CONTACT: Dr. Kendra Boggess, Associate Professor of Business; Chair, Division of Business
Concord University Freshman Enters Round Two of Statewide Student Business Competition
Athens, W.Va. - Aspiring students across the state will soon be able to turn their business dreams into reality with the help of the 2007 West Virginia Open for Business – Student Business Plan Competition, a contest awarding $10,000 to winners to start a business in West Virginia. And, Thayne Carper, a freshman at Concord University, has been selected for the second round of the contest. Carper is from Spencer (Roane County).
“Carper’s business plan, named ‘Blue Synergy,’ is an idea for helping businesses improve their payment processes,” said Dr. Kendra Boggess, professor of business and chair of the division of business at Concord University. Boggess sits on the W.Va. Business Plan Competition Oversight Committee for the statewide competition. “I am thrilled that one of Concord’s students has been selected among the best entries in the lifestyle category, round one. I hope more people will do this next year,” she said.
Boggess said she is excited for economic growth in West Virginia as more young people decide to stay in the state and start small businesses. “We want to get kids thinking about being entrepreneurs. We need to market outside the state and not just to West Virginians; we need to show other states that we can succeed in the small business aspect, so that we can excel in the bigger businesses later.” Boggess also mentioned the new Rahall Technology Center at Concord University as a catalyst and incubator for student businesses.
The Entrepreneurship Center of West Virginia University's College of Business and Economics is, for the fourth year, producing the competition. This is the first year that it is opened to all West Virginia colleges and universities, on both graduate and undergraduate levels. Students from nine schools from around the state participated in the first round, and students from three of these schools – WVU, Marshall and Concord – were accepted into the second round.
Teams advancing to the final round will receive resources from mentors and comprehensive instruction on how to write a business plan. Finally, one team from each of two categories will be chosen to receive $10,000 plus a bundle of services to start a business in West Virginia.
Students compete in one of two categories: High Tech (new innovations and improvements in technology) and Lifestyle (all other innovations). The competition consists of three rounds that span the academic year. Teams in round one electronically submitted a three to five page summary of their business idea by September 28. The plan was then scored by a panel of judges from academic, high tech, and business communities, and ten teams were selected in the High Tech category, while 11 were selected in the Lifestyle category, due to a tie for tenth place.
Round two of the contest will be October 25 at Days Inn, Flatwoods, W.Va. Semifinalist teams will compete in two ways. They will present a two minute "elevator pitch" to conference attendees and then have a series of brief interviews with 20 individual judges. Up to five teams in each category will advance to round three.
This final round will be held April 13 and 14 in Morgantown, W.Va. Finalist teams will participate in a workshop early in the spring semester, and be provided mentors and comprehensive instruction on how to write their business plans. Plans will be submitted by April 2 and final presentations will be on April 14. Judging teams will be made up of technology and business professionals.
The competition is open to any student, regardless of major, attending a college or university in West Virginia. Students may compete either as a team or individually. Those interested in the competition or its participants may log on to: http://www.be.wvu.edu/bpc/index.htm.
CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Cory McKee, an English and journalism major, wrote this news release.