Entrepreneur Center opens at WVU-P

From left, April Crone, Ryan Thorn, Chad Crumbaker, Michele Wilson, Kurt Knopp, Megan Hardway, Tres Ross and Logan Mace, instrumental in bringing the Entrepreneur Center to the Mid-Ohio Valley, participate in the ribbon-cutting celebration Thursday. (Photo by Madeline Murphy)

PARKERSBURG — The West Virginia University at Parkersburg Entrepreneur Center, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, hosted its grand opening on Thursday evening in the Workforce and Economic Development Building on campus.

Chad Crumbaker, West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s vice president for Academic Affairs, opened the ceremony welcoming those who were there in support and had helped to make the Entrepreneur Center possible.

According to Crumbaker, the Entrepreneur Center , funded by the Ross Foundation and the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia, was designed to help encourage or inspire the community to be innovative.

“We want more people to come and explore their creative ideas, realize passions and share those ideas with our community by starting a long-term career,” said Crumbaker.

The center will provide the public with training and access to technologies such as 3-D printing, CNC Milling Machine, laser cutting, Metal Lathe, RetinaEngrave and many more, said Logan Mace, coordinator of the Entrepreneur Center.

People watch a demonstration of the 3-D printer making a red vase. (Photo by Madeline Murphy)

Memberships will cost $15 a month, plus the cost of materials used. The center will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

Mace said the times the center is open could change if they see a need.

Mace said members can create keychains, signs, cosplay items, furniture and other items.

“There are no limits to the creativity that can go on here,” said Mace.

“If you have a business idea, we have the space, tools and network to help you achieve your dream,” said Mace.

Guest Lauri Reidmiller meets with Daniel Gallaher (Anikin Skywalker) and Ashton Buzzerd (Kylo Ren), members of the 501st Legion, 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. (Photo by Madeline Murphy)

Guests were able to witness laser cutting and a 3-D printing demonstration of a vase, as well as meet residents who turned their interests into careers.

Some of the careers were Wilson’s House of Cosplay, Holl’s Chocolates and Classic Plastics.

“I came out today to see what all the Entrepreneur Center has to offer,” said Steve Parks, executive director of the Ritchie County Economic Development Authority.

“Now if a client comes to me wanting to start a business, but needs help with networking or building things like prototypes, I can send them here,” he said.

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.