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Wyoming Technology Business Center

Sheridan Start-Up Challenge Logo


Congratulations to the Sheridan Start-Up Challenge Qualifiers:



Founders: Justin Koltiska and Garrett Kron

In the US alone, there are an estimated 1.7 million active oil wells.  Most of these wells utilize a rod string of steel pipe that fills the entire depth of the well.  Due to the weight of the rod string and the change in fluid within the well, the rod string constantly needs to be adjusted to prevent damage to the pump and to maximize its efficiency. The current methods for adjusting rod strings are dangerous, expensive, time consuming, and often require multiple people and heavy equipment.

The K-Drive is a new, patented oil field tool designed to make the process of raising and lowering rod strings much safer, less expensive, and quicker for only a single person.  Created by Justin Koltiska and Garrett Kron, the K-Drive will significantly reduce the cost of maintaining and servicing wells while allowing companies to ensure maximum efficiency of the pump. 



Founders:  Anne Gunn and Mark Thoney

eBay (1995), craigslist (2000), and Facebook Buy/Sell groups (2010) have spawned a surge in the resale economy. These innovators have disrupted the traditional local advertising market. Private sellers now expect to place free ads, with pictures, that are published instantaneously online. Daily newspapers and weekly shoppers, most of which still charge by the word, have seen a decline in listings. At the same time the number of channels for buyers and sellers has soared.  Sheridan County now has 20+ such Facebook groups, 1 local paper, 2 weekly shoppers, radio stations with strong online presence, and at least one community portal. 

The Oatware Marketplace platform offers one of the established commercial players in a small market (radio station, newspaper, or community portal), the opportunity to create a re-unified marketplace for both local classifieds and commercial advertisers. It marries free, categorized, searchable private ads, which drive traffic, with paid commercial advertising, providing value to sellers, buyers, and the marketplace provider.


Old Army Records

Founders: Kevin O’Dell and Jim Powers

Genealogy research in the US is a $3 billion market with annual growth of over 12%.  One of the current trends in the industry is to make new historical records available to the growing number of researchers. The 19th century military, as with today’s government was a bureaucracy that generated volumes of letters, reports, tabular summaries, personnel orders, court martial summaries, and medical documents.  These records provide rich details about the day-to-day life of a soldier during that time period.  However, these records are not easily available due to the fact they primarily exist in single, non-indexed, handwritten copies at the National Archives.

Old Army Records is addressing this problem through the development of a web platform that will allow users to easily search and access the immense government database of detailed records from the 19th century military.  What sets Old Army Records apart from the competition is that we offer detailed data in a simple to use web database with all records indexed not only for names, but for content, location, and subjects as well. 



Competition Overview

To improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem and assist with quality job creation in the Sheridan area, UW’s Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) is looking for individuals who are interested in starting a new business or early-stage entrepreneurs wanting to grow. The WTBC, through the Sheridan Start-Up Challenge, is providing a monetary incentive and the business support needed for contestants to act on their ideas. 

Each finalist will work closely with WTBC staff to develop his or her business in the Sheridan area. All finalists will gain business process knowledge as they progress through the phases of the competition. Regardless of the competition outcome, each finalist will be more prepared to launch and grow the business, improving the local economy.

The top three finalists will each receive $5,000, one free year in WTBC’s incubator, and be eligible to access a $50,000 Seed Fund for working capital.

2017 Sheridan Start-Up Challenge General Overview
2017 Sheridan Start-Up Challenge Rules & Regulations
2017 Timeline



The Sheridan Start-Up Challenge is sponsored by

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Wyoming Technology Business Center

1981 Double Eagle Drive

Sheridan, WY 82801

Phone: 307-675-1939


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1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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