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Published May 14, 2021
Six teams were awarded seed funding recently for their startup companies at the sixth annual University of Wyoming Fisher Innovation Launchpad (FIL) competition, which was held virtually.
The FIL, a startup challenge for UW students, is funded through the contributions of Donne and Sue Fisher, and their desire to make a lasting and impactful legacy through supporting student-led startup companies.
“The Fisher Innovation Launchpad is a great platform that UW has for helping to commercialize the innovative technologies that we develop on campus,” says IMPACT 307 Director Dave Bohling. “One of our very first winners, Resono, is actually heading to NASA later this month to do wind tunnel testing on the space launch system program and has grown to five employees since it was founded.”
IMPACT 307 is a network of innovation-driven business incubators committed to growing and strengthening Wyoming’s entrepreneurial community by providing resources and support for founders to thrive.
The 2020 finalists are:
-- Alere is a business with an online app that matches unique users in different areas so that goods sold in one area can be delivered to the user who doesn’t locally have access to those goods. Alere was founded by Rami Alloush and Ahmed Zankoor, both UW Ph.D. students in petroleum engineering, from Egypt; and Ahmed Elnashar, a Ph.D. student in chemical engineering at the University of Utah.
-- B3 Solutions is an inventory management firm that works with midlevel retailers to track their previous supply timelines and keep an up-to-date stock. B3 was founded by Perri Meeks, a UW senior from Big Piney pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, and Brayton Sanders, a 2020 UW MBA alumnus from Evanston.
-- EVOSEER is working to create a new generation of more energy-efficient lithium batteries. EVOSEER is the creation of Kurt Stahlfeld, a UW Ph.D. student from Pittsburgh, Pa., majoring in mechanical engineering; and Erica Belmont, a UW associate professor of mechanical engineering.
-- HighPoint Plan is a business-to-business digital graphics team working in Wyoming to help small architectural and construction firms with visualizing their end product. HighPoint Plan was founded by Alexzander Story, of Pacifica, Calif., and Casey Bonagofsky, of Bismarck, N.D. Both are UW seniors in the architectural engineering program.
-- LifeGlass is a company focused on revolutionizing the way pharmaceuticals are transported and stored, hoping to make the process easier and more efficient. LifeGlass was created by Ryan Bettcher, a UW Ph.D. student from Brighton, Colo., majoring in molecular biology, and Thomas Boothby, a UW assistant professor of molecular biology.
-- WireDraw is a cloud-based, project management software that allows for up-to-date information to more effortlessly flow between teams, working to reduce redundancies and delays. WireDraw was founded by Jared Henderson, a UW economics major from Greybull.
“The whole process of the competition was incredibly useful, as going into this, I had essentially no background in business,” Bettcher says. “Through the mentoring of IMPACT 307, I was able to come up with a viable business plan and get this whole concept off the ground.”
After consideration by the judges, all of the teams have a path forward to viability and will continue to receive business counseling from the IMPACT Laramie team.