The Hub’s work in West Virginia’s coal-impacted communities is all about unearthing the great ideas that locals have, and helping turn those ideas into reality.
From the biggest, boldest dream to the smallest project, we think it’s critical that the rejuvenation of West Virginia’s communities is led by the people that live in them.
And so we were thrilled to be able to support three great local ideas in our Bucks for Bright Ideas seed-funding contest, the winners of which we announced at our Innovation Acceleration Strategy (IAS) workshop in Beckley last week.
Without further ado, here are the winners!
3rd Place – Wyoming County’s Remote Controlled Track Project
Spearheaded by 14-year-old Joseph Watson (right), this innovative project hopes to attract more visitors to Wyoming County by creating a professional quality track for remote control car racing.
Watson hopes the track, which will be the only of its kind in the Mountain State, can attract hobbyists from surrounding areas for regular races.
Watson’s enthusiasm for the hobby shone through in his project, which netted the project $1,000.
2nd Place – Lincoln County’s Small Farm Cluster
Locals Nona Conley and Zeke Wood have been coordinating the Lincoln County Farmer’s Market for a while, and now see the need for a more organized structure for farmers in Lincoln County. Their plan strives to promote a partnership between local farmers and provide agro-tourism opportunities.
Conley’s hope is that they can reclaim this piece of Lincoln County’s identity and create new economic and employment opportunities. We are pleased to award them $3,000 to get the project up and running!
1st Place – Alderson’s Strategic Riverfront Enhancement Plan
The people of Alderson have identified the Greenbrier River, which flows right through the middle of town, as one of the community’s greatest assets.
Their goals are to enhance and repair riparian zones to reduce erosion and beautify the riverbank, develop a walking trail that connects both sides of the river, redesign river access points, provide signage, and connect to existing and planned town assets.
Anderson’s Jim Russell was joined by 13 of his fellow community members to accept the grand prize of $5,000.
We’d like thank all of the teams that entered the Bucks for Bright Ideas contest. Everyone had really great projects and all of our finalists gave engaging presentations.
We’d also like to thank everyone that made it out to the IAS workshop event. We know it isn’t always easy to take a day off work and travel to a workshop.
We look forward to continuing our work with each of you and making your vision of your project into a reality.