Next month, Marietta College is hosting the 4th Annual  Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneurship Expo (MOVEE). This one-day conference brings aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, business owners, and employees together with educators, industry experts, students, and resource providers. Participants will have a chance to hear inspiring stories from successful entrepreneurs, attend a variety of workshops, and network with other businesses and community leaders throughout the day. 

“MOVEE is a unique conference that brings together entrepreneurs from across the region to inspire and educate each other,” said Jacqueline Khorassani, Ph.D., Director of Marietta College’s Entrepreneurship Program and the lead organizer of MOVEE. “Having access to the right kind of information at the right time is the key to success for entrepreneurs, new or experienced. While our area is rich in the variety of resources that entrepreneurs may use to start or grow their business, it is not always easy to know where to find those resources.,” she said. “MOVEE provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs and resource providers to gather under the same roof to exchange information and expand their networks.”

Since its launch four years ago, MOVEE has grown as organizers consider participant feedback and find ways to improve. “For example, last year’s participants requested more concurrent workshops. As a result, this year we have twenty-two workshops as opposed to last year’s fifteen workshops,” she said.

This year’s workshops address topics like intellectual property, business financing strategies, branding and marketing, learning from failures, and much more, each led by local industry leaders.

After lunch, attendees will hear from keynote speaker Dale King, a winner on season 8 of ABC’s Shark Tank and TEDx speaker. King is a co-founder of Doc Spartan, an all-natural grooming and skincare company which Robert Herjavec named one of his best deals in the history of the show. Before landing that deal, King opened PSKC CrossFit in his hometown to help build a stronger community after it had been ravaged by a depressed economy and opioid addiction. “Dale will speak on Fighting Small Town Insurgencies,” said Khorassani. “He is someone most of our participants can relate to – a family man, an entrepreneur, a veteran, a coach, and a proud son of Portsmouth, Ohio.”

Following the keynote, attendees will be able to participate in additional workshops and network during the Resource Fair and Networking Reception. “The Resource Fair and Networking Reception gives established business owners and entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect with their future interns, employees, and customers,” said Khorassani. “It also makes it possible for students and aspiring entrepreneurs to build and expand their professional network.”

During the conference, Clutch MOV will also be announcing the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. After receiving dozens of qualified nominations from all across the Mid-Ohio Valley, five finalists will be selected, from which one winner will be chosen. Clutch MOV looks forward to uplifting these innovative, passionate individuals and the successful businesses and organizations they lead.

“I hope that attendees leave the conference feeling that they had a very productive day and that this was the best $30 they have ever spent!” said Khorassani. “If they are aspiring entrepreneurs, I hope that the conference inspires them to develop their ideas even further and connects them with people that can guide them in taking their next steps. If they want to streamline their operations or if expansion is on their mind, I hope that the conference provides them with some ideas on how to proceed.”

The MOVEE was established in 2016 to encourage entrepreneurs in their efforts and provide practical tools to help them succeed. “Economic growth depends on the quality and quantity of the factors of production, including natural resources, capital, labor, and entrepreneurs. As you know, the Mid-Ohio Valley is rich in natural resources,” said Khorassani. “We also have plenty of capital. What we need are more creative and informed entrepreneurs that take advantage of what this area has to offer in order to create more economic activities in our area.”

Each year, the conference is sponsored by area businesses and organizations to keep costs low for participants. This year, platinum level sponsors include The NewsCenter and Select Office Services, and gold level sponsors include The Bernard McDonough Foundation, Huntington Bank, and Robert Metz, MC Class of 90. Those interested in attending can  register to reserve a spot!