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LaunchLab Hosts First Ever March Matchness


Group picture of attendees

March Matchness attendees stand together in the Morris L. Hayhurst LaunchLab.

The Morris L. Hayhurst LaunchLab hosted its first-ever March Matchness, a unique event that allowed students and faculty from different WVU colleges and schools to connect. At the event, participants had the opportunity to pitch their ideas and skills, compete in innovative games, and find potential business partners.

At WVU, students have felt a prominent disconnect between the different colleges, leading to people of different studies being unable to interact and collaborate. March Matchness was created by the LaunchLab to support those facing this detachment, promoting the bridging of diverse expertise and projects.

As part of March Matchness, participants were placed into groups according to their individual experiences and goals. Anne Jones, the Director of the LaunchLab, says, “We put together teams to create the best mix of backgrounds, interests, and skills.” Once set together, teams participated in games that focused on originality and problem-solving.
One game – led by Carla Posey, the LaunchLab’s Senior Prototype Engineer – had groups compete to build towers out of spaghetti noodles and marshmallows, evoking skills in creative logic and principles of engineering. Another game – led by Lukas Thackery, co-founder of the company Brite – had participants work on an ideation exercise to create and pitch new ideas, prompting innovative and strategic thinking.

Spaghetti Tower game

A March Matchness team works together in the spaghetti and marshmallow tower game.

Following the team games, event participants had the chance to give a45-second pitch on their skills, business ideas, and potential partnerships they were seeking. One of the pitches, Ryan Sweeney, said the event, “...allowed business majors like myself to connect with engineering students and provide a platform to engage with each other and become business partners.”

Sumesh Ramasamy pitches his business idea during March Matchness.

Sumesh Ramasamy pitches his business idea during March Matchness.

Through the opportunity to pitch, members of March Matchness were able to share projects they’ve been working on, as well as explain what skills they were looking for in a team member. Some participants were STEM students who were looking for people with knowledge in marketing and business, while others were designers searching for IT consultants.

Following the event, participants have been followed up with a list of all attendees, as well as their specialties. The LaunchLab thanks all of the participants and workers who made this event possible. The LaunchLab will be back with new pitch competitions and another MarchMatchness next semester!