The six teams that hail from West Virginia University in the fourth annual Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition can see the two $10,000 prizes within their reach, as the final round of competition on April 9-10 comes closer.

The field of 10 finalists includes teams from WVU, Glenville State College, Marshall University and the University of Charleston. This year’s competition will end on April 10 at the Mountainlair Student Union on the campus of WVU, where the winners in two categories will be announced—and presented $10,000 checks.

WVU’s finalists and their projects are:
• Jillian Cobb and Chade Lowe, both of Shepherdstown (Plandoms)
• Logan Hartle, Moundsville (DecoKrete)
• Kevin Beckett, Clendenin; Lauren Nicholson, Wheeling; Ryan Mitchell, Morgantown (youPon)
• Keith Salnick, Eatontown, N.J.; Brenna Miller, Warren, Ohio (Foto Fun Factory)
• Tyler Martin, Fairmont (EmployY)
• Robert Coffelt, Oak Hill; and William Tuckwiller, Lewisburg (Infallible Rescue)

“The 10 finalist teams have a lot invested in terms of their time and effort,” said Mindy Walls, WVU Entrepreneurship Center director and the director of the Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition. “This year, 98 applicants from seven colleges and universities throughout the state submitted proposals to be considered for the competition. These teams carefully thought out and presented their ideas, made it through when the field was narrowed to 20 teams and now find themselves among the finalists.”

Walls said a $10,000 prize will be awarded in each of two categories, Lifestyle and Innovation. The two winning teams also receive professional business services, which they will use to build small businesses within the state. Winners receive space to run their businesses from the WVU Incubator, legal services from Spilman, Thomas & Battle and accounting services from Dixon Hughes.

The competition spans the academic year and typically begins early in the fall semester. The competition draws full-time students from four-year institutions of higher education statewide.
“These teams are very driven and believe in their prospective businesses,” said Walls. “They have worked the entire academic year preparing for this event. Each finalist team has been working with a coach from the business community to assist in planning their start-up.”

Finalists are encouraged to enroll in an online entrepreneurship course through the WVU College of Business and Economics designed to support their efforts in an academic setting.
The competition expanded to all four-year institutions statewide in 2006, with the goal of promoting entrepreneurship in higher education by providing leadership, skills training and peer support to students interested in building small businesses in West Virginia. For more information on the Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition, visit the Entrepreneurship Center website at: or contact Director Mindy Walls at or via phone at (304) 293-7861.



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CONTACT: Mindy Walls at (304) 293-7861 or