The EdVenture Group, fiscal agent of the WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, proudly announces the formation of key subcommittees that will spearhead advancement in three crucial ecosystem building blocks: Capital, Talent, and Government/Regulatory Support.

These targeted subcommittees, composed of esteemed individuals from diverse regions and organizations across the state, will play a pivotal role in supporting needs sensing and strategic planning for entrepreneurship-led economic development. The initiative, structured as a comprehensive four-phase project funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, aims to foster innovation, collaboration, and sustainable growth across the state.

After an intense review process, the following entities were selected for their exceptional commitment and long-term vision: 1) Capital – INNOVA Commercialization, an initiative of the WV High Technology Foundation, 2) Talent – Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Experts, LLC, and 3) Government/Regulatory Support – Executive Training Centers, LLC.

"We are thrilled to recognize these organizations in our dynamic team of collaborators," said Amber Ravenscroft, Director of Innovation at The EdVenture Group and Co-Chair of the WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. "Their expertise and strategic foresight will be instrumental in driving positive change and unlocking new opportunities for entrepreneurs in our state."

The subcommittees will kick off in December 2023 and engage in needs sensing, mapping, and action planning that addresses critical aspects of entrepreneurship development, focused on access to capital, talent development, and governmental support. Subcommittees will culminate in the development of a strategic vision and action plan for focused implementation efforts related to these areas to be shared during Bridging Innovation Week 2024. Through their collective efforts, WVEE anticipates a transformative impact on West Virginia’s economic landscape, positioning the state as a hub for innovation and sustainable business growth.

“We are very excited to have been selected to lead the Capital Subcommittee. As an early-stage funder and resource partner, we look forward to working with other entities to identify capital gaps in the current ecosystem,” said Michele O’Connor, Director of INNOVA Commercialization. “Our work as a subcommittee will not only identify these gaps but offer solutions. INNOVA Commercialization and the High Technology Foundation believe access to capital is essential to the success of West Virginia entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to get started on the project.”

“Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Experts, LLC was formed in August of 2023 with the goal of supporting early stage entrepreneurs to find the resources and support that they need within the WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem,” said Dr. Carrie White and Tara St. Clair, Founders of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Experts. “We are very excited to identify and support our talented innovators within the Appalachian region and for this opportunity to work with the WVEE and serve the Mountain State.” Carrie White and Tara St.Clair have a combined 30 years of experience working with early stage founders.

“Executive Training Centers, Inc. is proud to partner with The EdVenture Group on the launch of the WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem subcommittee initiative,” said Dr. Valerie Bernard, Founder of Executive Training Centers. “This effort brings valuable contributions to WV entrepreneurs, and ETC brings a set of complementary capabilities in building entrepreneurship capacity and in supporting the facilitation of this grant award.”

The launch of these subcommittees marks a significant milestone in the state’s ongoing commitment to fostering a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem that propels West Virginia into a future of prosperity and innovation. Subcommittees are currently seeking interested individuals to participate in the effort. If you are interested in lending your voice and thought leadership to a subcommittee, complete this brief interest form to be connected to the effort.

Funding for the West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem subcommittee effort is made possible through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. For questions, information on participation, and additional opportunities, contact WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Co-Chair Amber Ravenscroft at [email protected] and register for monthly meetings held the second Tuesday of each month from 2-2:45pm EST via this link.