SHERIDAN — IMPACT 307, Sheridan’s business incubator, announced the finalists for the 2021 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:
• Oyster City Mushroom Farm, Jeremiah Attebury — a large scale, year-round gourmet mushroom farm that will provide fresh mushrooms to local and regional markets.
• Outter Limits, RJ Bungert — an innovative, durable, go-anywhere lunchbox cooler concept that was devised through years of experience working in Wyoming coal mines.
• Farm to Table Beef Brand/Marketing, Taylor Kerns — a marketing company that will unite Sheridan region ranchers under one brand and sell farm-to-table fresh beef products into larger retail outlets.
• SonaPure, Austin Ledingham — development of a hearing protection system for dentists, hygienists and staff that focuses on quality, comfort and convenience.
• Mitten’s Moisturizer, Kaya Pehringer — an artisan line of body lotion products made from locally sourced goat’s milk that is healthy for skin and will be marketed throughout the state.
• Brit Schmit LLC, Brittni Schmit — a line of women’s jumpsuit and romper apparel that overcomes some of the traditional limitations of wearing these garments.
For the first time in its five-year history, the Sheridan Start-Up Challenge will feature six finalists vying for a chance to win business funding from the $100,000 seed fund established for the event.
“The semifinal round included a number of quality business ideas, and the judges decided that they wanted to hear follow-on pitches from six finalists on Pitch Night,” said Scot Rendall, IMPACT Sheridan director.
This year’s Challenge attracted 40 applicants, and the top 11 plans were selected for a semifinal round by a panel of local entrepreneur judges. Sheridan continues to lead the state in the number of entrepreneur competition business ideas submitted.
“This is a strong indication of the entrepreneur culture that exists in Sheridan. We have a creative and committed community that supports the development of new ventures,” Rendall said.
The finalists will spend the next month working with IMPACT Sheridan to hone their business plans and final pitch. Barring any late-breaking COVID-19 public meeting restrictions, Pitch Night will be held at the WYO Theater Nov. 10. For those wishing to avoid public gatherings, a live-stream option of viewing the program will be offered.
The Sheridan Start-Up Challenge is made possible through the support of Sheridan County, the city of Sheridan, the Wyoming Business Council, the Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation and Davis & Cannon.
IMPACT 307 is a business development program of the University of Wyoming. It is administered by UW’s Office of Research and Economic Development.