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UW’s Microbial Ecology Collaborative Startup Launchpad Announces Winners

April 8, 2020

Three innovative startups were recently named winners of the Microbial Ecology Collaborative Startup Launchpad (MECSL), which paves a new path for Wyoming entrepreneurs focused on microbial ecology and data science.

The launchpad, a statewide entrepreneurship platform, is sponsored by the Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) and Wyoming’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), both at the University of Wyoming. The launchpad provides $25,000 in seed capital funded by the National Science Foundation and Wyoming EPSCoR.

“The pitches were a reaffirming display of innovation, determination and opportunity in Wyoming,” says David Bohling, director of the WTBC.

In recognition of the significant potential of the startups, all three companies received capital awards of varying amounts.

The winners are:

-- AsimicA, located in Laramie and founded by Nikolai Mushnikov and Grant Bowman, seeks to improve biomolecule production efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry using microbial stem cell technology. For more information, go to www.asimica.com

-- Livestock Wx, located in Casper and founded by Chad McNutt, provides timely and authoritative weather information for beef, pork, poultry and sheep producers with a focus on impacts to livestock health and well-being. For more information, go to www.livestockwx.com.

-- Theraneutrics, located in Laramie and founded by Christoph Geisler, is an innovative biomedical startup that works to solve gout through engineered probiotics. For more information, go to www.theraneutrics.com.

In a first for the collaboration, contenders pitched their ideas to a virtual audience and judges March 26. Among the judges were experts from the Wyoming Business Council, UW College of Business, UW Technology Transfer and Research Products Center and Wyoming EPSCoR who deliberated at length to determine the winners.

As an initiative of Wyoming EPSCoR’s five-year Micro Project, the MECSL focuses on commercializing project-related research and development activities statewide. It serves as a new outlet for entrepreneurs to propel their ideas forward, receive capital and prepare for follow-on funding.

The MECSL will offer another round of startup funds next fall. Information about this and other entrepreneurship opportunities administered by the WTBC can be found at www.uwyo.edu/wtbc.

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