Three businesses were named winners at the first-ever IMPACT Goshen County Pitch Night, which took place Nov. 10 in the Fine Arts Auditorium on the campus of Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington.
IMPACT 307 is a startup business development program of the University of Wyoming and a part of the state’s Business Resource Network. It is administered by UW’s Office of Research and Economic Development. The not-for-profit business incubator system provides startup and early-stage companies with the expertise, networks and tools necessary for the development of successful businesses.
The judges originally selected five finalists from a pool of more than 90 applicants during the challenge application period.
“It was a great night with good attendance on a cold November evening,” says Brian Young, IMPACT Goshen County’s assistant director. “The five judges were great, and I look forward to working with the winners as we help launch their exciting, innovative companies with a goal of primary job creation.”
The finalists presented their new business ideas to the judging panel and live audience for the opportunity to receive seed funding. The winners chosen by the judges were:
— GreenTree Ag LLC, founded by Justin Loeffler, makes high-quality animal bedding from the hemp plant. This material provides for better moisture absorption, reduced odor and a longer use period.
— BAST Manufacturing was founded by Carly Keller, Clayton Auzqui and Jared Clapper. The business uses hemp to create air filters for tractors, HVAC units and other filtration needs.
— Afdahl Bits and Spurs, founded by Blake Afdahl, is a silversmithing business that produces high-end bits and spurs. The company targets the custom market and primarily sells online.
The Audience Choice Award, sponsored by First State Bank, went to BAST Manufacturing.
The challenge was a joint effort of UW’s IMPACT 307 and Eastern Wyoming College.
The event was primarily sponsored by Goshen Economic Development, the Eastern Wyoming College Foundation, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, UW and the Wyoming Business Council.
For more information about IMPACT Goshen County, visit www.impact307.org/goshen-county/.