Launchpad opens today at Parkersburg Art Center

PARKERSBURG — Ten entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses today at the third annual Launchpad.

Participants will make presentations in hopes of receiving a $5,000 prize to develop their business. Organized by the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council, the Pleasants County Area Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Launchpad is open to businesses less than two years old in Wood, Wirt, Calhoun, Jackson, Roane, Ritchie, Pleasants and Tyler counties.

Launchpad will be held starting at 5 p.m. today and will last around three hours at the Parkersburg Art Center. Admission is free.

The 2018 semifinalists are:

* Lily’s Soap N Suds, Friendly, handmade soaps

* Sistersville Sweets, Sistersville, handcrafted baked goods

* The Golden Spike Brewing Company, St. Marys, craft beer

* Jennie’s Bed & Breakfast, Parkersburg, bed and breakfast inn

* The Slice Pizza & Grill, Parkersburg

* The Experience/MOVXP, Parkersburg

* Catered Whims, Parkersburg, catering

* Wonder Valley Farm, Gandeeville, farm

* Chrissy’s Bakeshop, Spencer, baked goods

* Your Proper Pooch, Cairo, dog walkers

Nonprofits and charities were not eligible. Participants will have five minutes to pitch their company or business plan. Judges will ask questions.

Contestants will have a display booth.