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Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


Students at the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurship Leading the Way

by Anne Barth, Executive Director, TechConnect West Virginia

I had the wonderful opportunity earlier this week to address the students attending the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurship on the campus of West Virginia University.  This group of extremely bright and motivated young people is learning all about what it takes to start and launch a business.  Their focus and energy are inspiring!

Working in teams, they are developing new product and business ideas.  One group plans to use hydroponics to grow healthy, local food.  Another team—all musically inclined—are developing software to assess the uniqueness of musical compositions. (Maybe Ed Sheeran will be their first client!)  Yet another group has crafted a new way to match artists with clients to produce community art.

Other teams have similarly novel ideas, bringing their own experiences to bear on what’s needed and wanted in the marketplace.

Over the last three weeks, they’ve been immersed in an “accelerator” environment to help them develop and scale their ideas quickly.  This Saturday, each team will pitch their idea before a team of judges and one winner will be chosen.  No matter which team wins, they are all winners in my book.

Their enthusiasm, their bright ideas and their eagerness to work together made me stop and appreciate this new generation of West Virginians.  Creative and determined, they hold great promise for West Virginia!