Calling All Entrepreneurs!

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Need a boost in your business? Become a presenter at Café Morgantown at the Market and be a part of “entrepreneurship in action.”

Main Street Morgantown (MSM), the WVU BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Vision Shared are partnering to host the first Café Morgantown at the Market. Café Morgantown at the Market will be held at the Morgantown Market Place (400 Spruce St.) on May 3, 2014 at 12:00 p.m., immediately following the Morgantown Farmers’ Market.

The purpose of Café Morgantown is to provide small (micro) awards to entrepreneurs at the local level. Current business owners are invited to apply to present their ideas at this event. Presentations must clearly state the entrepreneur’s goals; how the funding will be used to benefit the entrepreneur’s business, organization or community; why it is important to the entrepreneur’s business or community; and any project partners.

Entrepreneur applicants must complete the presenter application, found under the “Crowdfunding” panel at www.RevWV.com. The application may be completed online and emailed to Tara St Clair at Tara.StClair@mail.wvu.edu. Applications must be received no later than Friday, April 18, 2014.

Before the event, a selection committee, which will be comprised of representatives from West Virginia University, Main Street Morgantown, the City of Morgantown and other local organizations, will choose 5 entrepreneurs to present their ideas at Café Morgantown. The selected presenters will be notified no later than April 25, 2014.

The selected entrepreneurs will give five minute presentations about their project at the May 3rd event, after which the audience will be able to ask questions. After all 5 entrepreneurs have presented and all questions have been answered, the audience will vote to select a winner. This winner will receive a prize of $500, in addition to the majority of the event’s proceeds.

The winner is required to give an update to the Café Morgantown committee within six months of receiving the award. The update must enumerate the outcomes of the project and describe how the micro award was utilized.

Community members are invited to purchase tickets for the event here. Tickets will also be sold at the Morgantown Market Place on the day of the event. The cost for the event is $20, which will provide each attendee with a meal and the opportunity to vote. A majority of the proceeds from ticket sales will be given as part of the winning entrepreneur’s award.

There will also be a drawing for a basket of Downtown goods and services during the May 3rd Café Morgantown at the Market. Proceeds from the drawing will go to the winning entrepreneur.

While this is the first Café Morgantown at the Market, it represents the second Entrepreneurs’ Café in Morgantown. The first Café Morgantown was held at Taziki’s in Suncrest Towne Center by Vision Shared on February 12, 2014. Luke Nesler was the winner of this event, taking home $500 to invest in his company, Impakt Marketing, toward social media development for Morgantown businesses and local government.

The Entrepreneurs’ Café program is part of Vision Shared’s long-term plan to develop the entrepreneurial climate in West Virginia. In May 2012 the organization released a white paper with recommendations for encouraging economic growth and development through entrepreneurial education and activity. The white paper is available at http://www.RevWV.com.

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