Five local finalists to compete at UW's Casper Start-Up Challenge 'Pitch Night' - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Five local finalists to compete at UW’s Casper Start-Up Challenge ‘Pitch Night’

CASPER, Wyo. — The 2019 “Pitch Night” for the Casper Start-Up Challenge is set for 4:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 7 at The Lyric.

“Five local entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges with the top three teams receiving a $5,000 award, and opportunity to apply to a $50,000 seed fund for working capital,” the Wyoming Technology Businesses Center’s announcement states.

The public can attend and vote for their favorite company, with the audience choice winner set to receive $1,500.

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Organizers say this year’s challenge has been particularly successful thus far.

“It was an incredible response from Casper,” said Jerad Stack, Casper Area Director of the Wyoming Technology Business Center. “We received fifty submissions this year, which is the most we’ve ever received.”

Registration for the challenge ran from Aug. 12-Sept. 12.

“Following the registration deadline, WTBC staff narrowed the submittals to 10 semi-finalists, who were each interviewed by a local judging panel to determine five finalists that will pitch on November 7th,” the announcement adds. “All of the finalists have been working closely with WTBC staff to develop business models and the final pitch.”

The five finalists this year include:

Starting at 5:30 pm, the finalists will each give a 20 minute pitch followed by questions from these judges:

  • Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Casper
  • Justin Farley, President/CEO of Advance Casper
  • Nicholas Grooms, Shareholder Grooms & Harkins, P.C.
  • Samantha Benton, Vice President/Commercial Loan Officer at First Interstate Bank
  • Shawn Houck, Founder and CEO

The judges will select three winning teams that will be announced during a reception following the pitches.

“We will also have a $1,500 audience choice award that will be determined 100% by the audience,” Stack says. “So I encourage everyone to come down, vote for your favorite company and support these entrepreneurs.”

This event is sponsored by:

  • Advance Casper
  • Wyoming Business Council
  • University of Wyoming
  • First Interstate Bank
  • Hilltop Bank
  • Oil City News
  • WIDC Frontier CDC

“The WTBC is a business development program of the University of Wyoming that was launched to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wyoming and encourage the development of more high-growth companies within the state. The program has business incubators in Laramie, Casper, and Sheridan that offer comprehensive business consulting as well as programs designed to stimulate new business activity.”