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UWYO Magazine|May 2014 | Vol. 15 No. 3

UWYO MAGAZINE

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the University of Wyoming


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UWYO Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu    

Growing Businesses

Through an unprecedented partnership with the Wyoming Business Council, UW plays a key role in helping businesses prosper throughout the state.

By Micaela Myers

A manufacturer wants to expand. A small business needs help with accounting, social media and any number of things in between. A company wants to bid for government contracts. An entrepreneur has a brilliant idea and needs help to turn it into reality.

All these needs are met by the Wyoming Business Resource Network, a partnership of the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Business Council (WBC). The goal: to promote prosperity across the state.

"There is no other place in the nation that has a deeper relationship between a university and an economic development entity in the state government than what happens here in Wyoming," says Bill Gern, UW vice president of research and economic development.

"The fact we have one state agency providing the state funding for all of them and they all report to Bill Gern at the university allows for a collaboration and cooperation that, without a doubt, is not duplicated in any other state," says Ben Avery, division director of business and industry at the WBC.

"The university is a critical piece to the economic vitality of the state of Wyoming," adds Bob Jensen, former CEO of the WBC. "Really, nothing happens without them being right alongside us and communities throughout the state in the effort to try to affect positive economic growth."

Together, the network's programs help bring in millions in annual revenue to the state and help to create and support thousands of jobs.

Manufacturing-Works and Innovation Marketplace

Manufacturing-Works and Innovation Marketplace

“Manufacturing is one of those industries that adds jobs with higher wages, and it’s normally stable because people have to put in infrastructure,” says Manufacturing-Works (MW) Director Larry Stewart.


Small Business Development Center and More

Small Business Development Center and More

In 2013 alone, the Wyoming Entrepreneur Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which is part of the U.S. Small Business Administration SBDC system nationwide, helped 1,321 clients for a $22,630,812 capital impact.


Wyoming Technology Business Center

Wyoming Technology Business Center

“Only 50 percent of small businesses that start are still in business five years later,” Gern says. “Businesses that have gone through business incubation—85 percent are still in business.” Figures like that are what launched the Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC), a 30,000-square-foot facility in Laramie, Wyo., in 2006.


Research Products Center

Research Products Center

“We’re a pretty unique program to Wyoming,” says Davona Douglass, director of the Research Products Center (RPC) of the center’s intellectual property and technology transfer services. “We have a service where we provide patent and trademarking searching for anybody in the state of Wyoming. Our goal is to help people get started when they have a great new business plan or invention.”


SBIR/STTR Initiative

SBIR/STTR Initiative

Every year, more than $2 billion is up for grabs nationally through the federal Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Enter the Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative (WSSI), helping to connect Wyoming businesses with 11 federal agencies looking for research.


Resources for All

Resources for All

While not under UW’s purview, the Wyoming Women’s Business Center is also part of the Business Assistance Network and works to promote prosperity for Wyoming women through successful entrepreneurship. Jensen says, “This network is continually growing and expanding, and the businesses that take advantage of it will typically enter into the system and will take advantage of one thing, and then there’s a whole world of opportunities that opens up to them.” For more information on the network, visit wyomingbusiness.org/resources.


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