WELCOME FROM DEAN AVI MUKHERJEE
Welcome and Thank You for your interest in the West Virginia Innovation and Business Model Competition (WVIBMC) hosted by Marshall University's Brad D. Smith Schools of Business and designed by the iCenter - Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation. This new and exciting endeavor was conceived as a collaborative effort between business school deans and heads of four-year colleges and universities in West Virginia to foster innovation and entrepreneurship across the state. Offered by the iCenter - The Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, and using design thinking as the theme, this student competition owes its origin to the Design for Delight event hosted by Marshall in collaboration with Intuit in 2017. The WVIBMC focuses on developing a business model as opposed to a business plan, uses a decentralized model of local competitions at each partner school leading to the final presentations, and involves faculty from across the state to spread the design thinking mantra. The idea is to develop a business model validated through customer feedback and field research. The contest rewards ventures for breaking down an idea into a key business model hypotheses; testing their assumptions with customers; applying Customer Development / Lean Startup
principles to make sure they refine the model for improved success; and pivoting until they have a customer-validated business model. The result is to promote new business ventures among university students to encourage innovation and building of disruptive and scalable startups.
This multi-institutional collaborative event could not have been made possible without the generous support of the Robert E. Yancey, Sr. Entrepreneurship Endowment. I would also like to thank our iCenter Co-Directors Dr. Ben Eng and Olen York for working tirelessly to bring this event to students across the state. Lastly, I appreciate the support of fellow deans for promoting this event among their faculty and students, and the hard work of entrepreneurship faculty members from institutions across the state who have imbibed and propagated the business model canvas to their students.
Please join us in celebrating this great meeting of young minds participating in this exciting competition and fostering an important educational contribution to the entrepreneurial ecosystem within the great State of West Virginia.