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Published August 16, 2019
The Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) in Sheridan, a business and economic development program of the University of Wyoming, has launched the kickoff of its third annual Sheridan Start-Up Challenge.
This event seeks to encourage new business formation and growth by offering applicants the opportunity for counseling, advice from existing entrepreneur business owners and a chance to compete for seed capital funding.
Registration is open, and applications will be accepted through Friday, Sept. 13. To apply, go here. WTBC staff will be available to answer questions and help entrepreneurs through the initial requirements.
Though relatively new to Sheridan, the Start-Up Challenge has been enthusiastically supported by the community, says WTBC Sheridan Director Scot Rendall.
“In its two-year existence, the Sheridan Start-Up Challenge has had over 100 applications submitted, which indicates solid interest in the idea of starting new businesses,” he says. “And, the nice thing is, whether entrants progress in the competition or not, they receive access to great resources and expertise to aid development of their ideas.”
The Sheridan Start-Up Challenge is designed for anyone who has recently started a business or is interested in getting one launched.
“In past experiences with early-stage companies, we have found that lack of access to even small amounts of capital can be a significant barrier,” Rendall says. “Through the challenge, we’d like to remove that barrier if there are promising business ideas that need a spark to catch on.”
In addition to seed funding, winners also will be offered one year of rent-free office space in the Sheridan incubator facility.
A local judging panel will review entries. Semifinalists will make brief presentations, and finalists will be selected by late September. Each finalist will receive counseling from WTBC staff on the business idea, formulation of a business plan and development of pitch content. The actual pitch competition will take place at the WYO Theater in Sheridan Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Business plan pitch competitions such as the Sheridan Start-Up Challenge are increasingly popular across Wyoming. In addition to Sheridan, similar events are being held this fall in Jackson, Laramie and Casper. In spring 2020, Cheyenne/southeast Wyoming and the Cody/Powell area are slated to host competitions. These efforts are all in line with the Economically Needed Diversification Options for Wyoming (ENDOW) report recommendations to increase the pace of new business creation in the state.
The WTBC is administered by the UW Office of Research and Economic Development. It is a not-for-profit business incubator system that provides startup and early-stage companies with the expertise, networks and tools necessary for the development of successful businesses.
For more information, call Rendall at (307) 675-1939 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.