UPDATE: Gandeeville farm wins entrepreneurship contest

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PARKESBURG, W. Va. (WTAP) - Wonder Valley Farm of Gandeeville, West Virginia is the grand prize winner of the third annual Launchpad business competition. The business is based in Roane County.

The owners are Sierra Cox and John Pennacchio. The company also presented at the last competition.

They won $5,000 Thursday night during the competition at the Parkersburg Art Center.

The competition is meant to encourage and entice entrepreneurship and grow new business in the area.

Ten entrepreneurs are vying for a special prize.

The third annual Launchpad business competition kicked off Thursday evening at the Parkersburg Art Center.

Contestants compete for the public's "fuel money, "which represents investment, in the first round.

Then the top five vote-getters pitch their business plan to a panel of judges.
Organizers say this type of event helps entrepreneurs find investors and refine their business plans.

"I think it gives them a platform to pitch their idea to the public and also to help them maybe find investors through folks that are here tonight," said Steve Parks, executive director of the Ritchie County Economic Development Authority. "It's open to the public and it's free."

"It just gives them an opportunity to talk to folks about what they do or their dream of what they want to do."

The event is organized by the Mid Ohio Valley Regional Council and gathers new businesses (less than two years old) located in the MOVRC’s eight-county region: Wood, Wirt, Calhoun, Jackson, Roane, Ritchie, Pleasants and Tyler counties.

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