The Gary E. West College of Business at West Liberty University will present an inspiring program for local start-ups, the Entrepreneur Pitch Contest, from 5:30 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 20. The event is free and open to the public and will take place at the Capitol Theatre Ballroom, 1015 Main St., Wheeling.

Eric Corl

Eric Corl, president of fundable. com.

“No longer do entrepreneurs have to work alone. This event is geared to start-ups that want feedback, need funding and want to have some fun. We are honored to have a real expert with us, Eric Corl, president of, who will tell us all about crowdfunding,” said Dr. Carrie White, professor and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, a division of the Gary E. West College of Business.

Crowdfunding is one of the hottest trends in small business capitalization, and this event will help potential business owners who hope to get a new idea off the ground learn how it can benefit them. The pitch contest invites local entrepreneurs and small business owners to present or “pitch” their ideas to a group of potential investors for funding.

Corl will give the keynote address. As the co-founder of in 2011, he helps entrepreneurs benefit from the recently passed JOBS Act Legislation, providing a platform to help small businesses raise capital.

He is a partner at Virtucon Ventures, a technology incubator that brings in-house ideas to market. A contributor to Forbes and The Washington Post, he was recently recognized by the White House as one of the most influential entrepreneurs under 30 with the Empact100.

Attendees will have five minutes to present their concept to the crowd and each member of the audience will have the opportunity to bid on their favorite project. The winner of the event will take home the total of the bids from the audience and a special cash award provided by the event sponsors.

Anyone interested in learning about how crowdfunding works and supporting local entrepreneurs and the business community is encouraged to attend the pitch contest.

WLU’s Center for Entrepreneurship consists of three areas of opportunity for study and community outreach: an entrepreneurship curriculum, the Small and Family Business Program (SFBP) and Intellectual Property and Innovation (IPI) Program.

The Entrepreneurship Contest also is sponsored by Vision Shared, a West Virginia melting pot for community and economic development.

For more information on the above or to make reservations for the Entrepreneur Pitch Contest, please contact White by email at, [email protected] or call 304-336-8699. Reservations are requested as soon as possible.