A husband and wife student entrepreneur team at West Virginia University on Saturday won $10,000 plus $1,500 in legal assistance and office space for a year to help their business dreams come true.
Five student teams were competing for the money. Runner-up teams each received $2,000 in the business plan competition sponsored by the WVU College of Business and Economics Entrepreneurship Center.
Financial Services, LLC , the wining team, is Matthew McPherson, an economics Ph.D. student in the College of Business and Economics and Jennifer McPherson, a B&E management senior.
They plan to open a collection agency in the area to collect on unpaid parking tickets, student loans and other debts.
During the fall semester 18 student teams submitted overviews of potential business ideas, from which a panel of judges selected the five finalist teams. During the spring semester the student teams attended workshops at the college to sharpen their business plans for the final presentations.
The Entrepreneurship Center is under the leadership of Interim Director Russell Sobel, associate professor of economics. Sobel has established a web site for the program and moved into offices on the B&E buildings second floor. The business plan competition is part of three main areas of focus for the center: curriculum and educational programs, academic and applied research, and outreach and service programs.
“During our first year,”Dr. Sobel said,”we hope to make significant progress in building strategic partnerships with other entrepreneurial support organizations in the state, instilling and promoting entrepreneurship among our students, reaching out to area entrepreneurs, and contributing to academic inquiry into the nature of entrepreneurial success.”