Aug 22, 2019
CASPER, Wyo. – Some rewards of the 2019 Casper Start-Up Challenge are obvious. Three finalists in this year’s competition will each receive $5,000 and will be eligible to receive a share of $50,000 in start-up seed money. They also will receive free office space for a year and professional mentoring. But the very act of participation also yields benefits. It’s an opportunity for start-up entrepreneurs to meet and receive advice from the staff of the Wyoming Technology Business Center-Casper – which runs the event — and to meet and network with people across the spectrum of Casper’s business community. Entering the competition is easy. John Lee, a previous participant and vice president of operations at Disa, LLC, suggests a couple of simple steps people can take to get started in this year’s Start-Up Challenge. “My biggest advice would be to write down your idea on a piece of paper, just flesh it out in an elementary stage,” he said. Next, he recommends calling the WTBC and discussing your idea with either Director Jerad Stack, (307) 315-6401, or Assistant Director John Glassburn, (307) 315-6404. The final step, of course, is to enter the competition. Full details are available at the Casper Start-Up Challenge website. The application process takes only a few minutes. Disa focuses on innovative and highly efficient mining and reclamation technologies. John Lee and his associates were winners in the 2017 Casper Start-Up Challenge with an idea unrelated to Disa. But through contacts made at the WTBC and within the Casper business community, they decided to shift focus — with the full backing and support of WTBC staff. “It takes just one little idea to spark maybe something bigger,” John said. He added that throughout his business journey, WTBC has been ready to help: “More than anything, it provided us space and the mentors to take the business from just a concept to actually putting it into practice and start testing it.” The goal of the Casper Start-Up Challenge is to inspire, then provide guidance and support, as entrepreneurs take good ideas and turn them into viable businesses – especially firms that have a potential to create a significant number of jobs in the area.