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UW’s Casper Start-Up Challenge Announces Finalists

March 24, 2021

IMPACT Casper, a business development program of the University of Wyoming with business incubators in Laramie, Casper and Sheridan, will continue to build upon the successes of its Casper Start-Up Challenge with a fifth year of the competition and another $50,000 seed fund.

“Every year, the applicants to the Start-Up Challenge get better and better,” says Eric Schlidt, director of IMPACT Casper. “Just narrowing down to our 10 semifinalists was difficult, and we are really excited to introduce the community to our five finalists.”

The finalist businesses and entrepreneurs for the 2021 Casper Start-Up Challenge are: B3 (Perri Meeks and Brayton Sanders); WyOlsen Designs (Linda Olsen); Touchstone Training and Consulting (Emily Farley and Garrett Loyning); Hathaway Knives (Gabe Hathaway); and FireMeister (Michael Gisse).

“Despite COVID-19 being such a global and local disruptor, Casper clearly has the entrepreneurial spirit, ideas and motivation to diversify the local economy if given the chance,” Schlidt says.

The finalists now will work with IMPACT Casper staff and mentors from the community to develop their businesses over the next month, culminating in a final virtual Pitch Day April 20. Three winners will be selected by a panel of judges; each will receive $5,000 and one year of free rent at IMPACT Casper, and be eligible to apply to the $50,000 seed fund. Pitch Day is open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to support these entrepreneurs.

The Casper Start-Up Challenge is made possible through sponsorships from the Casper/Natrona County Economic Development Joint Powers Board, Hilltop National Bank, Oil City News, First Interstate Bank and WIDC Frontier CDC.

For more information on the Casper Start-Up Challenge, call Schlidt at (307) 315-6401 or email eschlid1@uwyo.edu.

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