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First-year student wins Entrepreneur Pitch Contest

A picture of William Keefe receiving his check

 William Keefe, third from left, won the Entrepreneur Pitch Contest 

First-year engineering student William Keefe from Collegeville, Pennsylvania, won first place in the Entrepreneur Pitch Contest hosted by West Virginia University’s LaunchLab.

Keefe, who is also a member of the WVU Honors College, worked with the LaunchLab to come up with his winning mobile application idea called Band Books. Once developed, Band Books will be a social media app that connects bands, venues and fans in one digital platform.

”Every morning I walk through campus buildings and see bulletin boards filled with fliers for upcoming entertainment events and only have time to read one or two as I pass by,” said Keefe. “This method of advertising live entertainment hasn’t changed in decades and doesn’t allow bands and venues to connect with their audience, thus the idea for Band Books was born.”

The app will allow fans to stay connected with all their favorite bands while promoting upcoming events in the area. Users will be able to purchase tickets through the app if they see an event that piques their interest. Venues will have additional functionality that will allow them to search for bands, book them for shows and then market the events directly to consumers through the app. Keefe hopes that Band Books will help revolutionize the way people search for live entertainment and how venues book and market events.

“One of my goals is to make it on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list,” said Keefe. “I'd like the name Band Books to become as big and recognizable as apps like Instagram or Twitter.”

The WVU LaunchLab will provide Keefe with a $1,500 award to use toward the development of his idea. He will be using the money to purchase the equipment and software needed to produce a prototype of the app.

“The LaunchLab has been monumental in my success and has guided me toward the best business approach for my idea,” said Keefe. “WVU has a great entrepreneurial and innovative climate that allows ideas to flourish, and the people here are willing to help you every step of the way.”

With continued support from the LaunchLab and his mentors at WVU, Keefe will begin testing Band Books on a local scale in the next four to five months with hopes of expanding nationwide within the next year. 



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