keys to Commercialization”; Marian Armour-Gemmen, WVU Patent and Trademark Librarian presenting: “Searching for Trademarks within the USPTO”; and Nancy Trudel, Attorney at Law; Trudel Law, PLLC presenting “15 Steps to Establishing a Successful Company”.

The second panel focused on How to Fund a Startup, honing in the discussion on best practices for business entrepreneurs and innovators to talk to investors and launch a startup. Panelists also introduced creative methods on how to fund new innovations and businesses. Panelists included: Richard Giersch, Director of Health Sciences Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization for WVU; Michael Green, Chairman of the West Virginia Growth Investment Fund and Managing Director of Mountain State Capital; Guy Peduto, Director of INNOVA Commercialization group at WV High Tech Foundation; and Timothy James, Loan Officer at First Microloan of West Virginia.

“The WVU IDEA Hub is a collaboration of Innovation initiatives across the campus. The partnership between the WVU Libraries with their "Business Formation and Trademark Registration" panel and the LaunchLab "How to Fund a Startup" panel are an excellent example of the expertise that is provided to our students. This is invaluable information for anyone with questions about the process for owning their innovation and moving successfully forward,” said Assistant Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Carrie White

Operating since 2014, West Virginia University’s LaunchLab Network serves as a comprehensive, one-stop shop to help students develop and commercialize their ideas, innovations, inventions or business models. In a motivating and supportive environment, the LaunchLab Network is an applied innovation center offers hands-on idea development support, education, mentorship, prototyping facilities, resources and connections to empower entrepreneurs across West Virginia. The LaunchLab Network is a part of the IDEA Hub ecosystem.

The WVU Evansdale Library is the only Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) in the state of West Virginia. On December 2, 1991, Evansdale Library was designated a U.S. Patent and Trademark Depository Library. As a PTRC, the library receives current copies of U.S. Plant Patents, provides access to USPTO patent and trademark databases including the specialized PubWEST and PubEAST databases. All the tools necessary to perform a preliminary patent or trademark search are available in the library. The patent and trademark librarian, Marian Armour-Gemmen, provides reference assistance throughout the state and teaches users how to search patent and trademark databases.