West Virginia Innovation and Business Model Competition

About the Competition

In 2020, the iCenter hosted the second annual West Virginia Innovation and Business Model Competition (WVIBMC). The WVIBMC is open to all students enrolled in a two- or four- year higher education institution in the state of West Virginia. This multi-institutional, collaborative event is made possible with the generous support of the Robert E. Yancey, Sr. Entrepreneurship Endowment. The purpose of this event is to inspire and equip a new generation of entrepreneurs to reinvigorate the local economy and push West Virginia forward.

WVIBMC 2020 

The 2020 competition an exciting new component - Innovation Weekend! This weekend was modeled after the popular Startup Weekend events. All students who entered the competition were required to attend this two-day event in Huntington. During the weekend, students decided if they wanted to compete individually or in a team of up to five students. Students learned and applied Design for Delight (D4D) to a problem chosen by their team. Teams practiced customer driven innovation using real customers on Marshall's campus and in downtown Huntington to develop a solution to their problem and turn it into a business. The weekend culminated with the Semi-Finals, where each team shared their innovation journey and pitched their  business concept to a panel of judges. Students from five universities (Alderson Broaddus University, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Marshall University, and the University of Charleston) competed at Innovation Weekend in 11 teams. Five of the 11 teams were chosen as Finalists to move on to the next round of competition. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WVIBMC Finals that were scheduled to take place on April 2 at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center were cancelled. Here, the five teams would have competed for the grand prize of a berth to the Business Model Competition Global Final at Brigham Young University, an innovation expedition to Silcon Valley, and a cash prize of $5,000. Since the event was not able to take place, all five teams were given the guaranteed minimum cash prize of $500 each. 

To view the full gallery of photos from the 2017 Design for Delight Innovation Challenge, please click here


While 2019 was the first year of the WVIBMC, this endeavor owes its origin to the Innovating for Impact Design for Delight Innovation Challenge. In March 2017, teams from seven of Marshall University’s colleges were taught Design for Delight (D4D), Intuit’s approach to design thinking, by the company’s top Innovation Catalysts. Teams were challenged with applying these innovation techniques to three specific challenges facing West Virginia: education for youth, substance use disorder, and technology. In April, the seven teams went on to present their ideas to a panel of celebrity coaches in the style of the popular reality TV show “Shark Tank.” The celebrity coaches were Marshall alumnus Brad D. Smith, former Intuit CEO and current Executive Chairman, Marshall and NFL football legend Chad Pennington, and actress, producer, and philanthropist Jennifer Garner.

To view the full gallery of photos from the 2017 Design for Delight Innovation Challenge, please click here

© 2020 by Marshall University Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation

Part of the Lewis College of Business and Brad D. Smith Schools of Business

Corbly Hall 336

One John Marshall Drive Huntington, WV 25755

E: icenter@marshall.edu P: (304) 696-5105

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