CASPER, Wyo. — Up to $25,000 in seed funding and one-on-one mentorship is available to Natrona County entrepreneurs as Visit Casper announced Friday the first-ever Visit Casper Business Challenge.
The new initiative, supported by federal CARES funding, is strategically designed to serve as a catalyst for existing or new businesses in the travel and hospitality industry in Natrona County, Visit Casper said in the release.
“This program is unlike anything we’ve done before,” said Jim Ruble, Chairman of the Natrona County Travel and Tourism Council. “While Casper is already an amazing destination, we know the tourism industry was one of the hardest hit by coronavirus.”
“To continue to grow and have travel and hospitality remain as major economic drivers for Natrona County, we must be bold, creative and strategic. I cannot wait to see what Casper’s innovators bring to the table through this challenge.”
To qualify, applicants must:
- Reside in Natrona County, Wyoming.
- Have an existing business or idea for a business that would serve visitors and grow visitation in the area.
- Submit an idea no later than September 24, 2021.
Product and service businesses are encouraged to apply, and submissions may be entered by individuals or teams.
After submitting an application, applicants will advance through a semi-final and final round of interviews by a panel of judges, with that panel selecting who is eligible to apply for up to $25,000 in seed funding, as well as one-on-one mentorship and in-kind legal, financial and marketing support/services.
“Tourism is a vital part of Natrona County’s economy,” said Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Casper. “To continue to develop our destination, it’s imperative that we play an active role in bringing new ideas to the forefront. We’re looking forward to seeing what area entrepreneurs have in mind to help Casper grow.”
All seed fund disbursements will be awarded by December 20, 2021.
More information, as well as rules and regulations, can be found at www.visitcasperbusinesschallenge.com.