Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now
Leaf with bucking horse and rider on it

Entrepreneurship Program

REQUEST INFORMATION
VISIT UW
APPLY NOW
FOLLOW UW

Entrepreneurship Program

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. It is our goal through this program to "activate" as many young entrepreneurs as 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, Guidelines, and Forms

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.

50k-logo-updated-brown-800-600.jpg

 

Teams Win Awards in UW’s John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition

Six finalists will share a total of $63,000 in prize money after being selected as winners of the John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition at the University of Wyoming.

The competition took place April 22-23, both in person in the UW College of Business Building and virtually via WyoCast.

The competition, sponsored by the UW College of Business, encourages students to act on their talents, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow’s leading businesses. Teams enter the competition from various disciplines across the UW campus or from Wyoming community colleges. The John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition awards cash prizes to outstanding student-led entrepreneur teams showing significant business potential.

The grand prize winner, UplinkRobotics LLC, was awarded $30,000 of endowed prize funds. Team members, all from UW, are Oreoluwa Babatunde, a senior from Aremo, Oyo State, Nigeria, majoring in computer engineering; Christian Bitzas, a senior from Powell majoring in computer engineering; Brady Wagstaff, a senior from Evanston majoring in computer engineering; and Zoe Worthen, a senior from Gillette majoring in business management entrepreneurship. UplinkRobotics is a manufacturing company that specializes in inspection robotics and drones.

Eight teams were eligible to win funding from the endowed $50,000 prize, the Top Submission awards (four categories), the People’s Choice Award, High School Choice Award and the Ethical Startup 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:

-- Laboratory Inventory Management Systems (LIMS) was awarded $12,000 in endowed prize dollars. The company is led by Nicholas Case, a UW graduate student from Laramie majoring in geospatial information science and technology, and Shannon Albeke, a senior research scientist in UW’s Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center. LIMS is an end-to-end solution of software and hardware designed to contextualize samples first drawn from the field; as they get processed in the lab; and long after work has concluded.

-- GigaChar LLC was awarded $5,000 in endowed prize money. The company is led by Alexandra Howell, a UW doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering from Morrill, Neb., and Erica Belmont, an associate professor and head of the UW Department of Mechanical Engineering. GigaChar will provide monitoring, reporting and validation, and develop pathways for the large-scale utilization of biochar-based carbon dioxide removal. Biochar is a carbon-rich, durable material, similar in appearance to charcoal.

-- GS Solar was awarded $3,000 in endowed prize funding. The company is led by Grant Serbousek, a UW senior from Lafayette, Colo., majoring in mechanical engineering. GS Solar is a renewable energy manufacturing company, creating adjustable, easy-to-install solar mounting solutions that increase viability and output while shortening solar installation time.

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), IVIE Farms. The company, located in Lander, will provide locally grown fresh produce and meat to the Wind River Indian Reservation and surrounding communities through selling at local farmers markets and by offering a delivery service designed to accommodate local customers. Aaron Ivie, a freshman from Kinnear, majors in agroecology at CWC.

-- Top Submission, Female Entrepreneur ($1,000), GigaChar.

-- Top Submission, Social Enterprise ($1,000), GigaChar.

-- Top Submission, Best Ability to Positively Impact Wyoming ($1,000), IVIE Farms.

-- People’s Choice Award ($500), Carving the Future. The 501(c)(3) organization empowers youth through inclusive access to snowboarding and skateboarding and provides gear, programs, lessons and athletic scholarships for underserved youth. The goal of the business is to promote physical, mental and social confidence for each. Talia Atkins, from Jackson, is the company’s executive director. She has a bachelor’s degree in organizational management and business/entrepreneurship leadership and is now pursuing a second major in tribal leadership at CWC.

-- High School Choice Award ($1,000), UplinkRobotics.

-- Ethical Startup Award ($2,500), Carving the Future.

-- Special commitment by John P. Ellbogen Foundation: A special commitment of $5,000 was made to IVIE Farms.

Students who wish to compete in the 2022-23 John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition can email Josie Voight.

 

Carving the Future logo

Carving the Future

Talia Atkins has a BAS degree in Organizational Management and Business/Entrepreneurship Leadership and is now pursuing a second major in Tribal Leadership at Central Wyoming College, from Jackson, Wyoming. Talia is the current Executive Director of Carving the Future (CTF). CTF is a 501(c)(3) organization that empowers youth through inclusive access to snowboarding and skateboarding and provides gear, programs, lessons, and athletic scholarships for underserved youth. The goal of CTF is to promote physical, mental, and social confidence for each beneficiary while alleviating the mental health crisis in Wyoming through board sports.

Particpant Headshot

Talia Atkins


Castra logo

CASTRA 307

Team members (both attending University of Wyoming) are Luis Firo, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship with a minor in professional selling, from Denver, Colorado; Joseph Rubald, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship with a minor in creative writing, from Loveland, Colorado. CASTRA 307 is an outdoor living brand committed to democratizing the accessibility of modern car camping. CASTRA 307 is excited to make Laramie, Wyoming its headquarters.

Particpant Headshot

Joe Rubald and Luis Firo


GigaChar logo

GigaChar, LLC

Team members are Dr. Erica Belmont, a faculty member of University of Wyoming mechanical engineering, from Laramie, Wyoming; Alexandra Howell, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at University of Wyoming, from Morrill, Nebraska. GigaChar LLC provides services for biochar-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Biochar is a carbon-rich, durable material, similar in appearance to charcoal, that is made from organic materials such as plant matter, but is currently facing challenges regarding the accurate quantification of its carbon stability. GigaChar LLC will provide monitoring, reporting and validation and develop pathways for the large-scale utilization of biochar-based CDR.

Particpant Headshot Particpant Headshot

Dr. Erica Belmont and Alexandra Howell


GS Solar logo

GS Solar

Grant Serbousek is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering at University of Wyoming, from Lafayette, Colorado. GS Solar is creating adjustable, easy to install, solar mounting solutions that increase viability and output while shortening solar install time. GS Solar is excited to grow a renewable energy manufacturing company in Wyoming.

Particpant Headshot

Grant Serbousek


Ivie Farms logo

IVIE Farms

Aaron Ivie is a freshman majoring in agroecology at Central Wyoming College, from Kinnear, Wyoming. IVIE Farms, located in Lander, Wyoming will provide locally grown, fresh produce and meats to the Wind River Reservation and surrounding communities through selling at local farmers markets and by offering a delivery service designed to accommodate local customers.

Particpant Headshot

Aaron Ivie


LIMS logo

LIMS

Team members are Dr. Shannon Albeke, a faculty member of University of Wyoming Geospatial Information Science and Technology, from Laramie, Wyoming; Nicholas Case, a graduate student at University of Wyoming in Geospatial Information Science and Technology, from Laramie, Wyoming. Laboratory Inventory Management System (LIMS) is an end-to-end solution of software and hardware designed to contextualize samples first drawn from the field, as they get processed in the lab, and long after work has concluded. LIMS offers a safe, reliable, and compliant way to collect, track, maintain, and report data throughout a project's lifetime.

Particpant Headshot Particpant Headshot

Nicholas Case and Dr. Shannon Albeke


Uplink Robotics logo

UplinkRobotics LLC

Team members (all attending University of Wyoming) are Oreoluwa Babatunde, a senior majoring in computer engineering, from Aremo, Oyo State, Nigeria; Christian Bitzas, a senior majoring in computer engineering, from Powell, Wyoming; Brady Wagstaff, a senior majoring in computer engineering with a minor in honors, from Evanston, Wyoming; Zoe Worthen, a senior majoring in business management entrepreneurship with a minor in Chinese, from Gillette, Wyoming. UplinkRobotics LLC is a manufacturing company specializing in inspection robotics and drones which help home inspectors survey crawl spaces. There are over 30,000 home inspectors in North America climbing under houses daily to ensure others safety at the risk of their own. UplinkRobitics offers a remote-control wheeled robot that collects video and thermal data, so that home inspectors can do their job faster and safer. Future products being explored include drones that can complete aerial inspections in hard-to-reach places like attics and other rover variants that can go inside spaces like pipes or walls.

Particpant Headshot Particpant Headshot Particpant Headshot Particpant Headshot

Oreoluwa Babatunde, Christian Bitzas, Brady Wagstaff, and Zoe Worthen


Virtual Reality Athletics logo

Virtual Reality Athletics

Rhett Muchmore is a senior dual major in accounting and entrepreneurship at University of Wyoming, from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Virtual Reality Athletics provides quality entertainment for local community members throughout the entire year using virtual reality simulators. In many of the northern states, people find themselves in a hibernation mode during the long cruel months of winter, with little form of entertainment. VRA will help people to enjoy the activities they love year-round, and to reach their peak performance by offering state of the art simulators with instant data analytic feedback.

Particpant Headshot

Rhett Muchmore



Important Links


Explore our Programs
Faculty And Staff
Student Success Center
Alumni Impact
About Us

Contact Us

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business Accredited logoManagement & Marketing Department

Department 3275

1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3124

Email: uwmgtmkt@uwyo.edu 

College of Business Facebook College of Business Instagram College of Business Youtube College of Business Snapchat

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon