How to Apply and Eligibility

July 5-25  West Virginia University

 How Hard Is It To Apply?  Not At All!
...And the Deadline Is Now May 15.
Applying to the GSE is a three-step process, but each of the steps is pretty simple. Just follow the steps below. Application materials must include (1) completed application form, (2) original, signed letter of recommendation from the student’s high school principal or counselor, (3) a link to a 60-second original video pitch uploaded to the WVGSE YouTube channel for public display. The links at the bottom of this page will take you to the applications.

60-Second Video Pitch

During the 2017 Governor’s School of Entrepreneurship, students will be asked to develop exciting new business ideas in one of the four different categories. The 60-second video pitch is to explain why the student's idea is key to West Virginia’s business success. Read all the information below about the application process before going to the links, please.

Part I  online application  

Please use appropriate upper and lower-case letters as you enter the data. 

 Part II--paper application and directions

There are a couple of things you should note.  1).The two pages in the paper application asking about your honors and school activities are just for us to get to know you better.  There is not a level of such participation for you to attend GSE.  We know that some of our sharpest business minds and inventors didn't have much time for extra-curricular (or sometimes, even the curricular) activities when they were your age. Look at Steve Jobs, for example.  2) The principal and teacher recommendations may be as long as the person writing them wants them to be; however, they really just need to say that you are a good kid who'd be a wonderful candidate for the GSE. 

Mail the application packet to the following address:

Sherry Keffer, Department of Education and the Arts, Building 5, Room 205, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25305

 Part III--YouTube Video   See directions below 

An integral part of the online application is the one-minute video pitch. Applicants should come up with an innovate business that can be focused around four different categories. The pitch should be uploaded to the WVGSE YouTube page. If you have questions, contact

Technical Directions

   Shoot your video. It doesn't require fancy equipment. You can do it with your phone.
  • a.    Upload video to your own YouTube page.
  • b.    Follow "PART THREE" link below to upload to the 2017 Application Video Playlist
  • c.    Click the “Add videos” button on the right-hand side.
  • d.    A pop-up screen will appear, click the tab “Your YouTube Videos”
  • e.    Click the blue “Add Video” button at the bottom of the pop-up screen.

Part III Application Link

What Should I Say in the Video?
Click here to see a sample or two

Please use the following information to develop your video pitch and be creative!
 (Say how your idea for a product or business could impact one of the following four categories)
Four Categories
1. Hospitality and Tourism
2. Healthcare
3. Technology
4. Creative Economies (Social Impact)
1. Who are you?
2. Why do you want to be a part of GSE?
3. Why do you want to be a Young E?
4. What opportunity do you see in West Virginia?
5. What category do you want to be placed in for GSE?

These steps should complete the process. If you have any questions,  contact

Eligibility Requirements
In order to be considered for admission, students must be residents of the State of West Virginia who are currently  enrolled in 9th, 10th, or 11th grades in a public, private, or home school high school located in the state of West Virginia. Students who attended in 2016 may apply again this year.  Their experience could prove invaluable. There is no GPA requirement; however, all students must be recommended by a teacher and a school principal or assistant principal. All application materials must be postmarked by May 15, 2017.

What Makes a Good Candidate

Students applying to the GSE must have an innovative idea for a product or service or have skills or talents and an interest in entrepreneurship that will make you a valuable addition to a business team. It is possible that you may be invited to attend because the judges see your potential but your business would not be chosen.  In such a scenario, you would be assigned to work on someone else's idea as part of a tem.

If you have an existing company, you may not apply with that company or its product. You may, however, apply with a new and different idea.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a number of criteria, including the merit of the proposed business idea in one of the four categories and student skill set. Building a company (even a virtual one) is hard work and we will select participants who show us they will apply themselves wholeheartedly to the experience. The decisions are a bit subjective so show us your passion and creativity! The best applications will be sincere expressions of who you are and why you want to attend.

Applications will be scored by a committee. The Governor's School of Entrepreneurship is looking for a balance of individuals with team-work skills and abilities that can effectively help the teams create a business during the three week period. An effort will be made to select students from all areas of the state.

If you are currently in 9th or 10th grade and do not make it into the first year of the program, we encourage you to reapply next summer - many successful entrepreneurs have failed the first time. Resilience and persistence are essential qualities.

College Credit

Students participating in the West Virginia Governor's School of Entrepreneurship will be eligible to earn up to three credit hours of university credit in the area of entrepreneurship. In order to receive college credit, students must complete the two-step process application ( by April 28, 2017. This will be an online application and then a form signed by the student’s guidance counselor confirming their GPA. If you intend to enroll as a freshman at an institution other than West Virginia University upon graduation from high school, please contact that institution directly to obtain information regarding the transferability of courses and how any college course(s) taken while in high school might impact your enrollment status. Based on appropriate student participation in the Governor's School of Entrepreneurship, three credit hours will be formally entered into the records of West Virginia University. Official transcripts and additional information will be required in order to obtain the credit hours.

Participation and Consent

Students admitted to the program cannot be absent from the Governor's School for any reason except emergency, illness, or an overriding personal reason. Students are expected to abide by the code of conduct provided to each accepted candidate on or before July 5, 2017. Parents are invited to attend the parent orientation on July 5, but will not be permitted to visit the students during the three-week program. Parents who violate this rule (unless receiving prior authorization or during an emergency) will subject the student to immediate termination from the program. By signing this form, both student and parent (or guardian) agree to these terms by West Virginia University and the West Virginia Governor's Schools. 

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy

The Governor's School of Entrepreneurship admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, religion, gender, or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, and activities generally accorded or made available to students while participating in the program. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, physical capabilities, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nation and ethnic origin in administration of its educational or admission policies.