From left to right: Austin Griess (NevRA), Chad and Amber Pollock (Piggyback Cocktail) and Adam Pauli (Symmetry Trailers) pose after it was announced they were the winners of the Casper Start-Up Challenge. (Tom Dixon, Wyoming Business Council)

CASPER, Wyo. —  The three winning companies from the 2019 Casper Start-Up Challenge have applied for their share of the $50,000 Casper Start-Up Challenge seed fund. 

University of Wyoming officials say that the companies- Symmetry Trailers, Piggyback Cocktail Co., and Nevra; were given thirty minutes to make their pitch in front of a judging panel that included, 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; and Shawn Houck, Founder and CEO

Please check out our coverage of the winning entrepreneurs:

The judges were then tasked with deciding what amount each company received. 

“This is the toughest part of being a judge,” said Justin Farley. “We wish we could give each company $50,000 because they are all so good.”

In addition to the seed funds, each company receives a year’s free rent and business incubation from the Wyoming Technology Business Center.

All the companies went through the Casper Start-Up Challenge last year and spent the past few months perfecting their seed fund pitches to the judges.

“Each company is incredibly unique and we at the Wyoming Technology Business Center are extremely excited to work with them,” said Director Eric Schlidt. The companies will have the ability to interact with the other current incubator clients and learn from their invaluable experience. 

The Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) is located at 2435 King Boulevard and provides business incubation to start-up companies in central Wyoming. The incubator currently houses multiple companies who receive business incubation from the staff there.

The Casper StartUp Challenge opens in the late summer and the finalist presentations occur in the fall.

The Casper Start-Up Challenge is sponsored by Advance Casper, Hilltop Bank, First Interstate Bank, the Wyoming Business Council, Oil City News, WIDC Frontier CDC, and the University of Wyoming.

Shawn Houck, Founder and CEO, is also the owner and publisher of Oil City News and Cap City News. He is identified in this story as a Casper StartUp Challenge Judge. Houck has had no editorial input into the coverage or content of this story.