Sweetwater County Innovation Launchpad Pitch Night Set Sept. 27

The first Sweetwater County Innovation Launchpad (SCIL) is down to six finalist teams that will compete in a Pitch Night competition Tuesday, Sept. 27. This is a date change from when the event was originally scheduled.

The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Broadway Theater, located at 618 Broadway St. in Rock Springs. The public is invited to attend and cheer on the finalists.

SCIL is a competition for local entrepreneurs that provides valuable mentorship from the University of Wyoming’s IMPACT 307 and local professionals. It is administered by IMPACT Sweetwater, a collaboration between UW’s IMPACT 307 and Western Wyoming Community College. It is made possible by an Economic Development Administration’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant.

SCIL’s program is sponsored by the Wyoming Business Council, Gov. Mark Gordon’s Wyoming Innovation Partnership, Rock Springs Main Street Urban Renewal Agency (URA), Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce, Green River Chamber of Commerce and the Green River Main Street URA. 

To better prepare for the upcoming Pitch Night, SCIL participants attended two August boot camps, where accounting and banking topics were presented. Accounting topics were presented Aug. 8 at Western Wyoming Community College by Hallows & Company representatives Ladd Hallows, president of business development; Kade Hallows, CEO and CPA; and Adam Roundy, president of tax and accounting, and CPA. The Aug. 22 bankers panel, which also took place at Western Wyoming Community College, consisted of Cody Bateman, president and CEO, and David O’Connell, vice president for business development, both from State Bank; Tiffany Kindel, vice president and branch manager, and Shannon Alam, vice president and branch operations manager, both from Commerce Bank of Wyoming; Ben Bell, regional market manager, and Jeff Killpack, branch manager, both from First Bank of Wyoming; Ozzie Hay, vice president of RSNB Bank; and Ted Ware, president of Uinta Bank.

The first competition attracted 28 applicants. Nine semifinalists gave pitches to local judges Rick Lee, CEO of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce; Lisa Herrera, CEO of the Green River Chamber of Commerce; and Bateman. 

The six finalist teams will compete for seed funding, which is made possible by the Wyoming Innovation Partnership, JP Morgan Chase, First Bank of Wyoming, State Bank, Commerce Bank of Wyoming, RSNB Bank and Rocky Mountain Power. Local judges will determine the winners.

— GM Valley Processing, started by Glen and Mindy Reddon, is a custom meats processing facility in Farson. Born and raised in Wyoming, the Reddons strive to close the gap in their area for domestic meat processing.

— High Desert Technology LLC, founded by Cody and Brittany Gray, is a startup technology company specializing in safety and reliability for the recreational and automotive industry. Cody is a controls engineer for Enterprise Products. He is a graduate of Western Wyoming Community College and a member of the school’s Electrical and Instrumentation Advisory Board. Brittany is the director of stewardship for Climb Wyoming. She is a UW graduate, a UW Alumni Association board member and a Leadership Wyoming graduate.

— Meridical Health Solutions was founded by Amanda Finch, a board-certified holistic health care practitioner, certified functional nutrition counselor, certified personal trainer and a functional nutrition specialist. Finch uncovers the root causes of symptoms and develops customized lifestyle programs — focused on prevention and mediation — to improve her clients’ health. She has 24 years of experience in fitness and 12 years of nutritive intervention.

— Shop Dog Custom, founded by Dylan Covington, is a woodworking business that focuses on custom cabinetry and built-ins. Covington says he came up with the idea for his company when he waited several months for kitchen cabinets from a big-box store. When the shipment arrived, several of the units were badly damaged. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/shopdogcw.

— Wild Sage Market is increasing access to locally produced foods and other healthy products by opening a community-owned grocery store. Memberships provide the initial capital needed to develop the business and open the store. Founders include Nick Walrath, Stacey Dolinar, James Chavez, Aaron Slaton, Megan McComas, Chelsie Naylor, Pete Rust and Laurie Carollo. For more information, go to www.WildSageGreenRiver.com.

— Wyoming Apparatus was founded by Justin Hood in 2020 as an avenue for small fire departments to maintain older equipment. Today, the company offers a multitude of services centered on fire trucks throughout Wyoming. Wyoming Apparatus helps fire departments achieve and maintain National Fire Protection Association compliance for Wyoming emergency vehicles. For more information, go to www.wyomingapparatus.com, or follow on Facebook or Instagram.

IMPACT 307 is a statewide network of innovation-driven business incubators committed to growing and strengthening Wyoming’s entrepreneurial community by providing resources and support for founders to thrive.

For more information, call Monica Patten, IMPACT Sweetwater assistant director, at (307) 466-3963 or email monica.patten@uwyo.edu.

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