Marietta College is hosting the 6th Annual  Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneurship Expo  (MOVEE), sponsored by Riverview Credit Union on Thursday, September 23. 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.

The MOV Entrepreneurship Expo is the only entrepreneurship conference in the Mid-Ohio Valley. “MOVEE provides a venue for business owners, resource providers, and those with entrepreneurial dreams to get together, learn from each other, and expand their network,” said Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani, Professor and Director of Marietta College’s Entrepreneurship Program.

Since its launch six years ago, MOVEE has grown as organizers consider participant feedback and find ways to improve. The theme for this year’s conference is Energizing Small Business and workshops address topics like expanding sales potential in foreign markets, navigating SEO, identifying your strategic advantage, creating a business plan, measuring return on investment, and more.

“There are many entities in our area that provide a variety of programs to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. We do not want to duplicate those efforts,” said Khorassani. “Rather, the general goal of the MOVEE has always been to identify and fill the gap that other programs leave behind. For example, this year we were told that MOV does not have many opportunities for local attorneys to receive continuing education credit. That is why, we decided to create a ‘Law & Order’ track in this year’s MOVEE.”

The conference kicks off at noon with a keynote address from Dr. Heidi Neck of Entrepreneurial Energy over lunch. Neck is a Babson College Professor, award-winning educator, and author of the textbook Entrepreneurship: The Practice & Mindset. For pushing the frontiers of entrepreneurship education in higher education, The Schulze Foundation and the Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange awarded her “Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year” 2016. “During her presentation, Heidi will show us what it feels like to think and act entrepreneurially and all the things we can do with that!” said Khorassani.

The conference provides the rare opportunity for seasoned entrepreneurs to mingle with young aspiring entrepreneurs.

After lunch, attendees will be able to participate in workshops across five tracks, each one offering three, 1-hour sessions lead by local and regional experts. “Track 1 focuses on Growth & Expansion. Track 2 is all about managerial decisions. If your goal is to learn a thing or two on how to set yourself apart from the competition, you should attend Track 3. Track 4 is designed to assist non-profits in their entrepreneurial activities. And finally, while the target audience for Track 5 (The Law & Order Track) are attorneys that are looking to fulfill their continuing education requirements, I am told that the topics discussed in this track are also beneficial to general audience.”

The day concludes with a joint Business After Hours and Networking event in the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center, in collaboration with the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, and Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

During this time, Clutch MOV will also be announcing the 2021 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.

“Over the past few years, Clutch MOV has sponsored the entire selection process for the MOV Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” said Khorassani. “This year, the conference participants will also have a chance to meet the award finalists and learn the key to their success during a 4:00 pm panel discussion as part of Track 3.”

The MOVEE was established in 2016 to encourage entrepreneurs in their efforts and provide practical tools to help them succeed. “The Expo welcomes entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages and background,” she said. “The conference provides the rare opportunity for seasoned entrepreneurs to mingle with young aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Each year, the conference is sponsored by area businesses and organizations to keep costs low for participants. This year, platinum level sponsors include WTAP, First Settlement Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, and the Economic Roundtable of the Ohio Valley. Those interested in attending can  register to reserve a spot! Marietta College is requiring all guests wear face coverings while they are indoors on campus.