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StartUp West Virginia Venture Program To Further Align Business Assistance, Funding Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

May 29, 2012
Innova Commercialization Group

FAIRMONT, W.VA. – TechConnect West Virginia and The INNOVA Commercialization Group today announced the establishment of a new program that will provide business assistance and funding expertise to entrepreneurs in West Virginia. The program, called StartUp West Virginia Venture, will provide commercialization services to six selected small businesses and entrepreneurs. The commercialization services will concentrate on Consultation and Professional Assistance.

“The StartUp West Virginia Venture program will provide the selected entrepreneurs or small businesses with a range of 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.

The program’s initial stage will comprise a Review, Assessment, and Opportunity Identification leading to a solid business plan and commercialization strategy, explained Guy Peduto, Director of INNOVA Commercialization Group. “Activities will primarily assess commercial merits of the intellectual property (IP), product, process or technology and 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.

Barth noted that selected enterprises should be 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 program is a collaborative effort of TechConnect West Virginia and The INNOVA Commercialization Group, an initiative of The West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation. 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.

The program, launched with funding by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the state of West Virginia, is designed to expand entrepreneurial and business start-up efforts that will help create new tech-based jobs in high-growth industries in West Virginia, Barth said. “The launch of the StartUp West Virginia Venture program is another important step in leveraging available capabilities to assist entrepreneurs, support start-up ventures and create new jobs in our state.”

Barth noted that TechConnectWV’s partnership with The INNOVA Commercialization Group is a key collaboration that will further link our state’s entrepreneurs with specialized business assistance and early-stage funding expertise and opportunities.

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.

Completed applications are due by the close of business on June 22, 2012.

More information:

TechConnect West Virginia – www.techconnectwv.org

The INNOVA Commercialization Group – http://innovawv.org/default.asp