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Entrepreneurship Program

The University of Wyoming College of Business has a robust entrepreneurship program which includes courses offered to all UW students, a minor and a major degree in entrepreneurship. In addition to courses offered, we host an annual entrepreneurship summit each year alongside an entrepreneurship competition with cash prizes totaling $50,000. It is our goal through this program to "activate" as many young entrepreneurs we can through education about best practices, resources provided to help them succeed, and mentorship to show them what is possible.

Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition

2021-2022 $50k Ellbogen Entrepreneurship Competition Draft Rules and Guidelines

Please note that this is a draft of the 2021-2022 $50k ECC Rules and Guidelines. The final version will be available by Wednesday, September 1, 2021, through requests to ENTR@uwyo.edu, and will be posted at www.uwyo.edu/business/entrepreneurship by Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

The John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition at the University of Wyoming (UW) is designed to encourage college students across the State of Wyoming to act on their talents, ideas, and energy to produce tomorrow's leading businesses. The $50K Competition awards cash prizes to outstanding teams of student entrepreneurs who submit their business plans for new ventures showing significant business potential. The competition encourages teams to compete by providing business consulting expertise, C-level mentorship, financial mentorship, and a strong entrepreneurial network of investors and potential partners.

Students from all community colleges and in all disciplines at UW at the undergraduate and graduate levels are welcome to enter the competition. Multi-disciplinary teams that combine members from many disciplines are encouraged, as these teams bring together the variety of skills required for a successful venture.

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News Stories

Awards Announced for 2021 Virtual UW John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition

April 29, 2021 — Six finalists will share a total of $77,000 in prize money after being selected as winners of the University of Wyoming College of Business John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition, which was held virtually April 23-24. 

Awards Announced for 2021 Virtual UW John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition

April 29, 2021 — Six finalists will share a total of $77,000 in prize money after being selected as winners of the University of Wyoming College of Business John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition, which was held virtually April 23-24. 

The grand prize winner, LifeGlass, was awarded $22,500. Team members are Ryan Bettcher, a UW molecular biology graduate student, from Brighton, Colo., and Thomas Boothby, a UW assistant professor of molecular biology. LifeGlass uses the survival mechanisms of desiccation-tolerant organisms to stabilize inherently unstable pharmaceuticals in a thermotolerant, glass-like state.

Nine teams initially were eligible to win funds from the endowed $50,000 prize, the Top Submission awards (four categories), the People’s Choice Awards and the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program Award. This year, members of the John P. Ellbogen Foundation attended the event and decided to make a special commitment directly to one of the teams. 

Other winners were:

-- The second grand prize winner, WireDraw LLC, was awarded $22,500. The company is led by Jared Henderson, a junior majoring in business economics, from Greybull. WireDraw LLC is an information management company that designs systems to store, organize and distribute project data to the team. Its systems are tailor-made for each client.

-- The third grand prize winner, AI Understand U, won $5,000. The company is led by Stephanie Bowman, a first-year doctoral student in the UW School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy and Design, from Chicago. AI Understand U provides accessible and nonjudgmental mental health and wellness support tailored specifically to college students in the form of an app that features conversational artificial intelligence in the form of a chatbot.

Several other noteworthy awards were made possible through the support of donors for entrepreneurship at UW:

-- Top Submission, Community College Team, Central Wyoming College (CWC), ($1,000), Cooking With Community. Team members, all culinary arts majors at CWC, are: Brittney Niedo, a freshman, from Fort Washakie; freshmen Oliver Chambers, Jair Jimenez and Rodolfo Jimenez, and sophomores Amelia Nolan and Stephanie Roche, all from Jackson. Also on the team is Amy Madera, a faculty member and program director of culinary arts and hotel and restaurant management at CWC. 

Cooking With Community is a mobile commercial teaching kitchen designed to offer year-round culinary instruction in Jackson and training on regional farms and the Wind River Indian Reservation. The trailer will be available for catering of special events.

-- Top Submission, Female Entrepreneur ($1,000), B3. Team members are Perri Meeks, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, from Big Piney; and Brayton Sanders, a machine learning engineer at Flowstate and a 2020 UW MBA graduate. 

B3 is an online web application designed to optimize inventory management for online retail companies. Inventory management refers to the practice of maintaining optimum inventory levels. With the help of B3, entrepreneurs can feel confident in knowing how long their current inventory will last, when they should order more, and how much.

-- Top Submission, Social Enterprise ($1,000), AI Understand U.

-- Top Submission, Best Ability to Positively Impact Wyoming ($1,000), Cooking With Community.

-- People’s Choice Award ($500), B3.

-- Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program Award ($2,500), LifeGlass.

-- Special commitment by John P. Ellbogen Foundation: A special commitment of $20,000 was made to Cooking With Community, a nonprofit organization.

Students who wish to compete in the 2021-22 John P. Elbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition can email Josie Voight at voight@uwyo.edu.

Read more about the 2021 Virtual John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition


Armor Glove logo

Armour Glove

Team members are Matthew Jensen, a sophomore majoring in business at Sheridan College, from Windsor, Colo.; and Teegan Hartman, an information technology analyst for Comcast, from Loveland, Colo. The automotive technician of today faces more and more every day in the way of dangerous chemicals, sharp car parts and confined spaces.  Armour Glove is a glove made to meet the demands of today’s automotive technicians and protect them from all sides.

Matthew Jensen and Teegen Hartman

Matthew Jensen, left, and Teegan Hartman


B 3 logo

B3

Team members are Perri Meeks, a senior in mechanical engineering at UW, from Big Piney; and Brayton Sanders, a machine learning engineer at Flowstate and 2020 UW MBA graduate, from Evanston. B3 is an online web application designed to optimize inventory management for online retail companies. Inventory management refers to the practices of maintaining optimum inventory levels, just enough but not too much. The costs associated with poor inventory management are incredibly high: cost of missed sales, cost of reputation and costs of tying up cash with stale inventory. With the help of B3, entrepreneurs can feel confident in knowing how long their current inventory will last, when they should order more, and how much.

b3_perri-meeks-and-brayton-sanders_photo.jpg Perri Meeks and Brayton Sanders


Bedrock Outdoors logo

Bedrock Outdoors

Team members are Emma Dixon, a junior majoring in outdoor recreation and tourism management/environmental systems science, with a minor in honors at UW, from Lawrence, Kan.; and Taylor Davis, a sophomore majoring in outdoor recreation and tourism management at UW, from Wylie, Texas. Bedrock Outdoors is a community-centered hub of outdoor activities that will offer rentals, retail and educational sessions. There is a need to increase access to outdoor opportunities by supporting people as they gain the confidence, skills and gear needed to have positive experiences in nature.

bedrock-team.jpgEmma Dixon, left, and Taylor Davis.


Cookin with Community logo

Cooking With Community

Team members: All are culinary arts majors at Central Wyoming College (CWC). Cooking With Community is a mobile commercial teaching kitchen designed to offer year-round culinary instruction in Jackson and training on regional farms and the Wind River Indian Reservation. Their trailer will be available for catering of special events.

Cooking with Community team members
From left are Oliver Chambers, a freshman from Jackson; Jair Jimenez freshman; Rodolfo Jimenez, a freshman, Amelia Nolan, sophomore, and Stephanie Roche, sophomore, all from Jackson; Brittney Niedo, freshman, Fort Washakie; and Amy Madera, a faculty member and program director of CWC’s culinary arts and hotel and restaurant management.


Fab Sampler

FabSampler

Team members are Sarker Ramproshad, a second-year UW chemistry graduate student, from Khulna, Bangladesh; Debashis Dutta, a UW chemistry faculty member, from Pune, India; Rajesh Deb, a fifth-year UW chemistry graduate student, from Cumilla, Bangladesh; and Sakur Mahmud, a sixth-year UW chemistry graduate student, from Patuakhali, Bangladesh. FabSampler was founded to develop a sampling platform and a testing process to continuously monitor for airborne viruses in indoor spaces, including transportation vehicles.

Fab Sampler team
From left are FabSampler members Debashis Dutta, Sakur Mahmud, Rajesh Deb and Sarker Ramproshad.


Life Glass logo

LifeGlass

Team members are Ryan Bettcher, a UW molecular biology graduate student, from Brighton, Colo.; and Thomas Boothby, a UW molecular biology faculty member. LifeGlass uses the survival mechanisms of desiccation-tolerant organisms to stabilize inherently unstable pharmaceuticals in a thermotolerant, glass-like state.

Thomas Boothby and Ryan BettcherThomas Boothby, left, and Ryan Bettcher


Orman's Sweets

Orman’s Sweets

Story Roberts, a senior majoring in business management and entrepreneurship at UW, from Cheyenne. Orman’s Sweets is a place where you can find either the perfect treat or the perfect gift, producing handmade candy.

Story RobertsStory Roberts


Wire Draw Logo

WireDraw LLC

Jared Henderson, a UW junior majoring in business economics, from Greybull. WireDraw LLC is an information management company, designing systems to store, organize and distribute project data to the team. Systems are tailor-made for each client.

Jared HendersonJared Henderson



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