West Virginia Vanguard Ag Design Competition

DEADLINE EXTENDED to Feb. 2, 2018.

Agricultural innovators across West Virginia can compete for a business assistance package valued in excess of $10,000. 

Background:  The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) has helped manufacturers take their products to market for 25 years. Starting in 2014, RCBI placed a special emphasis on working with entrepreneurs in the field of agriculture.  With funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, RCBI is focused on West Virginia’s agricultural innovations.  A state-wide contest is underway to discover the most inventive and marketable products.  Competitors will present their original product designs and discuss a business vision with a panel of agriculture and manufacturing experts. The winner will receive business consulting and assistance designed to launch his or her product. One winner, who will receive a start-up package worth more than $10,000, will be chosen.


The winner will receive assistance with:

  • Product design and development
  • Logo creation and marketing
  • Patent, trademark and copyright applications
  • Business development planning
  • Funding opportunities
  • Business incubator space


West Virginia residents and students who attend state colleges and universities are eligible to compete. Entries must be received Feb. 2, 2018, by 3 p.m. The winner will be announced in mid-February at the 2017 West Virginia Small Farms Conference in Charleston.



1. Basic Information

2. Design Concept

By checking the box below, the applicant acknowledges that they have full intellectual rights to submit this proposal to RCBI for the purposes of the Vanguard Ag Design Competition. RCBI treats all application information as confidential to the extent permissible by law and allowing for promotion of winning designs. The applicant certifies the application has been checked for completeness. Failure to provide all required information will result in the application not being considered. Applicant understands that if successful there will be publicity surrounding their design and that they will need to be willing to have photographs of themselves and their designs/prototypes shared widely in promotion of RCBI and the Agricultural Innovations program. If applicant is younger than 18 years of age, checking this box signifies that the parent or guardian of the applicant is aware of the submission and the requirements of participation.

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