January 25, 2023 — The first Carbon County Start-Up Challenge (CCSC) had its first Pitch Night competition on Thursday, Jan. 19 at the Parco Theatre, located at 300 Lincoln Ave. in Sinclair. Four local start-up businesses were funded on Pitch Night. A link to a recording of Pitch Night and more information about the Carbon County Start-Up Challenge can be found at https://impact307.org/start-up-challenges/carbon-county-start-up-challenge/.
Carbon County Start-Up Challenge is a competition for local entrepreneurs that provides valuable mentorship from IMPACT 307 and the Wyoming Small Business Development Center. The first competition attracted 26 applications. Four winners will be receiving seed funding generously provided by the Wyoming Innovation Partnership and the Business Innovation Hub of Carbon County.
CCSC is run by IMPACT Carbon County, a collaboration between the University of Wyoming’s IMPACT 307 and Western Wyoming Community College, which is made possible by the Economic Development Administration’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant. IMPACT Carbon County is also made possible with the efforts of its strategic partners, Pam Thayer of the Business Innovation Hub of Carbon County and Jim Drever of the Wyoming Small Business Development Center. The City of Sinclair generously donated use of the Parco Theatre. Refreshments for Pitch Night were sponsored by the Business Innovation Hub. Suppliers of refreshments were local businesses, Mukwano Coffee (http://www.mukwanocoffee.com/) and Gem Cookie Co (https://www.facebook.com/gemcookieco).
The seed money grants were determined by local judges. The judges were Derrek Jerred (Senior Director, IMPACT 307), Jay Grabow (Entrepreneur and Developer, Energy Housing Properties), and Scott Thayer (Rancher and Retired Bank President, Creston Cattle Co/RNB State Bank). The audience also had a chance to vote for their favorite for an Audience Choice award via text. The Audience Choice Winner was Brewed Learning. The four winners receiving Pitch Night seed funding are:
— Brewed Learning, founded by Cody and Christine Anderson, is a coffee education and learning company, centrally located in the heart of the United States. They equip coffee houses with the necessary education to take their coffee house to the next level. They offer beginner to intermediate barista training both in their training lab and with their mobile training unit. They also provide continuing education and ongoing maintenance and repairs to the coffee houses’ equipment and products.
— Encampment River Glamping, LLC, founded by Jon and Heidi Suttee of Encampment WY, will provide a glamping experience along the Encampment River. This will fill an unfilled need for tourists who wish to have an offering in between camping and luxury resorts. Jon and Heidi hope to attract many new tourists to Carbon County.
— Good Raising, LLC was founded by Don Woolley in 2020 to create online giving tools for nonprofits. The first product is an online will that nonprofits can provide to their donors and other constituents. The process provides a free will for the donor and an opportunity to easily leave a bequest to sustain and expand the nonprofit’s impact. www.goodraising.com
— The Wandering Chef, founded by John Ryan, offers a full range of culinary services intended to bolster regional business and highlight the area’s cuisine. His approach is two-fold, reaching consumers directly through pop-up kitchens, event vending, catering, and home chef services. Secondly, he offers a suite of culinary consulting/educational products, ranging from cooking classes and social media content to restaurant consulting, staff training, and beyond. https://johnr1986.wixsite.com/mysite
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. The Wyoming Small Business Development Center is a network of expert small business advisors located across the state. Both IMPACT 307 and the SBDC provide mentorship to Wyoming entrepreneurs at no-cost. Entrepreneurs do not need to participate in a start-up challenge to receive assistance.
For more information about IMPACT 307, call Monica Patten, IMPACT Carbon County Assistant Director, at (307) 466-3963 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Wyoming SBDC, call Jim Drever, Regional Director, at (307) 766-3505 or email him at email@example.com.