All that’s required to enter the 2019 Casper Start-Up Challenge is a good idea for a business and a few minutes. But for this modest investment, the payoff could be life-changing.
Three finalists in this year’s competition will each receive $5,000 and will be eligible to receive a share of $50,000 in start-up seed money. They also will receive free office space for a year and professional mentoring.
“Our goal is to invigorate the start-up entrepreneurial community here, to get people thinking about starting companies, to get that idea they have out of the garage and into fruition,” Jerad Stack, director the Wyoming Technology Business Center-Casper, said.
Article continues below...
People can enter the Start-Up Challenge no matter how early they are in business development – even if all they have is a good idea. Others may be in the initial stages of business formation.
Before entering the competition, Stack recommends that interested persons call him at (307) 315-6401, or John Glassburn at (307) 315-6404 for a preliminary discussion about their ideas.
Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to attend an informational mixer which will be held at Frontier Brewing Co., 117 E. 2nd St., on Thursday, Aug. 15, at 5:30 p.m.
Full details also are available at the Casper Start-Up Challenge website, casperstartupchallenge.com. The application process is easy, taking only a few minutes.
The Challenge, now in its fourth year, aims “to build companies that down the road could have the potential to create jobs in Casper,” Stack said, such as high-technology or manufacturing firms.
“One thing we would like to get more of this year is people who are just in the idea stage,” Stack added. “Maybe they are not a business, but they have a little side product or idea.”
In the past, he noted that the Start-Up Challenge sometimes was viewed as an event geared toward more established businesses, but that is not the case.
Registration began Aug. 12 and will end Sept. 12. Interviews with semi-finalists will be Sept. 18 and 19.
An entrepreneurial “Boot Camp” will be held Oct. 4 and 5, during which time business experts will explore with participants such important matters as legal and financial issues, marketing, product design, competitive analysis, intellectual property, and team development. For more information on the Boot Camp, visit the website https://www.caeda.net/boot-camp/.
Semi-finalists will work with WTBC staff to develop their business ideas and thus will benefit from staff expertise throughout the competition process.
The Start-Up Challenge “Pitch Day” will be held on Nov. 7 at the Lyric in downtown Casper. This year’s semi-finalists will be allotted 20 minutes each to sell their business ideas to a panel of judges. Judges will have 10 minutes after each presentation to ask questions. A reception will follow the announcement of this year’s winners. Pitch Day is free and open to the public.
The Casper Start-Up Challenge is sponsored by CAEDA/Forward Casper, the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, First Interstate Bank, the Wyoming Business Council, Oil City News, and WIDC Frontier CDC.