Wyoming Technology Business Center
Technology Business Center has bolstered the state's economy, helping more
than 10 budding ideas blossom into full-blown businesses across the state and
Part strategy consultant, part mental therapist and all
business, the University of Wyoming's statewide business development program, has
assisted four visionary startups -- all with offices in Laramie -- with turning
their dreams into part of Wyoming economic reality during the past six years.
In all, these four businesses employ approximately 65 persons with gross annual
revenues of $10 million contributing to the state and local economy.
And eight more start-ups are now building their businesses
in the incubator setting located at 1938 Harney St. in Laramie.
The WTBC offers a technology business incubator and an
outreach program focused on early-stage, high-growth companies. The
30,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2006, offers laboratory, office
and shared-conference room space for client companies as well as a
state-of-the-art data center.
All client companies -- which are required to be based in
Wyoming -- located in the incubator have access to one-on-one business
counseling and executive coaching services provided by WTBC staff. The program
is designed to help client companies grow larger and faster than they would
otherwise, and to increase the ability of the entrepreneurs to manage and grow
their own businesses.
Business assistance focuses on sales and marketing,
organizational structure, financial and information systems, and ongoing
In creating a business, you're "typically solving another
business's problems," says Jonathon Benson, CEO of the WTBC. " ... The better you
are at solving a problem, the faster they will buy and the better you are at
growing your business."
Often, entrepreneurs start out thinking they have to do
everything themselves. They have the mindset that if they work hard, their
businesses will succeed. But the WTBC provides consulting that makes budding
business persons realize they can only thrive if they hire the right people.
When entrepreneurs start thinking like that, that's when the
incubator process moves from a mere idea to reality, Benson says.
"If you can get them to do that, then it's magic," he says.
That model can often go beyond the business side of the
entrepreneurial process, says Christine Langley, COO of the WTBC.
"We also deal with the emotional side. They're in crisis
mode for three years," she says of incubator clients trying to get their
businesses off the ground. "They need somewhere to vent. They need someone to
talk to. They often have fears, like ‘I don't know if we're going to make
Weston Welch, CEO of Pronghorn
Technologies LLC, an incubator client since 2008, appreciates having that concerned
ear on which to lean. Pronghorn currently is demonstrating its technology to
various factions of the United States military. The company's total residual
oxidant (TRO) sensor is designed for use with advanced shipboard desalination
systems, such as those found on Navy ships. Desalination is the process of
removing salt and other minerals from saline water.
"When times are tough, it's very nice to have someone to
talk to; to have someone to let you know what you're doing is a good idea; and
that it's worth going through this," Welch says.
Click here to read more of this story: WTBC Highlights Business Success Stories
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