Ignite your imagination. Create your product. Start your business. Invent your future. It all begins here.
The Innovation Center exists to provide the UC community with an opportunity to study entrepreneurship and engage in hands-on experiential learning.
Out of the 30 teams of finalists moving on in the 2017 West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition, 21 come from the University of Charleston.
More than 128 University of Charleston students entered their ideas in the Competition. Entries included concepts in three categories – Hospitality & Tourism, Lifestyle & Innovation, and, Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM).
“UC’s Innovation Center is changing how students think,” said Dr. Edwin Welch, President of the University of Charleston. “It’s exciting and rewarding for UC to be West Virginia’s higher education leader in generating so many new business plans and ideas. We wish our students continuing success as the competition goes forward to the selection of the ultimate winners!”
UC participants come from a wide range of programs, including pharmacy, MBA, undergraduate business programs as well as students from arts & sciences and health sciences. Competitors include UC innovation scholars, Welch Colleagues, athletes, and graduate students from across the university.
“We are educating not just entrepreneurs. We are educating innovators,” stated Fonda Holehouse, UC vice president and Chief Innovation Executive. “Utilizing design thinking aids the students in problem solving; the communications skills they develop will help them perform future jobs with excellence. Our students also have the benefit of the UC faculty who have embraced innovation, embedding its principles in their core subject matter.”
The goal of the annual West Virginia Business Plan Competition is to provide students with the education, skills, contacts and motivation to create a viable, start-up company in West Virginia. Grand prize packages are awarded to the top team in each of three categories, and includes a $10,000 cash prize, accounting, legal and virtual or physical incubator space.
Other schools with finalists in the Competition include WVU (4 semifinalists), Glenville State (1), Shepherd University (2), Bridge Valley (1) and Concord University (1).
The semi-finals will take place November 10, 2017 on the campus of Concord University.
The University of Charleston has 21 of the 30 semifinals teams (70%).
Since entries can have multiple team members, we actually have 25 students on those teams.
In the STEM category, UC has 8 out of 10 entries
IIn the Hospitality & Tourism Category, UC has 5 out of 10 entries
IIn the Lifestyle & Innovation Category, UC has 8 out of 10 entries