Three new technology companies got an extra cushion to help get up and running after winning a local business start-up challenge.
The competition was part of the Wyoming Blockchain Stampede, an annual event hosted by the University of Wyoming Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation. The event is meant to expose students and business leaders to the latest opportunities and developments in the field.
This year, IMPACT 307 joined the event to help coordinate a business incubator challenge. Multiple business startups presented pitches during the event, and a panel of three judges selected the winners, according to a UW news release.
The North Carolina based company Ordinal, Inc. won the first prize of $15,000. Second and third place went to two companies run by UW students, Indico Blockchain Solutions and Near Field Query. Each won $5,000 respectively, according to the news release.
The seed money came from the venture capital firm Blue Ocean Digital Management, and the winners will have access to business counseling and other business start-up services from Impact 307.
Impact 307 works with many other businesses in the business resource network, Senior Director Derrek Jerred said.
The program focuses on technology or unique products that will result in primary jobs. Collaborating in events like the Wyoming Blockchain Stampede allows the program to connect with potential clients that will be the best match, he said.
“We get the opportunity in using our start-up challenge to help come up with a system to identify those clients,” Jerred said.
The winners from the program will now have access to a variety of resources across the University of Wyoming campus, along with in-house resources Impact 307 staff can provide.
Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation director Steve Lupien said in the news release that the collaboration allows people to be more exposed to the opportunities that blockchain technology can provide.
This year marked the fifth anniversary of the event, and is one of many initiatives the university has taken in conjunction with a statewide strategy to position Wyoming as a leader in digital currency.
“It’s not that students are just learning about blockchain; they are learning how to apply it,” Lupien said. “I’m of the opinion that the best way to learn about starting a business is to start a business.”