The WV HIVE Network has connected with a company called Focus PDM to make product development a more accessible and entrepreneur friendly process. Essentially, entrepreneurs in southern West Virginia will be able to bring their product ideas to the Beckley HIVE and meet with Business Coach and HIVE Director, Joe Carlucci. He will help each entrepreneur identify their specific needs, and match them with a focus group in Silicon Valley that is perfectly equipped to help with the development of that product. Simultaneously, Joe will be helping to make sure the business model is sound, the market segments align, and all the operational details are in order. This allows entrepreneurs to make more progress in less time without compromising the quality of their product or the foundation of their business. The Focus PDM team that each entrepreneur will be partnered with will take each business through a four-phase program. That program starts with concept validation, to guarantee there is a market for the product before any money is spent on development with a milestone of a pitch to investors for the new product. The second phase is engineering the proof of concept and prototype to make sure that it’s functional and in line with the validated research done in phase one.  Then the group moves to phase three, manufacturing, where they will design for manufacturing the pilot production model. Lastly, entrepreneurs will work through Marketing, this is where we build the digital presence and campaigns for social media, websites, videography, and graphic design. This track can also aid entrepreneurs with pre-launch kits and Crowd Funding campaigns for capital. Each phase will help the product and future business be well established, cover a diverse market, and increase their chance at a successful venture. If you, or someone you know, has a product they’d like to engage in this process with, contact Joe Carlucci at 304-712-6780. These services are available at no cost, and open to the public, as a resource of the WV HIVE Network, and New River Gorge Regional Development Authority.

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