On April 6th, 2019, on the Campus of Marshall University and in the Booth Experimental Theater, the Lewis College of Business welcomed ten teams representing six WV colleges and universities in the inaugural WV Innovation & Business Model Competition (WVIBMC).  These ten teams competed for a top prize package that includes at least $15,000 in cash and benefits:

  • $5,000 cash distributed to the top presentation

  • an Intuit-sponsored trip to the Silicon Valley, including tours of Intuit, Google, and Facebook

  • automatic qualification in the International Business Model Competition, with the opportunity to win $40,000 and a minimum guarantee of $2,500 (plus expenses-covered travel)

Millions for Medicine was selected as the Grand Champion of the 2019 WVIBMC.  Millions for Medicine's business idea consists of a lottery system that divides the jackpot 50-45-5:  50% to a designated individual with verified medical debt; 45% to the selected jackpot winner; and 5% to Millions for Medicine to sustain the business model.  Although lottery systems, including those utilizing forced-partial-return of proceeds to the jackpot pool, previously and presently exist, Millions for Medicine advances a unique jackpot-split in the hope of reducing medical debt.

Champion - Millions for Medicine (Marshall University)
(l to r): Kelly Leonard, Mya Linden, and Sarah Moir
w/ College of Business Dean Avi Mukherjee

Creating Greener Solutions (CGS) was awarded second place and $3,000, based on the business idea of a device allowing restaurants and convenience stores to form edible/digestible drinking straws.  In particular, CGS hopes to significantly reduce the amount of plastic-straw waste that accumulates in the water supply.     

Runner-Up - Creating Greener Solutions (Marshall University)
(l to r): Brandon Well & Elizabeth Morgan
w/ College of Business Dean Avi Mukherjee (center)

Wireless Telemetry was awarded third place and $1,000, for the business idea of reducing the number of medical telemetry wires necessary to connect patients and monitors.  Wireless telemetry provides several benefits, including mobility and freedom within the hospital campus that will improve patient-experiences and outcomes.

Third Place - Wireless Telemetry (Univ. of Charleston)
Sarah Ball
w/ College of Business Dean Avi Mukherjee (center)

2019 WVIBMC Competitors Group Photo

(l to r) Evan Merical (Glenville St.); Samuel Bearinger (WVU); Bailey Hanson (Glenville St.); Kennedy Stallworth (WV Wesleyan); Tommie Pope (WV Wesleyan); Sabrina Gonzalez (Glenville St.); Mya Linden (Marshall); Sarah Ball (Charleston); Sarah Moir (Marshall); Elizabeth Morgan (Marshall); Kelly Leonard (Marshall); Alexander Sypolt (Charleston); Kolby Wolf (WV Wesleyan); Brandon Well (Marshall); and Carter Shrewsbury (Concord). 

In alphabetical order by institutions, the remaining teams were awarded $500 for use in the further development of their business models:  BeeHive (Alexander Sypolt – Univ. of Charleston); Gas -n Go (Carter Shrewsbury – Concord Univ.); Eco-Eatz (Sabrina Gonzalez & Bailey Hanson – Glenville St.); RapidListing (Evan Merical – Glenville St.); Bear UAS (Samuel Bearinger – WVU); Alpha Nutrition (Kolby Wolf – WV Wesleyan); and Wesleyan Washers (Tommie Pope & Kennedy Stallworth – WV Wesleyan).

As noted by Host and Master of Ceremonies Bill Bissett (Huntington Chamber of Commerce), a distinguished panel of judges was presented the unenviable task of evaluating these ideas and the business model development of each team.  The WVIBMC was fortunate to have Intuit VP (Education) David Zasada as the keynote speaker and judge, as well as Nick Chapman (Virtual Enterprises International), Michael Green (Mountain State Capital), Jacqueline Khorassani (Marietta College), and Murphy Poindexter (Intuit-consultant). 


The WVIBMC was organized and hosted by Marshall University (Brad D. Smith Schools of Business, the Lewis College of Business, and the Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation).  As part of the 2019 WVIBMC campaign, the six participating institutions hosted campus qualifying events that resulted in at least one automatic qualifier advancing to the April 6th Finals Event.  Business model development entails customer interaction and feedback. 

For additional information about the WVIBMC, including information on joining this movement and participating in future events, please contact one of the competition organizers: