West Virginia University at Parkersburg Entrepreneur Center slates grand opening
PARKERSBURG — The West Virginia University at Parkersburg Entrepreneur Center, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, will host its grand opening at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 6 in the Workforce and Economic Development Building on campus.
Funded by the Ross Foundation and the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia, the Entrepreneur Center is a “makerspace,” where technology and creativity meet in an effort to expand the entrepreneurial Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) movement in the Mid-Ohio Valley, college officials said.
The center will provide the public access to technologies such as 3-D printing, CNC machining, laser cutting, Arduino (electronic prototyping platform) and industrial-capable sewing.
“Tres Ross of the Ross Foundation has led efforts to bring entrepreneurial methods to the Mid-Ohio Valley with Innovate MOV,” said Michele Wilson, WVU Parkersburg executive director of Workforce and Economic Development. “We are grateful for the support of the Ross Foundation and Community and Technical College System of West Virginia so we may encourage the development of small business endeavors.”
During the event, guests will have the opportunity to meet Anthony Wilson of Wilson’s House of Cosplay, Dominique Holl of Holl’s Chocolates, Tony Workman of Classic Plastics, and Cindy Moore of Cindy’s Simply Sewing to learn how these area residents turned their interests into careers.
Laser cutting and 3-D printing demonstrations, as well as meet-and-greets with the 501st Legion and James Hamilton with his Star Wars BB-8 droid, will take place. The 501st Legion is a volunteer organization formed to bring together costume enthusiasts that celebrate the Star Wars franchise by attending pop-cons and contributing to charity and volunteer work.
Members build their own detailed, replica costumes using the same machinery found in the Entrepreneur Center.
“We are excited to invite the community and show guests they have the resources and creative support to pursue their passions,” said WVU Parkersburg Entrepreneur Center coordinator Logan Mace. “The Entrepreneur Center truly is where inspiration meets innovation.”
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Logan Mace at Logan.Mace@wvup.edu or 304-424-8000 ext. 606, and visit Facebook @WVUPWED for details on future classes and events.