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Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders Conference To Bring Support Organizations Together

A network of entrepreneurship support organizations will bring thinkers and doers from across the state under one roof to build connections and discuss innovative trends in promoting and supporting entrepreneurship in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders Conference will take place Wednesday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center. The conference will feature national and state speakers who will share emerging trends that support a diversified economy.

“There is an abundance of entrepreneurial resources throughout West Virginia,” said Bill Woodrum, director of Entrepreneurship at the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), one of the event organizers. “By bringing these resources and organizations together under one roof, we hope to create an intentional holistic process to support entrepreneurs.”

Keynote speaker for the conference is Andy Stoll with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Stoll also will join Joe Kapp with the National Center for Resource Development and Mary Hunt of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for a panel discussion on building a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. The conference will feature breakout sessions on entrepreneurship funding opportunities; community entrepreneurship; educational entrepreneurship (K-12 & higher ed) and government’s role in entrepreneurship.

The breakout sessions will be followed by a discussion on breaking down barriers to entrepreneurship led by West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner and Michele Christian, SBA national director of the Office of Rural Affairs.

The conference is sponsored by the Entrepreneur Ecosystem Builders, a network of 25 entities including state and federal agencies, K-12 and higher education, regulatory entities, financial institutions and public and private support organizations.

Tickets to the conference are $20 for individuals or $100 for a display table and admission for five individuals. Tickets can be purchased by registering at For more information, contact Bill Woodrum at

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Media Note:

The members of the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders are:

WV Secretary of State Office

WV Small Business Development Center

Small Business Administration

The WV Development Office

WV Department of Education

Marshall University

West Virginia University

National Center for Resource Development

Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI)

Tech Connect WV

Innova WV

WV Jobs Investment Trust, Country Roads Angel Network


AHM Marketing

Eastern WV Community and Technical College

Advantage Valley

Vantage Venture


United Bank

Entre Ed

WV Forward

Monica Miller Consultants

Unlimited Future, Inc.

Natural Capital Investment Fund

Woodlands Group