SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Technology Business Center in Sheridan, a business and economic development program of the University of Wyoming, has launched the kick-off of its third annual Sheridan Start-Up Challenge. This event seeks to encourage new business formation and growth by offering applicants an opportunity for counseling, advice from existing entrepreneur business owners, and a chance to compete for seed capital funding.

“In its two year existence, the Sheridan Start-Up Challenge has had over 100 applications submitted, which indicates solid interest in the idea of starting new businesses,” WTBC Sheridan Director Scot Rendall said. “And the nice thing is, whether entrants progress in the competition or not, they receive access to great resources and expertise to aid development of their ideas.”

The Sheridan Start-Up Challenge is designed for anyone who has recently started a business or is interested in launching one.

“In past experience with early-stage companies, we have found that lack of access to even small amounts of capital can be a significant barrier,” Rendall said. “Through the Challenge, we’d like to remove that barrier if there are promising business ideas that need a spark to catch on.”

In addition to seed funding, winners also will be offered one year of rent-free office space in the Sheridan incubator facility.

The registration period is open and applications will be accepted through Sept. 13. There is no cost to enter. The application process is handled online, and WTBC staff will be available to answer questions and help entrepreneurs through the initial requirements. A local judging panel will review entries, semi-finalists will make brief presentations and finalists will be selected by late September.

Each finalist will receive counseling from WTBC Staff on their business idea, formulation of a business plan and development of their pitch content. The actual pitch competition will be held at the WYO Theater in Sheridan on Tuesday Oct. 29.

The WTBC is administered by the UW Office of Research and Economic Development. It is a not-for-profit business incubator system that provides start-up and early stage companies with the expertise, networks and tools necessary for the development of successful businesses.

For more information, please contact Scot Rendall at 307-675-1939 or email srendall@uwyo.edu.