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Five Teams to Compete in Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition April 18 at UW

April 3, 2019

Five student-led teams are vying for seed prize money to get their business plans off the ground in the John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition sponsored by the University of Wyoming’s College of Business.

The entrepreneurial competition awards cash prizes to outstanding teams of student entrepreneurs who submit their business plans for new ventures that show significant business potential. The competition will be held at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center Thursday, April 18.

The entrepreneurship competition is part of a daylong UW Entrepreneurship Summit. The UW College of Business hosts both the competition and summit. For more information, click here. To RSVP for the business summit, click here.

This year, teams entered the competition from various disciplines across campus. The final five student teams created companies, and each worked with a mentor for the final presentation.

Known as the UW $10K Competition until 2011, the John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition encourages students to act on their talents, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow's leading businesses.

For more information about the student competition and the business summit, call Caitlyn Spradley, marketing and communications specialist for the UW College of Business, at (307) 766-4112 or email

The five John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition finalists, their projects, team members, majors and hometowns are:

-- Asabi: Team members are Aisha Balogun Mohammed, majoring in computer engineering with minors in computer science and Honors, from Ilorin, Nigeria, and Heather Baker, a communication and journalism graduate student with a minor in international studies, from Cheyenne. Asabi is a nonprofit organization that will create and implement practical courses, such as programming, in a format compatible with structural limitations of developing countries.

-- Autosense Vehicle Occupancy Detection System (VODS): Team members are Kyler Lunberg, majoring in electrical engineering, from Laramie; Dalton Hass, majoring in computer engineering, from Cheyenne; and Braxton Cooper, majoring in electrical engineering, from Sheridan. The Autosense VODS is a device that will use a variety of sensors to monitor the environment of a vehicle, and help prevent human and animal deaths.

-- Petrichor Records: Abbigail Williams, a journalism major with a minor in Honors, from Laramie, is a soloist for the competition. Petrichor Records is an independent, local record label in Laramie, with a focus on signing “do-it-yourself” bands based on talent, not genre.

-- Scitech Energy: Team members are Vahideh Mirchi, a graduate student majoring in petroleum engineering with a minor in interfacial phenomena, and Morteza Akbarabadi, a recent UW graduate, both from Iran. Scitech Energy proposes to formulate highly efficient bio-friendly surfactants for application in enhanced oil recovery.

-- Torch Creamery: TeaLayna Hill, majoring in social work with a minor in disability studies, from Belle Fourche, S.D., is a soloist in the competition. Torch Creamery will provide quality ice cream creations through advocacy and employment for people with disabilities.

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