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Innovation & Entrepreneurship Day A Huge Success!

January 29, 2016
Participants with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

Participants with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

The 2016 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Day at the Capitol, hosted by TechConnect West Virginia and TransTech Business Development, was a huge success!  West Virginia’s innovation economy was on full display at the Capitol on January 27.  We were able to showcase our industries to legislators and administrative branch officials through exhibiting in the Capitol Rotunda, receiving a citation in the House Chamber, being greeted by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Secretary of State Natalie Tenant, hosting an awards event and speaking to media across the state.

Nearly forty exhibitors helped showcase what’s happening in innovation and entrepreneurship around the State.  From exhibits of “Google Cardboard” featuring virtual reality (and highlighted in the photo below), to Azimuth’s sophisticated technology that supports our military, to fittings manufactured by Walhonde Tool that are used in nuclear submarines, the event demonstrated that the innovation economy in the state is not just a concept– it’s a reality! Our industries are creating new jobs and growing our economy.

L-R: Secretary of State Natalie Tennant; Shannon Joins; Ricky Kirkendoll

L-R: Secretary of State Natalie Tennant; Shannon Joins; Ricky Kirkendoll

TechConnect West Virginia thanks Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for taking time to greet the group and present a Proclamation honoring “Innovation & Entrepreneurship Day.”  Also, we thank House Speaker Tim Armstead for honoring Innovation & Entrepreneurship Day with a special Citation and recognizing our group on the floor of the Chamber.   We also thank Secretary of State Natalie Tennant for welcoming us to the Capitol and greeting the group.   To all of the legislators who stopped by the exhibits, thank you!

We were delighted to be joined by the South Charleston High School Zero Robotics Team, who won first place in NASA’s global competition on Jan. 25, 2016.  The team included Alex Casto, Alex Sanches,Shannon Joins and their dedicated coach and teacher, Dr. Joe Oliver.  This is the second consecutive year that the team placed first in this competition; they are putting West Virginia on the map for STEM education!

Participants with House Speaker Tim Armstead and House Members.

Participants with House Speaker Tim Armstead and House Members.

 

Special congratulations are in order for two West Virginia companies and an outstanding individual

Award winners: L-R: Carl Irwin, TransTech Energy Program; Dennis Ruth, Jeff Arbogast, and Mike Bombard of Armstrong World Industries; WV Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette; Dr. Gopalakrishnan; John Pauley and Ed Derderian of PolyPlexx; Anne Barth, TechConnectWV

Award winners: L-R: Carl Irwin, TransTech Energy Program; Dennis Ruth, Jeff Arbogast, and Mike Bombard of Armstrong World Industries; WV Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette; Dr. Gopalakrishnan; John Pauley and Ed Derderian of PolyPlexx; Anne Barth, TechConnectWV

as part of the TransTech Energy Business Development Program.  Awards were presented by WV Department of Commerce Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette to:

  • PolyPlexx of South Charleston, WV–Winner of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Green Advanced Manufacturing
  • Armstrong World Products of Beverly, WV– Winner of the Governor’s Award for Leadership in Industrial Energy Efficiency
  • Dr. Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan, Director of the WVU Industrial Assessment Center–Winner of the Governor’s Award of Excellence for Enabling Industrial Energy Efficiency