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West Virginians with ideas for new products and services that have the potential to be brought to market quickly could benefit from a program planted in the West Virginia University John Chambers College of Business and Economics.

Seed WV is a virtual contest open to West Virginia residents, innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and nonprofits. Up to $15,000 in prize money will be awarded to winning ideas to help move them to market.

“Seed WV builds on the observation that many successful companies started with small amounts of financial capital and bootstrapped their way to success,” said Javier Reyes, Milan Puskar Dean of the Chambers College and vice president of Start-up West Virginia. “Through Seed WV, we will seek to leverage small amounts of capital to drive substantial economic impact throughout the state.”

The statewide contest is the first of its kind within West Virginia, and assistant professor and James T. Coffman Fellow of Entrepreneurship Ryan Angus is championing these efforts to propel innovation in the state from funds generously provided through the James Clark Coffman Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies.

“We are excited to lay down the challenge for West Virginians to step up and apply their creative talents and abilities to entrepreneurship,” Angus said. “We win when new people pick up the challenge to become entrepreneurs. We win when all of our state’s residents feel their innovations and ideas are welcome, and we of course win when we work together to start companies that create jobs.”

Applications to the contest can be submitted through Friday, March 19. Finalists will be invited to make a 15-minute virtual presentation at the final judging event on Thursday, April 15, when up to $15,000 in cash prizes will be awarded.

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