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Published December 21, 2020
IMPACT 307, Sheridan’s business incubator, recently held its inaugural Buffalo High School Start-Up Challenge pitch event, the first of its kind at the high school level in Wyoming.
The winners of the first round were Hell Hound Forge, founded by Chase Wellington; N.E.W. Bricks, founded by Sam Hulick; and Purpose Planner, created by Caydence Engling.
In all, five student entrepreneurs presented their business plans and ideas in front of a panel of judges assembled by IMPACT 307. The student businesses are competing for $5,000 in seed capital funding to help start their ventures.
IMPACT 307, with business incubators in Casper, Laramie and Sheridan, is a business development program of the University of Wyoming. It is administered by UW’s Office of Research and Economic Development.
Buffalo student interest in starting businesses has been high, according to Scot Rendall, director of IMPACT Sheridan.
“We had a number of student applications to the Sheridan Start-Up Challenge, another IMPACT 307 program, and our judges decided that we should create a pitch competition to showcase some of the students and their business ideas,” Rendall says. “The five selected finalists were chosen through the application review process.”
Before the pitch event, finalists received business plan and presentation guidance from IMPACT 307 staff and Kami Kennedy, the head of the Buffalo High School business program.
After the event, the judging panel discussed the merits of each business plan and recommended subdividing the seed funding into two rounds.
The second round of the competition will take place in late January, and the balance of the seed funding will be distributed at that time.