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Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


Expert Assistance Offered During WV Business Accelerator Bootcamp Event

If you want to start or grow a business in the high tech fields in West Virginia and have a solid concept, funding and assistance are available.  That was a primary message stemming from the West Virginia Business Accelerator Bootcamp event, held on April 26 in Morgantown.

Hosted by TechConnect West Virginia, the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust,  INNOVA, WVU Health Sciences’ Innovation Center, WVU Women’s Business Center and the Bioscience Association of West Virginia, the event offered a unique opportunity to hear from experts and specialists who shared information and strategies on intellectual property, capital formation, corporate structure/formation, and pitching for funding.

Nearly thirty people participated in the event, to include representatives from start-up and mid-size companies, as well as students from the BrickStreet Center at WVU.

Assistance providers participating in the event included:

  • Richard F. Giersch, CEO & Chairman, Valtari Bio, Director, WVU Innovation Center
  • Joseph G. Bunn, Esq., Member, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
  • Kevin O’Connor, West Virginia Senior Business Lender, Natural Capital Investment Fund
  • Mike Green, Chairman, West Virginia Growth Investment Fund and Managing Director, Mountain State Capital
    Tim James, Loan Officer, First Microloan of West Virginia
  • Andreas Baltatzis, Director, KramerAmado, P.C.
  • Michele O’Connor, Manager, West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust
  • Larry Miller, Executive in Residence, Innovation Works
  • Matt Harbaugh, Associate Vice President for Transformation, WVU

The event was conducted in a fashion that encouraged questions and open dialogue between the audience and assistance providers.

Some key takeaways, included:

  • First Microloan of West Virginia offers loan funding from $5,000-$50,000 and typically used when bank financing isn’t available.
  • Natural Capital Investment Fund offers a $30 million fund operating in underserved communities throughout Appalachia. Typically used when bank financing isn’t available and they also team with other funding sources.
  • Mountain State Capital is a newly formed $25 million venture capital fund which will become active in 2017.
  • Inventor and entrepreneur resources from the US Patent & Trademark Office are available at:
  • Tips for giving an effective presentation for funding, as provided by Innovation Works Executive In Residence, Larry Miller, can be accessed by clicking here.