Start-Up Challenge Pitch Day scheduled for November

The Wyoming Technology Business Center has announced the 2018 Pitch Day for the Casper Start-Up Challenge on Thursday.

The event is scheduled for November 15th at 4:00pm at The Lyric, in Casper. 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 Casper Start-Up Challenge is designed to encourage and stimulate more entrepreneurial activity in the Casper area. Registration for the Start-Up Challenge kicked off on August 3rd and the WTBC received submissions across multiple industries when registration eventually closed on September 11th.

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“It was an incredible response from Casper,” said Jerad Stack, Casper Area Director of the Wyoming Technology Business Center. “The variety of submissions we received from this community was astounding and really showed the entrepreneurial spirit Casper has.”

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 15th.

All of the finalists have been working closely with WTBC staff to develop business models and the final pitch. The five finalists pitching on November 15th include: Barnwood Bros (Adam Jackson), 307 Kitchen (Jamie Purcell & Cassandra Baker), Livestock Wx (Chad McNutt), Simple Injection (Matt Kull), and Wyoming Gear Builders (Cameron Siplon.)

Following the pitches, the WTBC will host a reception at The Lyric where the three winning teams will be announced. “We will also have a $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.”

Pitch Day will kick off at 4:00pm on November 15th and each finalist will give a 20-minute presentation followed by questions from the judges. The judging panel includes Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Casper; Charles Walsh, President/CEO of CAEDA & Co-Founder of Breakthrough 307; Nicholas Grooms, Shareholder Grooms & Harkins, P.C.; Samantha Benton, Vice President/Commercial Loan Officer at First Interstate Bank; Shawn Houck, Founder and CEO; and Tim Kugler, former Wells Fargo regional president for Wyoming.

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.

The Startup Challenge is sponsored by Casper Area Economic Development Alliance/Forward Casper, John P. Ellbogen Foundation, First Interstate Bank, Oil City, and WIDC Frontier CDC.