Third annual Pitch Contest scheduled for March 26 - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Third annual Pitch Contest scheduled for March 26

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West Liberty University's Gary E. West College of Business and its Center for Entrepreneurship is planning its third Pitch Contest with Liz Elam as its speaker from 5:30 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 26 at its downtown location, the Intellectual Capitol, 1413 Eoff Street.

Elam will speak at 5:30 p.m. and the pitch contest featuring local entrepreneurs will begin at 6:30 p.m. The winner of the contest will be announced at 7:30 p.m.

Elam will offer his take on how Wheeling can improve use of its empty buildings using the concept of "co-working." Elam began her career answering phones at Dell just after college and  was promoted into sales. Elam spent 14 years managing multi-million dollar accounts and then began work in entrepreneurship by founding Link Co-working in Austin, Texas.

Since opening its doors in 2010, the company has become a hub for Austin's innovators, giving them a place to create and connect. She has become a voice in the co-working movement, hosting the annual Global Co-working Unconference Conference (GCUC) for three years and bringing together influencers in co-working from all over the globe.

"We can't wait to hear what Liz has to say about downtown reuse of buildings and co-working. Plus this is our third pitch contest and we are anxious to see the new business proposals and ideas. We have six to seven pitchers each time and the winner gets $5,000 to start their own project," said Dr. Carrie White, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Several successful businesses have come out of previous WLU pitch contests, including September winners Vishesh Maskey with Spatial Decision Support System and Tyler Jones with Fajita by the Foot. Another successful business launch was Mason Dixon BBQ Co., founded by WLU student Patrick Fisher.

Though he wasn't an official winner, Fisher claims that the facts and feedback he learned from the last Pitch Contest helped him get started in business and he now has a successful catering and food stand business in Moundsville, with a Facebook presence.

West Liberty University's new Intellectual Capitol business incubator, located in the historic First State Capitol Building, opened in August 2013 and offers an historic setting for the contests.

It is the first downtown Wheeling business incubator and is the result of a partnership between West Liberty University (WLU) and Wheeling Academy of Law and Science (WALS). Its mission is to incubate WLU graduates and mentor them with their business goals, ultimately launching them into self-sustaining local businesses.

Sponsors include West Liberty University's Gary E. West College of Business and Center for Entrepreneurship, the Regional Economic Development Partnership and Vision Shared.