Students from four West Virginia colleges will compete on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Days Inn in Flatwoods for a place in the final round in this years West Virginia Open for Business Statewide Student Business Plan Competition.Twenty teams, selected from 50 entries representing nine West Virginia colleges, will present sales pitches that will be judged by attendees at the West Virginia Entrepreneurship Initiative Conference in Flatwoods. Then, each team will participate in a series of interviews with judges from the business community, all for a chance to be among five finalist teams competing for $10,000 and business services to help them start businesses in West Virginia.

This is the fifth year of the competition, sponsored by the West Virginia University Entrepreneurship Center, and the first year that the event has been opened to students from all state colleges and universities. Another first: Students are competing in either a technology or lifestyle category. Nine semifinalist teams will compete in the technology category and 11, because of a tie, in the lifestyle category. A grand prize package of $10,000 in cash and a bundle of services will be awarded in each category.

Previous $10,000 winners have included a collection agency, a purse maker, a guitar maker and, last spring, two cousins from Wheeling who invented an automated bar.Semifinalist teams are from Concord College, Marshall University and WVU , and one team has members from WVU , WVU Parkersburg and Marshall.

Finalist teams selected will attend workshops to perfect their ideas and business plans and will compete for the grand prize late in the spring semester. More information on the competition can be found

Statewide Student Business Plan Competition Semifinalist Teams

Lifestyle Category

Team Academic Institution La Loca Chica Pottery WVU Navway Records WVU Jasper Napoleon Suites WVU Pumpkin Hollow WVU Blue Synergy Concord The Rubber WVU Enviro-Diesel WVU The Soy Shoppe WVU Loaded Dice Game WVU Morgantown Swim WVU C-MERCE WVU p. Technology Category

Team Academic Institution Arachnovation Marshall / WVU Parkersburg Biosingular WVU Allstar Ecology WVU Integrated Wheelchair Urinal Marshall E-textbucks WVU Mobile Eyez WVU Dub V Nights WVU The Muncy Switchable Marshall Flush and Spray WVU