Impact 307, Sheridan’s business incubator, announced the finalists for this year’s Start-Up Challenge entrepreneur competition. The five finalists are Anna Bailey with IXNAY, a phone app that will provide on-the-spot information about food content and flag users of any ingredients that are harmful or not preferred for consumption; Shawn Day with Big Horn Records, a record label company set up to represent and promote emerging and established “Wyoming-Grown” music artists; Bret Noecker with Pilot Project Solutions, a development and deployment of a waste-to-product operation to convert plastic and municipal waste to valuable carbon products such as graphite or graphene; Scott Van Dorsten with Van Dorsten Custom Firearms, an innovative designer of a scout rifle scope mount that can be used to convert a bolt action rifle to a scout rifle, and other firearm accessories, and Travis Todd with NotFoundBot, a software tool that uses AI-powered redirection to assist ecommerce internet users experiencing “404 not found” errors.
This year’s Challenge attracted 35 applicants that represent a wide variety of business ideas that would serve Sheridan and the region. A judge panel made up of area entrepreneurs and business consultants reviewed the applications and selected 11 plans for a semifinal round that was held on September 28 and 29. Each semifinalist had an opportunity to present their ideas and meet the judges in person. The five finalists mentioned above were then selected by the panel.
Scot Rendall, Sheridan Director of Impact 307, said each year, there are a number of intriguing business ideas submitted for consideration and out of this process, founders launching new ventures will continue to help the local economy and provide products and services that address needs locally, regionally, and in many cases, nationwide. Rendall said the The finalists will spend the next month working with IMPACT 307 to continue development of their plans and respond to judge questions and feedback that were provided during the semifinal round. In addition to the possibility of seed funding, Pitch Night will allow each of them to showcase and promote their ideas to a live audience. A live stream of the event will once again be offered by Sheridan Media for those community members not attending in person.