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Sheridan Start-Up Challenge Announces Three Winners

November 12, 2021

IMPACT 307, Sheridan’s business incubator, has chosen three winners of the 2021 Sheridan Start-Up Challenge.

Five finalists presented their business ideas at the challenge’s Pitch Night Nov. 10, which was back live at the WYO Theater in Sheridan this year. Additionally, the program was livestreamed to interested individuals.

IMPACT 307, with business incubators in Casper, Laramie and Sheridan, is a business development program of the University of Wyoming. It is administered by UW’s Office of Research and Economic Development.

“We had over 100 attendees at the WYO Theater and over 900 views on the livestream, indicating very high interest in this year’s Pitch Night,” says Scot Rendall, IMPACT Sheridan director. “All five finalists made outstanding presentations and have great prospects for starting successful businesses.”

Winners selected by the judges are:

-- Brit Schmit LLC, founded by Brittni Schmit, is a line of women’s jumpsuit and romper apparel that overcomes some of the traditional limitations of wearing these garments.

-- Outter Limits, founded by RJ Bungert, is an innovative, durable, go-anywhere lunchbox cooler concept that was devised through years of experience working in Wyoming coal mines.

-- SonaPure, founded by Austin Ledingham, is a company that has developed a hearing protection system for dentists, hygienists and staff that focuses on quality, comfort and convenience.

Each of the winners will receive $5,000 and pro bono legal advice from Davis & Cannon LLP of Sheridan. The winners also will be eligible to apply for additional funding through the $100,000 seed fund established for the event.

SonaPure also was named the winner of the 2021 Audience Choice Award from votes submitted by the live audience and livestream viewers. Over 500 total votes were cast for the award. SonaPure will receive cash and marketing support valued at $3,000 for being chosen as the winner.

For the first time in its five-year history, the judging panel made grant awards to both nonwinners. Mitten’s Moisturizer, a line of lotion products made from locally sourced goat’s milk, and Oyster City Mushroom Farm, a year-round gourmet mushroom farm idea, will each receive $3,000. Kaya Pehringer, founder of Mitten’s, is from Buffalo High School and is the first high school-aged finalist to be selected for the Sheridan Start-Up Challenge. Another business, Farm to Table Beef Brand/Marketing, dropped out of the competition a few days before the Pitch Night event.

All 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 anyone interested in viewing the Sheridan Start-Up Challenge program, the livestream recording will remain up on www.sheridanmedia.com for a few days.

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

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