Uinta County Start-Up Challenge Finalists Announced

Evanston, Wyo.  – 6/15/2023

The Uinta County Start-up Challenge (UCSC) is a start-up competition which is run by IMPACT Uinta, a partnership between the University of Wyoming’s IMPACT 307, Western Wyoming Community College, and Rocco O’Neill, Community & Economic Development Director at the City of Evanston.  The UCSC is made possible by the Economic Development Administration, Governor Gordon’s Wyoming Innovation Partnership, Uinta County Economic Development Commission, Wyoming Business Council, and State Bank.

Thirty-eight applications were received this year. After very difficult deliberations, eighteen Semi-Finalist companies were chosen to move on to the next stage of the competition; however, some exited the competition prior to the Finalist Round.  The Semi-Finalists were chosen from applications which follow the Lean Launchpad methodology.  Each company defined a customer’s problem, proposed a solution for that problem, and discussed the ideal customer for their product or service.  IMPACT 307 thanks Cody Bateman, CEO of State Bank; Dan Wheeler, Uinta County Economic Development Chairman; Jon Conrad, Wyoming State Representative; and Jayson and Erica Bailey, owners of CWG Digital Marketing for helping judge the Semi-Final Rounds.

The Semi-Finalists are receiving mentorship from IMPACT 307 and had the opportunity to participate in a business bootcamp.  The business bootcamp, which was open to the public, was held on Saturday May 20th at the Strand Theater. Attendees received pertinent business information from local experts.  Legal presenters were attorneys Thayne Peterson and Geoff Phillips.  Nate Sponenburgh, CPA covered accounting topics.  Banking information was presented by State Bank representatives Cody Bateman, CEO; Dave O’Connell, Business Development Manager; and Taylor Siemers, Loan Officer.  CWG Digital Marketing owners Jayson and Erica Bailey gave attendees a crash course in streamlining the digital marketing process.

Thirteen semi-finalists recently pitched their start-up businesses to local judges in the Uinta County Start-up Challenge finalist roud.  Seven finalists will present at the final Pitch Night and will have the opportunity to compete for seed funding on July 31st 5:30pm at the Strand Theater.   Finalist round judges Dan Wheeler, Jayson Bailey, Dave O’Connell and Gary Welling were excited by the number of talented and motivated entrepreneurs and had a difficult time choosing a smaller group of finalists.

Finalists will continue to receive mentorship from IMPACT 307 and marketing strategy consultations from CWG. 

The thirteen entrepreneurs who presented in the Finalist Round were: (Finalists moving to Pitch Night are marked with an asterisk*)

Keyon Amirkhizi and Elijah Williams are founders of Uinta Pressure Washing & Services which is a power washing service for homes.

Stephanie and Shad Anderson are founding a company which specializes in wellness tourism.

Brian and Lindsi Cendejas* have founded a  powder coating shop, called Momentum Powder Coatings.  https://www.mpcoats.com/

Val Cook and Matt Petrie are founders of “My Local Rodeo” which is a streaming service for high school rodeo.

Tiko and Morgan Heaps* have founded Five Mile Meats: Hometown Butcher which will be a meat processor in Evanston.

Kevin and Sherie Humphrey* have founded Design Simplified which has a unique portable table.

Doug Knighton is the founder of Wyoming Cartage which is a logistics & warehousing business.

Casey, Jake, and Chet Major* are founders of Producer’s Paradise, which will be a new USDA beef processor in Lyman.

Sarah McBride-Kramer is the founder of Lark Cab Service which is a transportation service within Evanston and to UT medical facilities. https://www.facebook.com/EvanstonTaxiCab/

Lance Norris* is the founder of Dare 2B Safe Health & safety which provides safety training, fit testing, and drug testing for smaller employers. www.dare2bsafe.com

Bailey Snyder* is the founder of Optimal You Wellness which is a bioidentical hormone replacement clinic. https://optimalyouwyo.com/contact/

A. Austin, Arryl, and Jackie Webster* have founded Webster Mycology which is a company which provides fresh, high quality mushrooms and mushroom products.  https://www.webstermycology.com/

Megan Neilson and Megan Young have founded Neurodivergent Outreach which provides networking & events for families with disabilities.  https://www.facebook.com/people/Neurodivergent-Outreach/100087966720242/

The competition will culminate in a Pitch Night on Monday, July 31 at the Strand Theater.  This event is free and open to the public.  Winners will receive seed funding which will be released against milestones during the course of their business development.

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