Huntington Bank makes $2 million donation for WVU startup

Huntington’s regional president for West Virginia, left, talks with Javier Reyes, dean of the WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics. Huntington presented a gift of $2 million to the business school on Dec. 18 for its Startup Engine business accelerator. Courtesy: WVU Today

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV) -- A $2 million donation is going toward a business startup facility at West Virginia University.

Huntington Bank made the donation for WVU’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics--including a $500,000 charitable grant through the WVU Foundation--for the Startup Engine business accelerator as well as a provision of $1.5 million for a venture capital fund.

The startup houses WVU’s first startup accelerator program. Officials say it is "designed to attract, select and accelerate startup businesses focused on the sectors and industries identified in the West Virginia Forward report, helping those startups to hone their ideas, access seed capital, develop mentor relationships and partner with existing businesses."

The new startup is a collaboration with Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, whom the college was recently renamed after. It will be located on the bottom floor of University Place in Sunnyside.

Chad Prather, the regional president of Huntington in West Virginia says the goal is to attract small companies to grow in the state and, possibly, stay.