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The University of Wyoming College of Business has a robust entrepreneurship program that includes courses offered to all UW students, including 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. Our goal through this program is to "activate" as many young entrepreneurs as possible through education about best practices, resources provided to help them succeed, and mentorship to show them what is possible.
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.
The 23rd Annual John P. Ellbogen $50k Entrepreneurship Competition was held April 21-22, 2023 at University of Wyoming College of Business. The student team winners and their award amounts are listed below. Teams were eligible to receive funds from the endowed prize ($63,500 in 2023), the Top Submission awards (four categories), the People’s Choice Award, and the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program Award.
John P. Ellbogen Endowed Fund Winners:
- The grand prize winner, BAST Manufacturing, won $39,000, and is comprised of team members Carly Keller, a sophomore majoring in veterinary technology at Eastern Wyoming College, from Torrington, Wyoming; Clayton Auzqui, a senior studying economics and ag business at University of Wyoming, from Clearmont, Wyoming; and Jared Clapper, a senior studying finance at University of Wyoming, from Veteran, Wyoming. BAST Manufacturing provides a sustainable, high-performance air filter that positively impacts our communities and environment.
- The second winner of endowed prize funds, Inspira Nutrition, won $15,500, and is led by Evan Eversole, a sophomore studying chemical engineering at University of Wyoming, from Douglas, Wyoming. Inspira Nutrition is fueling your next journey with high-quality, proven nutrition that inspires!
- The third winner of endowed prize funds, EdgeFlyte, won $5,000, and is led by Tate Schrock, a freshman studying business and entrepreneurship at Laramie County Community College, from Anton, Colorado. EdgeFlyte offers high-performance edge-of-space atmospheric research equipment to academics and hobbyists
- The fourth winner of endowed prize funds, Purely Persistent, won $4,000, and is led by Michelle Schutten who holds a graduate degree and is a sophomore in a digital design program at Western Wyoming Community College, from Rock Springs, Wyoming. Purely Persistent LLC is a Wyoming-based, online education business focused on empowering adults to obtain a high school equivalency certificate, develop a satisfying career, and create a rewarding life.
Top Submission Awards:
- Top Submission, Community College Team ($1,000) winner is Heart to Heart - WY, led by team members Thea Farrington, a student studying psychology at Northwest College, from Powell, Wyoming; Tatiana Farrington, a high school senior taking coursework at Northwest College, from Powell, Wyoming; and Rilei Farmer, a freshman studying art at Northwest College, from Cody, Wyoming. Heart to Heart - WY is a 501c3 that works with youth and young adults living with mental illnesses.
- Top Submission, Female Entrepreneur ($1,000) winner is Purely Persistent, previously mentioned.
- Top Submission, Social Enterprise ($1,000) winner is Wyoming Rail Yard, led by Dayton Hammel, a junior studying business entrepreneurship and sales at University of Wyoming, from Parker, Colorado. Wyoming Rail Yard is dedicated to providing terrain parks to the underserved skiers and snowboarders of Wyoming looking to progress and have fun!
- Top Submission, Best Ability to Positively Impact Wyoming ($1,000) winner is BAST Manufacturing, previously mentioned.
People’s Choice Award:
- People’s Choice Award ($500) winner is Wyoming Rail Yard, previously mentioned.
High School Choice Award:
- High School Choice Award ($1000) winner is Wyoming Rail Yard, previously mentioned.
Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program Award:
- Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program Award ($2,500) winner is MC (Mary Claire) Cares, led by team members Clayton Auzqui, a senior studying economics and ag business at University of Wyoming, from Clearmont, Wyoming; Jared Clapper, a senior studying finance at University of Wyoming, from Veteran, Wyoming; Aram Maljanian, a senior studying computer science at University of Wyoming, from Los Angeles, California; and Benjamin Wilkin, a junior studying computer science at University of Wyoming, from Denver, Colorado. Mary Claire (MC) Cares provides monitoring technology that merges HIPAA compliance and data analytics to improve the care environments of those who are not always able to speak for themselves.
Students wishing to compete in the 2023-2024 John P. Ellbogen $50k Entrepreneurship Competition may email project coordinator, Josie Voight, for more information: email@example.com