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The Future is Innovative Females

The Future is Innovative Females

In an effort to reach innovative and entrepreneurial females throughout the state, the WVU Morris L. Hayhurst LaunchLab hosted its Second Annual Women Innovate Pitch Competition. Ten women entered the virtual competition in October in hopes of winning prizes up to $5,000 to turn their idea into a reality. The contestants had to consider every aspect of their pitch – everything from production to advertising – and field questions from the all-female panel of judges. First place went to Anna Cummings, a business management major and entrepreneurship minor from Ashburn, Virginia, whose pitch identified an unaddressed need for a device to help earring-wearers attach their earring backtracks. “The Women Innovate Pitch Competition is an important opportunity for women entrepreneurs,” said Carrie White, executive director of the Morris L. Hayhurst LaunchLab. “The LaunchLab is here to provide support to all student innovators. However, historically we have seen fewer female clients as compared to male. This event is designed to level that field. The first year we held it, we saw our female entrepreneurs increase by 20 percent. We want to provide encouragement to all WVU students who wish to create something new!” 

No Dessert - or Dinner

One of seven West Virginians don't know where or when they’ll get their next meal. Food deserts are defined by the USDA as areas that lack fresh and healthful foods, and these are found throughout the state in impoverished areas lacking grocery stores, farmers’ markets and healthy food providers. John Saldanha, Sears chair in global supply chain management, is addressing this West Virginia problem head-on with his supply chain technology students. Read more in an upcoming edition of our magazine.

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Goal!

Management Information Systems alumnus Jack Elliott helped the Philadelphia Union win the Supporters Shield, given for finishing first in the Major League Soccer regular season. Elliott, who played for the WVU soccer team from 2013 to 2016, plays as a defender. 

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I Scream, You Scream

Move over cones and milkshakes, there is a new way to enjoy ice cream – rolled! Marketing student and Morgantown native Tyler Lalka is bringing rolled ice cream to the hills of Morgantown and nearby cities with his business Rolling Hills Ice Cream. Lalka originally saw the concept being done in larger cities and thought to himself, “Mountaineers need this,” and opened his ice cream truck in April 2021. Not only is the ice cream mixed with toppings on top of a negative-five degree plate and rolled into pieces, but his truck also allows him to roll to birthday parties, weddings, farmer’s markets, fairs, office gatherings and more. “It was a dream of mine to bring this to Morgantown and I decided to go mobile because it would give me the opportunity to meet my customers where they are,” he said. The signature menu (which ice cream lovers can get any time) includes salted caramel pretzel, Oreo, peanut butter cup, s'mores and Nutella banana. On top of those flavors, individuals can add other sweet or savory ingredients. Lalka will graduate with a degree in marketing in December 2022. 

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CPA-MAZING

Passing the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam is a big career step for all accounting students.

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Testify

John Deskins, director of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research, testified on Capitol Hill before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in July. The topic? The importance of energy innovation to economic growth.

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