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Wyoming-Based Tech Company Wins International Crowdfunding Award

November 8, 2017
three women standing in crowded room
Diane Wolverton, left, and Kim Vincent, right, of the Laramie-based company, The Local Crowd, received an award for their company’s contributions to the international crowdfunding industry. Presenting the award is Ruth Hedges, from the Global Crowdfunding Convention. (Global Crowdfunding Photo)

Laramie-based business The Local Crowd has been recognized for its contributions to the international crowdfunding industry.

The University of Wyoming’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)-supported company received a Crowdfundie Award at the recent Global Crowdfunding Convention in Las Vegas. Founded by Diane Wolverton and Kim Vincent, The Local Crowd stands apart from other fundraising websites by not only having a community-focused approach, but also by offering educational opportunities to help campaigns succeed.

“We are excited to receive this award on behalf of all The Local Crowd communities,” Wolverton says. “Our host communities have been working hard to launch this tool and bring funding to their businesses and nonprofits. It is very gratifying to see their work recognized.”

The Local Crowd began in 2012 when Wolverton and Vincent sought assistance from the Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative (WSSI) to obtain a $5,000 startup contract. The WSSI continued to help the two entrepreneurs secure grants in the amount of nearly $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Local Crowd’s services are now being used throughout communities in 13 states to meet needs such as building a wheelchair-accessible swing at a playground in Evanston and creating a public space for artists in Laramie.

The crowdfunding industry now provides more than $60 billion in annual support to causes throughout the world. Wolverton and Vincent’s creation is now removing barriers for smaller populations to take advantage of this booming online resource.

“Their research-based educational system and crowdfunding platform is helping to get much-needed capital to our nation’s rural communities and small businesses,” says Kelly Haigler Cornish, program manager of the WSSI at UW.

The same backing that jump-started The Local Crowd also is available to other Wyoming tech-based, for-profit small businesses and entrepreneurs. The WSSI can help eligible applicants compete for $2.5 billion in annual grants.

For more information about these programs, visit the UW website at or contact a local Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) adviser at

About SBDC

SBDC is a partnership among UW, the Wyoming Business Council and the U.S. Small Business Administration offering business expertise to help Wyoming residents launch, grow, reinvent or exit their business.

About WSSI

WSSI is a UW program under the SBDC and sponsored by the Wyoming Business Council. The mission of the partnership is to increase the number of federal SBIR awards received by Wyoming small businesses by providing funding assistance.

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