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StartUp WV Venture Program Offering Commercialization Services

October 1, 2012

Several companies from throughout West Virginia are getting business planning and start-up assistance thanks to TechConnect West Virginia’s new StartUp West Virginia Venture program.  The assistance is being provided by The INNOVA Commercialization Group, which is providing its suite of commercialization services to selected small businesses and entrepreneurs.  “The StartUp West Virginia Venture program is providing the entrepreneurs and small businesses with a range of customized start-up services including consultation, entrepreneurial training, mentoring, research and product development, subject matter experts and collaborators, legal, financial and accounting assistance, and marketing assistance, as are necessary and available,” said Anne Barth, Executive Director of TechConnect West Virginia.

Barth noted that selected enterprises are ones that are developing a unique product, process or technology, and priority will be given to those who fall within TechConnectWV’s four defined target innovation sectors: biometrics, chemicals, biosciences and advanced energy.

The first stage of the program focuses on conducting and completing a Review, Assessment, and Opportunity Identification, which is important in the development of a solid business plan and commercialization strategy, explained Guy Peduto, INNOVA’s Director. “We work with the companies or entrepreneurs 1) to assess the commercial merits of the intellectual property (IP), product, process or technology and 2) to identify the best pathways to move the technology from the lab or business into the marketplace or from a conceptual stage to a viable market opportunity.”

Upon completion of the StartUp West Virginia Venture program selected applicants may continue to work, at no cost, with the INNOVA Commercialization Group to implement their business plans and to undertake market entry with assistance in obtaining seed and early-stage investment capital available from INNOVA and other sources of possible startup funding, Peduto added.

Funding for StartUp West Virginia Venture has been provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the State of West Virginia.  Funding for INNOVA’s programs has been provided by The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, The West Virginia Economic Development Authority and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Entrepreneurs and businesses interested in submitting an application may do so by going to this web site — http://innovawv.ecenterdirect.com/Welcome.action — and then clicking on the “Preliminary Application for Services” tab (on left-hand side)….and following the Client Sign-up steps.