Casper business incubator helps turn ideas into sustainable businesses (Photos) - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Casper business incubator helps turn ideas into sustainable businesses (Photos)

Assistant director John Glassburn and director Jerad Stack pose on the historic staircase at the Wyoming Technology Business Center recently in Casper. The 1920s-era building was originally used by Amoco for their Casper refinery offices and has been incorporated into a business incubator. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Think of a business incubator as 21st-century business coaches.

Opened in 2012 on the site of the former Amoco Casper refinery, the Wyoming Technology Business Center in Casper is one of three in the state, the other two being in Laramie and Sheridan. The incubator program is operated by the University of Wyoming.

“The goal here is really to help start up business in Casper from ideation to launch to growth,”┬áJered Stack, director of the Wyoming Technology Business Center.

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“Often times people come to us literally with an idea on a napkin or whiteboard,” said Stack. “If it’s the right business, we bring them in.”

The incubator staff helps the fledgling businesses by giving them office and work facilities, as well as access to labs, mentors, community business people such as accountants and lawyers, according to Stack. They also get business mentoring along the way.

Businesses generally stay around a few years, with a goal to be out and sustainable within 2-5 years.

“These incubators in Wyoming are a little unique because we take companies that are in early stage form, as opposed to Silicon Valley where a business might have half a million dollars,” said associate director John Glassburn.

“Statistically, companies succeed at a higher rate when they use our facilities,” said Stack.

The WTBC is in the process of their third annual Casper Start-Up Challenge, of which Oil City News is a sponsor. The three finalists get a free year in the incubator, along with the helpful services available in the building.

The variety of ideas and creativity is one thing that thrills Stack. “One minute you’re talking to a guy who’s flying drones, next minute is a guy making video games,” said Stack.

Candidates can read about and enter the Casper Start-Up Challenge by clicking here.

The entrance of the historic section of the WTBC has been repurposed as a conference room. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
An original tile from the 20s-era building at the WTBC. It was the former headquarters of the Amoco Casper refinery. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
A safe used by Standard Oil, then eventually Amoco is still seen in the historic section of the WTBC in Casper. The old building has been incorporated into a new structure with modern office building. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
One of the labs in the WTBC is seen here. It’s currently occupied by a startup. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
Equipment and supplies are seen in one of the labs at the WTBC in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
A hall in the WTBC. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
An open office space designed for small startups in the WTBC. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
A large conference room is available to use for tenants of the WTBC in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
An community workspace is available for use by clients at the WTBC. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)