a service of the WV Small Business Development Center

January 12, 2024 | Volume 3, Issue 20

Think WV BusinessLink First

Welcome! In this edition you will hear from Ariana Shives in our featured blog article Advancing the Culture of Entrepreneurship in West Virginia.

Don't forget that IgniteWV Round 1 Applications close Thursday, January 18, 2024.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for Bridging Innovation. To learn more, contact Jennifer Wotring.

Congratulations to Frank Vitale for being named President of Country Roads Angel Network.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the latest WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem call and recap. They are both jammed packed with updates and opportunities.

To view all the great events that our resource partners are currently offering entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout #YesWV view our Statewide Online Calendar.

We hope you enjoy the updated newsletter. Be sure to take a moment to look through it's entirety. Over the coming weeks we will continue to tweak it based on the valuable feedback that we have received to date. If you haven't taken the survey yet, I invite you to do so. It only takes less than 3 minutes.

Thanks for reading.

Onward and Upward!


WV BusinessLink Email Newsletter Feedback Survey

The survey will be active through January 31, 2024.



Advancing the Culture of Entrepreneurship in West Virginia by Ariana Shives

In my two roles advocating entrepreneurship in West Virginia, I often hear people say that one of the obstacles to new business growth is that West Virginia has no established culture of entrepreneurship, as its economy has historically been fueled by natural resources with large companies in the forefront. But that impression is incorrect and needs to be removed, if West Virginia is to become one of the leading champions of new business growth in the 21st century.



Morgantown Businessman Frank Vitale Named President of Country Roads Angel Network

The start-up business picture in West Virginia became even brighter today with the announcement from Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN) that it was naming Morgantown businessman Frank Vitale as its president.


Secretary of State Mac Warner Reports 821 New WV Business Registrations for December of 2023

Wirt County led the state in new business growth for the month of December 2023.



SBIR/STTR State Matching Funds Available

The WV Small Business Development Center (SBDC) would like to remind any business who recently received federal SBIR/STTR funding that January 1st – 31st is one of only two windows of time annually to apply for potential State matching funds.

This matching fund program is through the WV Entrepreneurship & Innovation Investment (EII) Fund and is managed by the WV SBDC's Innovation-Technology (In-Tech) program. A business must first successfully submit a federal SBIR or STTR proposal and receive a Phase I or Phase II award. The amount of the state matching funds awarded is dependent on the existing balance in the EII Fund at the time of application and is typically not a 100% match.

In addition to these Phase I and Phase II award periods, businesses can also apply for a Phase 0 award upon submitting a Phase I SBIR or STTR proposal. These Phase 0 awards are distributed as a $2,500 grant and can be applied for during any month of the year.

More information about the WV Entrepreneurship & Innovation Investment Fund can be found at https://wvsbdc.com/services/technology-commercialization. For questions about the fund, the application process, or additional ongoing SBIR/STTR support services, you are encouraged to contact the In-Tech Program Manager, Mary Hott, at Mary.E.Hott@wv.gov or 304-380-3279.


DIU Submission Opportunity - Net Zero Buildings (MILCON)

DoD seeks to prototype novel design, construction techniques, and materials in order to improve the energy and water efficiency for its new building construction.  

DIU is seeking new turnkey approaches for net zero design and construction of new buildings. A net zero building is one in which the total annual greenhouse gas emissions resulting from scope 1 and scope 2 sources, related to all aspects of building energy use, are reduced to zero. Building systems that reduce ongoing maintenance actions by DoD personnel are preferred. Solutions should be capable of being designed, reviewed, and approved within a 9 to 12-month timeframe. 

Submit your commercial solution to this national security challenge. Due January 19, 2024.


DIU Submission Opportunity - Wastewater/ANTI-DOTE (Attributing National Threat Infections - Direct Origin To Evaluation)

COVID-19 reaffirmed a long-standing concern among public health officials that the spread of pandemic pathogens exposes biosecurity vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are made worse by a lack of integrated early warning to be able to identify, triage and deploy countermeasures to change the potential trajectory of future pandemics and their impact on national security. The Department of Defense (DoD) seeks ways to improve both its situational awareness and ability to interpret and visualize data in a meaningful way for decision makers tasked with the biosecurity implications of future pandemics.

Submit your commercial solution to this national security challenge.


NSIN & NGA Present: Global Fishing Forecast Grand Challenge

The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) are launching a prize challenge to identify innovative solutions from across the commercial and academic communities to forecast maritime vessel traffic involved in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The ability to forecast IUU fishing will inform U.S. and partner nations’ responses to IUU fishing.

The challenge will proceed in two phases: (1) a “Proposal Round,” to identify up to ten finalists from eligible participant entities (see “Eligibility” below); and (2) a “Pitch Round,” to identify the top three winners.

Win part of a $1M prize pool. Due February 16, 2024.


The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition is Now Open

The competition offers $50,000 to $200,000 in prize awards in 2 stages to organizations to join our national innovation support ecosystem to advance small business R&D from ideas to market.



Economic development experts call for resources for site selection, broadband, and entrepreneurship

CHARLESTON - West Virginia has been booming with major economic development announcements over the last several years, but a panel said Friday that the state cannot slow down making improvements to infrastructure and how it assists businesses and start-ups. Attendees of the West Virginia Press Association's annual Legislative Lookahead Friday heard from a panel of [...]


Marshall University Unveils New $25 Million Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation

Marshall University in Huntington is opening a new state-of-the-art business center.

The Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation is a modern space designed for business students. The public can check out the new center during a tour this Sunday.

The center is quite large, covering 77,000 square feet. It will be the main hub for the Lewis College of Business at Marshall University starting on Monday.



RED Partnership is a one-stop resource for development programs as well as business environment, demographic, economic and community information in the Wheeling region, including Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel Counties.

Primary Contact:

Valerie Piko


1100 Main Street

Wheeling, WV 26003







To view the full calendar of events on WV BusinessLink click here

To submit your events on WV BusinessLink click here

Essentionals of SBIR/STTR Commercialization Planning

TechConnect & WV SBDC

January 16, 2024

12:00pm - 1:00pm (EST)

Register Now

Growing Your Food & Beverage Business

Advantage Valley Faster WV

January 17, 2024

Wednesday 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Register Now

Kauffman Fast Trac Class

Advantage Valley Faster WV

January 25 - February 15, 2024

Thursdays 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Register Now

Kauffman Fast Trac Class

Advantage Valley Faster WV

January 25 - February 15, 2024

Thursdays 5:30pm - 8:00pm

Register Now

Supply Chain Elements

5-Session Webinar Series

WVU Industrial Extension

Feb. 1:  Session 1

Supply Chain Thinking

Feb. 8:  Session 2

What is a Supply Chain?

Feb. 15: Session 3

Positioning Your Supply Chain

Feb. 22: Session 4

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Feb. 29: Session 5

The Future of the Supply Chain

Noon - 1:00pm

Presented By: Adam Lough with Orchard Street Solutions

Attendees must register for each session individually.

Register today for The Hub's upcoming Small Town Development Day at the WV State Capitol on Monday, February 5, 2024. Register Now

Tri-State MetalTech Expo

March 8, 2024

Huntington, WV

Registration is open. Reserve your table today at www.mfg.marshall.edu/metaltech

Focus Forward: West Virginia's Digital Destiny

SAVE THE DATE: March 27, 2024

More details to come in early 2024.


Episode 102: Season 4 Recap - Shopping at Wisdom Marketing with Rachel Bell.


Featured Episode: Saran Nurse: Thriving as an Entrepreneur in Urban America.


Featured Episode: Peyton Ballard: Bluebirding, outdoor recreation, and entrepreneurship.


Featured Episode: Best of 2023: Monarca-Taqueria - Authentic Taste.


Your window into wonderful #WestVirginia, sharing news and #opportunities from #AlmostHeaven #YesWV.


The daily304’s Innovators and Entrepreneurs helps you stay connected with the people who shape West Virginia.


The daily304’s What Makes You Wonderful podcast uncovers the wonders that make West Virginia truly ​ext​raordinary.


Episode 21: Celebrating Entrepreneurs with Steve Case, CEO of Revolution.


Have a podcast for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Mountain State and would like to be listed on WV BusinessLink? Contact our Program Coordinator, Mark Burdette, at mark.d.burdette@wv.gov for more information.



Export resources for small business



Do you have any positions available? Contact us to have them posted here!

Interested in living and working in Almost Heaven? Then say "YES" to a career in West Virginia. Learn more about Jobcase.com/WV.


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WV Small Business Development Center

You're invited to attend The WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem call on the 2nd Tuesday of every month.

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