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WTBC Sheridan Start-Up Challenge Winners Announced

November 1, 2019

Three businesses were named winners of the 2019 Sheridan Start-Up Challenge Oct. 29.

Sheridan’s Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) received 39 applications for this year’s Start-Up Challenge. The WTBC is administered by the University of Wyoming Office of Research and Economic Development. It is a not-for-profit business incubator system that provides startup and early-stage companies with the expertise, networks and tools necessary for the development of successful businesses.

Five finalists for this year’s challenge pitched their business ideas before a judging panel and the community at the WYO Theater in Sheridan. The three winners were announced at a reception following the presentations.

Winning proposals, listed by owners and hometowns, are:

-- MuscleShok, founded by Lisa Durgin amd Sharon Jones, of Gillette, is a professionally designed line of muscle pain relief gels and bath soak solutions developed for performance athletes.

-- Piney Island Native Plants, founded by Alisha Bretzman, from Story, will be a nursery providing locally adapted native plant material for use in Wyoming reclamation and habitat restoration projects.

-- Purpose Physical Therapy, founded by Marta Ostler, of Dayton, will be a mobile delivery of physical therapy and skin rehabilitation services to underserved rural patients in the Sheridan region.

Each of the winners will receive $5,000 and pro bono legal advice from Davis & Cannon of Sheridan. The three winning companies also will be eligible to apply for additional funding through a $50,000 seed fund established for the event. Piney Island Native Plants was named the winner of the $1,000 audience choice award.

“We had an estimated 130 attendees at Pitch Night, which featured entrepreneurs from Sheridan and Campbell counties,” says Scot Rendall, WTBC Sheridan director. “Business plans presented were from a variety of industry sectors and indicate that we are making progress in our stated goal of driving economic diversification within the incubator programs.”

Other presenters were:

-- WYO Candle Company, founded by Dwight and Meg Stanislaw, of Sheridan, makes eco-friendly and handcrafted Wyoming-branded candles that feature both rugged and elegant scents for the home décor consumer.

-- Recreational Sandals (Pitch Night business name), founded by Jared Koenig, of Sheridan, who presented a recreational sandal concept that would feature a unique lightweight, breathable and shock-absorbing footbed.

All five finalists will be offered free office space in the Sheridan incubator and ongoing counseling services to help further the development of their business plans.

For more information, call Rendall at (307) 675-1939 or email srendall@uwyo.edu.

Contact Us

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)

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