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UW Casper Start-Up Challenge Finalists to Make Pitches Tuesday

April 19, 2021

IMPACT Casper, the business incubator and development program in the University of Wyoming’s Business Resource Network, will hold its Pitch Night for the 2021 Casper Start-Up Challenge Tuesday, April 20, at 5 p.m.

The event will be held virtually and broadcast with the support of Oil City News on its Facebook page. The Casper Start-Up Challenge is designed to encourage and stimulate more entrepreneurial activity in the Casper area. 

The finalist companies were selected after they pitched to the judges on semifinalist pitch day in February.

“Each company has had so much growth since the semifinalist pitch day, and I think the judges will be very pleased with how far these companies have come,” says Eric Schlidt, director of IMPACT Casper.

All of the finalists have been working closely with IMPACT Casper staff to develop business models and the final pitch. The four finalists pitching Tuesday are:

-- Hathaway Knives, founded by Gabe Hathaway, produces high-end folding knives that are designed, manufactured and assembled in Casper.

-- B3, founded by Perri Meeks and Brayton Sanders, is an online web application designed to optimize inventory management for online retail companies.

-- WyOlsen Design, founded by Linda Olsen, designs tools to support homebound caregivers and professional medical staff.

-- Touchstone Training and Consulting, founded by Emily Farley and Garrett Loyning, provides instruction, testing and hands-on evaluation to meet requirements of operator qualification in the pipeline industry.

The finalists each will give a 20-minute presentation, followed by questions from the judges. The judging panel includes Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Casper; Chris Lorenzen, director of public relations at Casper College; Mary Doherty, president of WIDC Frontier CDC; Nicholas Grooms, shareholder of Grooms & Harkins PC; and Shawn Houck, CEO of Upslope Media.

At stake is $50,000 in prize money along with a free year in the IMPACT Casper incubator, which allows the companies to continue to work with the IMPACT Casper team.

“Participating in the Casper Start-Up Challenge is such a valuable process to go through. The quality of the program is excellent. We were provided with some really helpful direction for our business that has guided us through these early days,” says Amber Pollock, of Piggyback Cocktails, a 2019 Casper Start-Up Challenge finalist and funded company. “We also were able to get some starter equipment to help us get our prototypes going, thanks to the seed funding. This is a great resource for anyone who wants to get an idea up off the ground.”

The Pitch Night is sponsored by Advance Casper, First Interstate Bank, Hilltop National Bank, Oil City News and WIDC Frontier CDC.

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

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