IMPACT 307 is accepting applications for its fifth annual Southeast Wyoming Innovation Launchpad (SEWYIL) through Monday, March 20.
IMPACT 307 is a business development program of the University of Wyoming. It is a not-for-profit business incubator system that provides startup and early-stage companies with the expertise, networks and tools necessary for the development of successful businesses. It is administered by UW’s Office of Research and Economic Development.
To complement the Fisher Innovation Launchpad at UW, IMPACT Laramie launched SEWYIL in 2019 for individuals in Albany and Laramie counties to receive business counseling and financial assistance for launching their business ideas.
Derrek Jerred, senior director for IMPACT 307, is responsible for the development of the southeast Wyoming area. He also will be the contact person for entrepreneurs who have product or business ideas and need more information about their next steps.
Jerred comes to UW after almost nine years working in economic development in southeast Wyoming, most recently as director of business attraction for Cheyenne LEADS, where he supported the attraction, relocation and expansion of domestic and international businesses. During his time at LEADS, Jerred worked closely with IMPACT 307, helping businesses transition from its incubators to new community locations in Wyoming.
The template for IMPACT 307 startup challenges is a three-stage process: an application period; a selection period when the finalists are chosen by a panel; and, finally, a Pitch Night where finalists present their ideas in front of a panel of judges. The winner(s) receive seed money and sometimes an incubator site where they continue to develop their ideas and plans, all free of charge.
Jerred encourages people to contact him, even if they are at the beginning stages of a business idea. He can provide guidance or refer the entrepreneur through every step of the process.
To apply to SEWYIL, go to www.impact307.org/sewyil/. Semifinalists will be selected Wednesday, March 22, with finalists named Tuesday, March 28. A Pitch Night is scheduled May 23.