The EdVenture Group, in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education, is pleased to announce the awardees for its highly anticipated, inaugural SparkWV Competition. SparkWV, a big idea and small business generation competition, opened to all middle and high school students in West Virginia in October 2023. After two rigorous rounds of submissions, the eleven finalists (announced in this press release), pitched live at Competition Day, part of Bridging Innovation Week hosted by the West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.

Finalists from eleven West Virginia high schools had five minutes to pitch to a panel of judges composed of industry experts, investors, educators, and seasoned entrepreneurs, immediately followed by a three minute Q&A session. The judges were blown away by the creativity and skill of the students, many of whom were already selling their products and pursuing their passions. After thorough deliberation and scoring of each business, The EdVenture Group is pleased to announce the following awardees:

"We are excited to announce the exceptional awardees for the 2024 SparkWV Competition," said Cameron Keefe, Program Coordinator at The EdVenture Group and SparkWV Coordinator. "These inspiring students and entrepreneurs represent the future of innovation and business in West Virginia. We are thrilled to award them funding to continue pursuing their business ventures and big ideas and commend them for their creativity and dedication in making this competition such a huge success! We are looking forward to seeing their businesses grow as they share their talents and inspire the next round of applicants."

The 2024 SparkWV Awardees for their respective categories are:

Small Business Category:

  1. $1,500: The Mad Jammer, Grafton High School
  2. $1,000: Passing Thai, Monongalia County Technical Education Center
  3. $500: G&P Vet Services, Fairmont Senior High School

Big Ideas Category:

  1. $1,500: SE4SONS, PikeView High School
  2. $1,000: AED Drones, Carver Career And Technical Education Center
  3. $500: Tag On The Go, Ripley High School
The Mad Jammer
Passing Thai
G+P Vet Services
AED Drones
Tag on the Go

The EdVenture Group was also pleased to announce additional and separate $1,000 investments in three of the Small Business finalists, as funding provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission supports the implementation of small businesses in WV. Investment will be utilized to purchase necessary equipment and resources to scale their businesses.


The Mad Jammer, Grafton High School

EsaXNails, Wheeling Park High School

DJzRugz, James Monroe High School


The SparkWV finals took place on April 10th, 2024 at Marshall Health Network Arena, during Competition Day as part of Bridging Innovation Week, hosted by the West Virginia Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. SparkWV is designed in two pathways, “Small Business,” and “Big Ideas,” to allow students with local ventures, hobbies, and hustles, to compete separately from those ideas for new innovations and inventions. SparkWV catalyzes creativity and entrepreneurship by providing a platform for students to work through their Main Street businesses and groundbreaking innovations, providing coaching, mentorship, and additional resources. 

This year’s competition attracted a diverse array of participants, spectators, judges, and stakeholders, reflecting the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship in today’s classrooms, businesses, and the immense creativity and innovation of WV youth and the broader ecosystem.

The EdVenture Group would like to thank all students that participated in the SparkWV competition, as well as their mentors, teachers, coaches, and family members, for being the encouragement and support needed to pursue passions and big ideas. This collective network will cultivate and shape West Virginia’s entrepreneurial talent pipeline. For more information about the SparkWV Competition and to learn about The EdVenture Group and West Virginia Department of Education’s initiatives in fostering entrepreneurship, please visit