SHERIDAN — Sheridan’s Wyoming Technology Business Center business incubator recently announced the five finalists for this year’s Sheridan Start-Up Challenge entrepreneur competition.
The following is a brief summary of each finalist, including the company name, the entrepreneur and their business idea:
My-Town, created by Aaron Baker — A mobile application that will help small businesses reach their local community, and for the local community to see events that are happening. The best local eateries and events will be just a tap away. Local businesses will be able to offer products for sale and completely process the transaction within the app. Customers will be able to receive custom verification of orders and can track order status in real time.
Angle PR, created by Jamie Diamond — A public-relations-as-a-service company that works with start-up companies to get their stories in the press. Angle PR blends creative best practices in media relations with cutting-edge automation. By streamlining many of the daily tasks and rituals that PR professionals typically perform, Angle’s account staff can focus more time on client strategy and brainstorming to pitch the best stories, which will enable better press coverage.
Spark Payments, created by Spencer Kuzara — A payment processing company designed to provide a frictionless way for businesses to accept payments in digital currency. Using InstantSend technology, transactions happen in less than one second and cost less than one cent. Furthermore, since price volatility is not an acceptable risk in business, Spark’s payment processing app will immediately convert digital currency payments into U.S. Dollars.
Connect Speech Therapy, created by Chelsea Paulus — An innovative in-home speech therapy practice serving individuals with speech impairments, reading and writing difficulties, memory challenges, and other speech therapy needs.
Using technology such as teletherapy services, Connect will be able to deliver personalized service not only locally here in Sheridan but also across Wyoming and other parts of the mountain west, particularly to underserved rural communities.
ThermMaker, created by Chad Reckard – A large, automated fluid heater for use in oil and gas development. Unlike existing fluid heaters that are limited by generic off-the-shelf components, ThermMaker heaters use locally designed and built elements such as burners and heat exchangers created specifically for their intended role. The goal will be to enable better performance at a reduced cost to create oil & gas service market competitive advantages.
The WTBC received 40 applications for this year’s challenge, demonstrating that the Sheridan area continues to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit.
“Community support for start-up businesses is very strong in Sheridan, and there are many local success stories for entrepreneurs to emulate,” said Scot Rendall, WTBC Sheridan director.
Following the mid-September registration deadline, WTBC staff narrowed the submittals to 10 semi-finalists, who then presented a summary of their business or idea to a local judging panel. The judges then selected the five finalists that will pitch their ideas at the WYO Performing Arts and Education Center on Nov. 8. Between now and pitch night, each finalist will work with the WTBC to hone their business models and sharpen their presentation.
Pitch Night is free and open to the community, and the presentations will start at 5:30 p.m. Each of the finalists will give 15-minute presentations and will entertain judge questions. The top three entrepreneurs will each receive a $5,000 award, space in the Sheridan incubator, ongoing counseling and legal support and will have the opportunity to apply for additional working capital from a $50,000 seed fund.