(Riverton, WY) – Nine student-led teams are vying for seed prize money to get their business plans off the ground in the John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition sponsored by the University of Wyoming’s College of Business.
The competition encourages students to act on their talents, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow’s leading businesses. It will be held Friday and Saturday, April 23-24, as a public webinar.
“The dedication and work ethic shown by our nine finalist teams have been outstanding,” says Patrick Kreiser, the UW College of Business Rile Chair of Entrepreneurship and Leadership. “More than anything, the purpose of experiential learning is to convince students to dream big and then provide them with the support to turn those dreams into reality. We are confident that all nine teams offer compelling value propositions and sustainable business models to help support the Wyoming economy.”
The John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition awards cash prizes to outstanding student-led entrepreneur teams showing significant business potential. Teams enter the competition from various disciplines across the UW campus or Wyoming community colleges. The final nine student teams created startups with innovative business models, each enrolled in a class called “ENTR 4700: Business Model Creation and Launch,” and each team was paired with a mentor.
The nine John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition finalists, their business concepts, team members, majors and hometowns are:
— AI Understand U: Stephanie Bowman, a first-year doctoral student in UW’s School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy and Design, from Chicago. AI Understand U provides accessible and nonjudgmental mental health and wellness support tailored specifically to college students in the form of an app that features conversational artificial intelligence (a chatbot).
— Armour Glove: Team members are Matthew Jensen, a sophomore majoring in business at Sheridan College, from Windsor, Colo.; and Teegan Hartman, an information technology analyst for Comcast, from Loveland, Colo. The automotive technician of today faces more and more every day in the way of dangerous chemicals, sharp car parts and confined spaces. Armour Glove is a glove made to meet the demands of today’s automotive technicians and protect them from all sides.
— B3: Team members are Perri Meeks, a senior in mechanical engineering at UW, from Big Piney; and Brayton Sanders, a machine learning engineer at Flowstate and 2020 UW MBA graduate, from Evanston. B3 is an online web application designed to optimize inventory management for online retail companies. Inventory management refers to the practices of maintaining optimum inventory levels, just enough but not too much. The costs associated with poor inventory management are incredibly high: cost of missed sales, cost of reputation and costs of tying up cash with stale inventory. With the help of B3, entrepreneurs can feel confident in knowing how long their current inventory will last, when they should order more, and how much.
— Bedrock Outdoors: Team members are Emma Dixon, a junior majoring in outdoor recreation and tourism management/environmental systems science, with a minor in honors at UW, from Lawrence, Kan.; and Taylor Davis, a sophomore majoring in outdoor recreation and tourism management at UW, from Wylie, Texas. Bedrock Outdoors is a community-centered hub of outdoor activities that will offer rentals, retail and educational sessions. There is a need to increase access to outdoor opportunities by supporting people as they gain the confidence, skills and gear needed to have positive experiences in nature.
— Cooking With Community: Team members — all culinary arts majors at Central Wyoming College (CWC) — are Brittney Niedo, a freshman, from Fort Washakie; and from Jackson: Oliver Chambers, a freshman; Amelia Nolan, a sophomore; Jair Jimenez, a freshman; Rodolfo Jimenez, a freshman; and Stephanie Roche, a sophomore. Also on the team is Amy Madera, a faculty member and program director of CWC’s culinary arts and hotel and restaurant management. Cooking With Community is a mobile commercial teaching kitchen designed to offer year-round culinary instruction in Jackson and training on regional farms and the Wind River Indian Reservation. The trailer will be available for catering of special events.
— FabSampler: Team members are Sarker Ramproshad, a second-year UW chemistry graduate student, from Khulna, Bangladesh; Debashis Dutta, a UW chemistry faculty member, from Pune, India; Rajesh Deb, a fifth-year UW chemistry graduate student, from Cumilla, Bangladesh; and Sakur Mahmud, a sixth-year UW chemistry graduate student, from Patuakhali, Bangladesh. FabSampler was founded to develop a sampling platform and a testing process to continuously monitor for airborne viruses in indoor spaces, including transportation vehicles.
— LifeGlass: Team members are Ryan Bettcher, a UW molecular biology graduate student, from Brighton, Colo.; and Thomas Boothby, a UW molecular biology faculty member. LifeGlass uses the survival mechanisms of desiccation-tolerant organisms to stabilize inherently unstable pharmaceuticals in a thermotolerant, glass-like state.
— Orman’s Sweets: Story Roberts, a senior majoring in business management and entrepreneurship at UW, from Cheyenne. Orman’s Sweets is a place where you can find either the perfect treat or the perfect gift, producing handmade candy.
— WireDraw LLC: Jared Henderson, a UW junior majoring in business economics, from Greybull. WireDraw LLC is an information management company, designing systems to store, organize and distribute project data to the team. Systems are tailor-made for each client.
To register to attend the webinar, click here.
For more information, email Josie Voight at [email protected].