Teaming to Win Conference
TechConnect organized a learning track on Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards, entitled “SBIR Awards: Tapping into Federal Research Funding.” A panel of experts examined the SBIR program and how it encourages small businesses to engage in research that has the potential for commercialization. Topics covered included how to apply, who should apply, and how to write a winning application.
Panel participants included Dr. Jerald Fletcher, Director and Professor, Natural Resource Analysis Center and US-China Energy Center, West Virginia University; Justin Gaull, In-Tech Director, West Virginia Small Business Development Center; Guy Peduto, Director, The INNOVA Commercialization Group; Marjorie Darrah, CEO, eTouch Sciences; and Alan Rhodes, SBIR Program Manager, NOAA.
The conference opened with an informative discussion on The Affordable Health Care Act, followed by an evening “Bow Ties, Ballet & Bluegrass Reception” featuring WVU President Gordon Gee.
Author and management expert Devora Zack addressed the conference on May 29. Zack, CEO of the consulting group Only Connect Consulting, Inc., is widely recognized as an expert speaker, strategy consultant and executive coach.
SBA Regional Administrator Natalia Olson joined WV SBA District Director Judy McCauley in presenting the annual awards for small business. Kenneth Allman, the founder and CEO of PracticeLink.com and MountainPlex Properties, Inc., was honored as the Small Businessperson of the Year.
PraticeLink.com—one of the oldest and largest physician job banks—was started by Allman in 1994 and is headquartered in Allman’s hometown of Hinton, West Virginia. He founded MountainPlex Properties, Inc., in 2007, which is dedicated to the restoration and sustainability of the Hinton Historic District in Hinton, West Virginia. In nominating him for the award, former Hinton Mayor Cleo Mathews noted that Hinton because of Allman’s extensive efforts to renew the community and create good-paying jobs, Hinton is “awakening from a long slumber.”
For a complete list of SBA award winners, click here.
Stephen L. Morris, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, deliverd the keynote address during the SBA Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 29. Morris, named to the post by FBI Director James B. Comey in March 2014, most recently served as the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston Division.
From discussions with experts on hot topics to a wide range of exciting speakers, this year’s Teaming to Win Conference offered a host of interesting and valuable sessions and activities. The full conference agenda is listed below.