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UW’s Casper Start-Up Challenge Kicks Off Third Year of Stimulating New Companies

August 6, 2018

The Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC), a business development program of the University of Wyoming, will continue to build upon the successes of its Casper Start-Up Challenge with a third year of the competition and another $50,000 fund to seed Casper entrepreneurial companies.

“We were thrilled with the results of our 2017 Challenge,” says Jerad Stack, director of the Casper Area WTBC. “The community buy-in was phenomenal last year. With nearly 40 applications submitted, it is clear that Casper has the ideas and the motivation to diversify the local economy if given the chance. We are confident that the 2018 Challenge will be even more successful.”

An informational mixer for the Casper Start-Up Challenge will take place at Frontier Brewing Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 5:30 p.m. Registration for the challenge opened Aug. 3 and closes Sept. 7. Final pitches are scheduled Nov. 15 at The Lyric, located at 230 W. Yellowstone in Casper.

The WTBC has business incubators in Laramie, Casper and Sheridan. Administered by the UW Office of Research and Economic Development, the WTBC is a not-for-profit business incubator that provides entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools necessary for success.

Like the previous year’s challenge, the latest competition will have a $50,000 seed fund to help early-stage entrepreneurial companies launch. The Casper Area Economic Development Alliance (CAEDA)/Forward Casper is providing the seed funds. 

“In our experience assisting startups in Wyoming, oftentimes the first barrier entrepreneurs have to cross is a small amount of money to get them going,” Stack says. “Most of the time, this is between $20,000 and $25,000.”

In addition to the seed funding, a select few companies will be chosen to receive office space in the Casper WTBC facility free of charge for one year.

New to this year’s challenge, the top five Start-Up Challenge finalists will receive a sponsored entry to the CAEDA Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp, scheduled Sept. 21-22. Entrepreneurs will be taken on a “holistic journey through conceptualization to materialization” of a business. Among boot camp agenda topics are legal, financial, market development, competitive analysis, intellectual property and team development.

“We are excited to partner with CAEDA on this boot camp,” Stack says. “We see this as a great way for the finalists to kick off the development of their business before they begin their coaching and counseling with WTBC staff.”

Sponsors for the Casper Start-Up Challenge are CAEDA/Forward Casper, the John P. Ellbogen Foundation and the Wyoming Industrial Development Corporation Frontier Certified Development Company.

For more information, call Stack at (307) 315-6401 or email jstack@uwyo.edu.


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