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UW Student-Led SparkTank Project Selects Laramie Nonprofit Finalists for Competition

December 5, 2022

University of Wyoming Ethics Club members recently selected four Albany County nonprofit organizations to participate in the next SparkTank event.

Club members recently met to view and discuss the SparkTank 2023 nomination videos for next spring’s “Shark Tank”-style competition. The finalists will pitch their concepts to club members from 5-8 p.m. April 27 in the UW College of Business Building for the opportunity to receive funds raised by UW’s “Sales Seminar” and Ethics Club students.

Since 2018, SparkTank has invested $240,000 in Albany County nonprofit organizations that provide essential needs -- food, shelter, clothing, safety and health care -- to local residents.

Kent Noble, a UW Ethics Club adviser and Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Faculty Fellow in the UW College of Business, says club organizers anticipate having at least $100,000 for students to invest in SparkTank’s finalists.

The finalists and their videos are Climb Wyoming, Family Promise, Feeding Laramie Valley and Unaccompanied Students Initiative, a new Albany County nonprofit organization.

“Talk about some difficult decisions,” Noble says. “Ethics Club members were really challenged as they reviewed and considered this year’s nominations. A number of the organizations made really compelling appeals. However, in the end, I believe the students made some great choices.”

SparkTank 2023 financial supporters include ATBS (American Truck Business Services), the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, Otter Products/OtterBox, the Scarlett Family Foundation, UniWyo Credit Union and two anonymous donors.

“This is my third SparkTank event, and this year’s nomination videos are the strongest I have seen,” says Ethics Club President Tucker Norman, of Pine Bluffs. “That said, club members did not just rely on how well a video was produced. We really considered the organization’s mission as well as our community’s needs when selecting this year’s finalists.”

Ethics Club Vice President Hayden Hassinger, from Cheyenne, says that club members will provide organizations that did not make the finals with some feedback on their video submissions.

Noble says the primary purposes of SparkTank are to educate students on the important work nonprofit organizations provide in Albany County; to provide the “spark” that helps Albany County’s nonprofits fulfill their missions; and to “spark” a sense of community service within Wyoming’s next generation of business and community leaders.

For more information, email Noble at

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