SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Technology Business Center statewide rebranded to Impact 307, officials of the organization announced Monday morning.
The change, while not showing great impacts to current operations, increases funding and aims at providing a more inclusive help center for Wyoming entrepreneurs.
The Wyoming Technology Business Center started 15 years ago at the University of Wyoming to facilitate companies starting up and growing in the state. Since the founding, WTBC has worked with 173 companies across three incubators in Sheridan, Laramie and Casper, according to a press release.
In partnership with the Wyoming Business Council, the WTBC transformed into IMPACT 307, with options for Sheridan and Casper to localize it to IMPACT Sheridan or Casper, respectively.
Sheridan Director Scot Rendall said people often confused the operation as a solely technology-focused company, and by rebranding, they hope to increase the reach of the program to invite any budding entrepreneur.
But, the name change itself does not affect operations much at all.
“Our core program for assisting entrepreneurs and start-up companies will remain the same,” Rendall told The Sheridan Press in an email. “The benefit locally is that the new brand will likely appeal to a much broader spectrum of Sheridan entrepreneurs.”
The rebrand will soon deploy a new website with client profiles, testimonials and success stories to promote early-stage businesses’ products and services. Social media presence — including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram — will greatly increase for the organization, as well, to go live mid-summer.
“We’d like all entrepreneurs with an idea for a new business to consider IMPACT Sheridan as the starting point for developing their models and plans,” Rendall said. “We can raise their chances of success and point them to additional statewide resources as applicable.”
UW increased its financial commitment to Sheridan and Casper up to $425,000 per year, in addition to matching funds from Sheridan County and the city of Sheridan through One-Cent Optional Sales Tax funds totaling $160,000 as it stands now.
Rendall, when presenting an update to Sheridan City Council Monday, said the matching funds from the municipality and county governments helps show UW the viability in the community. As councilors discussed the implications of COVID-19 during budget-focused special meetings, they agreed initially to decrease funding to the WTBC from an $80,000 commitment to $60,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. Monday, though, the group discovered a contractual obligation with Sheridan County in splitting the $160,000 bill to help fund what is now IMPACT Sheridan.
While city council has yet to finalize the budget, Rendall will continue operations with the addition of interns and a part-time administrative assistant.
“Wyoming views entrepreneurial start-ups as a critical element in strategic plans around economic diversification,” Rendall said. “IMPACT 307 and IMPACT Sheridan locally will play a huge role in development of our state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
All services will remain free to those seeking them.