MORGANTOWN -- New director Carrie White has been on the job at LaunchLab at West Virginia University since Aug. 15 and more than 150 students have taken advantage of the facility.

"The LaunchLab is a resource center available to students who are interested in starting new businesses or have ideas for new products,’’ White told The West Virginia Record.  "We have resources from every area of the university for students who may need help with market research, financial, legal, creative works, engineering, design, management, coding, agriculture or sciences.’’

White also the the facility offers a MakerLab for prototyping new products through the use of 3-D printers and other tools of production.

"My job as the director entails daily operations of the facility, working with students on startup ideas, collaboration with all entities of the university, communication with external constituents, support the new ventures applying for seed-stage funding and investments and support and participate in statewide and national organizations and competitions related to startups,’’ White said.

White added that students are interested in starting all sorts of businesses from apps to clothing companies.  Some are interested in technology, some are engineering new products and are interested in social causes.

"We are encouraging students to come to the LaunchLab even if just to brainstorm idea,"  White said. "We have a great staff of people and great partnerships across the university who want to see our students succeed."

The LaunchLab is constantly adding programs to its calendar of events from app coding to yoga. "And everything in between,’’ White said. "We encourage innovation and the creative mindset for our students to be successful.''

Prior to taking the position at WVU, White was a professor of business law and entrepreneurship and the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at West Liberty University for 12 years. She has also started, owned, operated and sold small businesses in the Pittsburgh area. White has bachelors and masters degrees in business administration from Franciscan University, a law degree from Duquesne and a doctorate of education from WVU.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. White leading the LaunchLab,” said Mindy Walls, assistant vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation. “West Virginia University is publicly committed to boosting the economy of our community and our state by training and supporting the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs."

The WVU LaunchLab is on the fourth floor of Evansdale Crossing. Students and community members can call (304) 293-3391 or email launchlab@mail.wvu.edu to make an appointment to meet with White or another member of the LaunchLab staff or to use the MakerLab on the premises. Walk-ins are welcome on a first-come first-served basis during regular business hours.  

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