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Buffalo Student Brings Basketball Skills Academy to Sheridan Business Incubator

June 22, 2015
man playing basketball
Former UW walk-on basketball player Aaron Tyser, from Buffalo and a psychology major, developed the Wyoming Skills Academy that offers specialized skills training to the state’s basketball players in grades K-12 in their own communities. His business recently was accepted by the Sheridan-area Wyoming Technology Business Center. (UW Photo)

When Aaron Tyser was a Buffalo High School athlete aspiring to make it to the next level, he sought out, but was unable to find, access to specialized skills coaching.

He discovered that Wyoming athletes often must travel long distances and sometimes to other states to receive the skill instruction they need. The former University of Wyoming Cowboy walk-on basketball player developed Wyoming Skills Academy that offers specialized skills training to the state’s basketball players in grades K-12 in their own communities. The UW psychology major works with local coaches and school administrators to schedule multiple clinics that target different age groups.

Tyser says he developed his academy because Wyoming is the only state in the United States that does not have an established training academy for athletes.

Wyoming Skills Academy was among the five business finalists for the John P. Ellbogen $30K Entrepreneurship Competition, sponsored each spring semester by the UW College of Business.

The competition encourages students to act on their talents, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow's leading businesses. The $30K competition awards cash prizes to outstanding teams of student entrepreneurs who submit their business plans for new ventures that show significant business potential.

Even though Tyser did not win the competition, his business plan caught the attention of UW’s Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) officials, specifically those from the Sheridan area WTBC.

“We worked with Aaron when he put together his business concept for the $30K in Laramie,” says Jon Benson, CEO of the WTBC. “He is a great guy, and we think he can make this business happen.”

Wyoming Skills Academy is now the third client of the Sheridan’s business incubator, joining Sheridan Programmers Guild and IO Services. UW signed an agreement last fall with Sheridan County and the City of Sheridan for the WTBC to operate Sheridan’s business incubator.

The WTBC, a UW program that manages multiple business incubators across Wyoming, helps 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 through one-on-one business counseling.

WTBC works with 21 client companies in its Laramie, Casper and Sheridan incubators, which includes firms in biotechnology, software development, hardware development and professional services. The WTBC has had six clients graduate from the incubator program, and all are located in Wyoming.

The WTBC works with each of the finalists in the $30K competition and offers space in any of its three incubators to the $30K finalists who want to launch their businesses.

Tyser says the last six months he has received an “incredible amount of support within Wyoming communities.”

“Coaches and parents are beginning to see the value in deliberate and purposeful skill instruction through intensive multi-day skill clinics,” he says. “I firmly believe Wyoming is ready for a service like Wyoming Skills Academy.”

“I am excited to work with Aaron on the development of Wyoming Skills Academy,” says John Dick, the Sheridan area WTBC director. “He will make an excellent addition to the Sheridan entrepreneurial community, and has the ability to really grow this business.”

Bill Gern, UW vice president for research and economic development, says the WTBC is committed to helping Wyoming businesses succeed.

“The university wishes Aaron the best on the growth of his business,” he says. “This is a great example of UW pushing economic development throughout the state.”

For more information, contact John Dick at (307) 675-1939 or email jdick4@uwyo.edu.


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Chad Baldwin

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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