Up to $10,000 awaits some enterprising West Virginia University students as the WVU Entrepreneurship Center sponsors its second annual Business Plan Competition.

The winning team will receive $10,000 to start its own business, plus a year of free office space and some prepaid legal expenses. There will also be four $2,000 runner-up prizes.

Students can get more details about the contest from the centers Web site athttp://www.be.wvu.edu/ecor by attending one of three information sessions about the contest. The information sessions will be Tuesday, Sept. 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Room 240, College of Business and Economics; Wednesday, Sept. 17, 5-6 p.m., Room 1085, Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences; and Wednesday, Sept. 17, 7-8 p.m., Room G83 , Engineering Sciences Building.

Entering the contest is very easy,said Russell Sobel, interim director of the Entrepreneurship Center.Students simply need to submit a three- to five-page summary of their business idea to the center by Nov. 6.

From these, we choose five finalist teams that go on to develop full-blown, investment-quality business plans for their ideas during the spring semester,he added.We provide a series of for-credit workshops for them in which trained professionals help the student teams with their business plans.

Last years competition was a huge success, according to Sobel.

Not only did we have a very distinguished panel of judges in town, but we made every major state newspaper and several TV news broadcasts,he said.The winners of last years competition, Financial Services LLC , and two of the other runner-up teams have gone on to launch their businesses and have been invited to speak at several business conferences.

Sobel said the center is still looking for additional sponsors for this years competition.

Housed in the College of Business and Economics, the Entrepreneurship Center was established in 2002 by the joint efforts of the WVU College of Business and Economics, Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, WVU Extension Service and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Among its many other activities, the center also offers internship opportunities in its new business incubator and is in the process of developing a new minor in entrepreneurship for WVU students.

To find out more about the Entrepreneurship Center, visithttp://www.be.wvu.edu/ec.