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Five companies will compete for $50,000 in seed funding to help grow their businesses during the Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) Casper Start-Up Challenge.
“One of the primary objectives of this competition is to improve the entrepreneurial climate in Casper by finding individuals interested in starting businesses,” says Joseph Bennick, the Casper area WTBC director. “Based on the overwhelming response from the community, we believe there is a growing entrepreneurial climate in Casper, and this is only the beginning of exciting things to come.”
The five local finalists will compete in the Casper Start-Up Challenge Pitch Day Friday, May 20, at the Casper WTBC, located at 2435 King Blvd. The Pitch Day is free and open to the public. More details and scheduling for Pitch Day will be available in May at www.uwyo.edu/wtbc.
Administered by the University of Wyoming Office of Research and Economic Development, the WTBC is a not-for-profit business incubator that provides entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools necessary for success. The WTBC’s main office is on the UW campus. Other WTBC incubators are located in Casper and Sheridan.
The incubators provide access to office space, shared services and business management advice to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses faster and stronger than they would otherwise. In addition to the incubator program, the WTBC hosts entrepreneurial networking events in each market known as “e2e Wyoming.” The program consists of a 45-minute networking block followed by a 45-minute presentation from an entrepreneur or business expert.
The five finalists are:
Airplane Clean of Wyoming -- a full-service detailing company specializing in aircrafts. Detailing and cleaning of all aircraft will include the interior and exterior. This detailing service will use safe and reliable methods to keep aircraft and equipment clean, and in optimal working condition.
DIEM, LLC -- a company creating innovative products and services to solve complex environmental problems. The team at DIEM focuses on commonly littered items and nonpoint source pollution such as cigarette butts, water bottles, plastic sacks, pesticides, herbicides and hydrocarbons. DIEM is a startup company that seeks commercial solutions to help communities around the globe clean up and mitigate environmental pollution.
Hackett Systems -- a low-voltage special-systems contractor that provides building owners a service solution to monitor, maintain and repair fire, surveillance, security and access control systems. Owner Justin Hackett is National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies 4 certified in fire alarm systems, and has more than 13 years of experience in commercial fire and security contracting.
Minion Studios -- a small indie game development team that is focused on making games for Windows and Mac platforms. The games explore a wide variety of genres and emphasize rich gameplay with adventurous stories.
NU Locating -- a startup, private utility-locating company founded by Ily and Eric Nunn. NU Locating will provide private utility locating services for Wyoming and the surrounding area. Ground penetrating radar and standard locating equipment will be used to accurately locate underground utilities and minimize risk. Operations are scheduled to begin in May.
The WTBC Casper Start-Up Challenge is sponsored by the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, WIDC Frontier CDC and the WTBC.
For more information, call Bennick at (307) 315-6401.