On Wednesday afternoon, West Virginia University hosted the inaugural “I Heart Idea Hub Pitch Challenge.”

13 teams pitched their ideas, from business innovations to new technology, in front of a group of judges.  The teams were made up of a mix of community members, as well as students and staff from WVU.  

The event, sponsored by Huntington Bank, gave the winning team a $2,500 cash prize to help further develop their idea.

The university says funding these projects will help economic development in West Virginia.

“Funding helps move their innovations along, whether they’re an established business or still prototyping.  So, it helps them move their business along.  And then, most of our clients do stay in the state of West Virginia, so we work towards moving West Virginia forward,” said Emma Hartle, master of ceremonies for the event. 

The winning team was a group of seniors from WVU, for its company ICONIC EDU, LLC, a technology company that builds STEM-based education toys for kids.