The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 12, 2013

Seminar for entrepreneurs offered by Greenbrier coalition

By Tina Alvey
Register-Herald Reporter

— The coalition behind the Entrepreneur Cafe competitions in the Greenbrier Valley is sponsoring a “Plans, Patents and Pitches” educational seminar in Lewisburg.

The focus of the seminar is three-fold, with sessions built around the “nuts and bolts” of business planning, navigating the world of patents and copyrights and tips on enhancing pitches for the Cafe competitions to win start-up funding.

Slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 with a light supper provided by Shoney’s, the event will be held at the student lounge in New River Community and Technical College’s Church Street campus.

New River entrepreneur specialist Jill Holliday and Justin Gaull, business coach with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, will lead the seminar, which will offer valuable information to entrepreneurs of all ages, according to the event’s organizer, Katie C. Ickes.

The evening’s first session, immediately following the meal, is geared toward business owners, new entrepreneurs and students, with Holliday detailing how to develop a business plan.

Future applicants for Entrepreneurs’ Cafe can learn ways to provide information during their five-minute pitches at the competition that will enhance their chances of winning, and students can learn how to hone business plans to become contenders in upcoming college and high school competitions, which can yield sizable scholarships and other prizes.

The second part of the program, beginning around 7 p.m., offers information on patents and copyrights which may be of interest not only to entrepreneurs and innovators, but also to professionals such as CPAs and attorneys. Gaull will provide an overview of the topic and discuss some of the resources available for those interested in learning about the various types of patents and copyrights and how to obtain them.

This seminar is sponsored by New River Community and Technical College, in cooperation with the Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce and the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC). This partnership will also present the fourth Greenbrier Valley Entrepreneurs’ Cafe on Feb. 18.

The Cafe competitions are designed along the same lines as the popular network television show “Shark Tank,” with selected contestants pitching ideas for business start-ups, expansions or innovations in the hope of receiving funding to help realize their dreams.

Tanya Hazelwood of Healing Hands Mobile Massage won the third Greenbrier Valley Entrepreneurs’ Cafe competition, taking home $1,130 in seed money from an event sponsored by the GVEDC.

In addition to the Greenbrier Valley Cafe events, organizers are extending the concept to Mercer County just after the first of the year and to Monroe County in the spring.

For more information about the Entrepreneurs’ Cafe competitions, visit www.gvecafe.com.

To apply for the cafe or to register for the Jan. 9 seminar, visit the website or call 304-667-7027.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com