Woodrum named director of West Virginia EDA University Center

Bill Woodrum

HUNTINGTON — The director of entrepreneurship at the Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University is taking on additional responsibilities.

Bill Woodrum also will be the director for the West Virginia EDA University Center at the institute. The mission of the center is to provide research, development tools and technical assistance to increase business productivity, spur innovation and entrepreneurship and increase economic diversification.

“I am pleased to be a part of the RCBI/Marshall University family,” Woodrum said. “This opportunity will allow me to leverage my experience to help a wide variety of entrepreneurs in West Virginia and throughout the region.”

Woodrum has worked at the institute for about five years and has more than 25 years of experience in higher education in the fields of community and economic development. He is a graduate of Marshall University and The Ohio State University, where he earned a Masters in Human and Community Resource Development. Woodrum will continue to serve as Director of Agricultural Innovations at RCBI.

The center is a partnership between the institute, Marshall and Concord universities, community and technical colleges, local economic development agencies and chambers of commerce. The center provides business support services to help entrepreneurs and small businesses move ideas from concept to successful commercialization.

“It is an exciting time to be at RCBI,” said Charlotte Weber, director and CEO of the institute. “RCBI’s extensive reach across our country and to every part of West Virginia allows us to be on the forefront of entrepreneurship and start up activities.”

Woodrum’s experience and talent will continue to deliver innovative and collaborative solutions to entrepreneurs and small businesses, she said.

The EDA University Center has assisted 238 businesses, trained more than 290 individuals, leveraged $10.3 million in private investment, created or retained 94 jobs and increased the number of HUB-certified small businesses by 49 percent.

The institute is home to the West Virginia Business Accelerator, a member of the nationally and internationally recognized Global Accelerator Network. Through the partnership, RCBI has provided more than $500,000 in network aid to more than 100 new startups.

The aid includes data storage, computer software, web development assistance and e-commerce tools from companies such as IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Shopify, SolidWorks and more. In addition, RCBI houses the largest early stage funding program in the region.