UW’s John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Fair April 24

logo for competitionStudent-led teams will compete for money to launch their own businesses during the University of Wyoming College of Business’ 24th annual John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Fair Wednesday, April 24.

Eight teams will compete for $50,000 in Ellbogen prize funds and $15,000 in other awards for the development of their businesses.

The event begins with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in the UW College of Business Building atrium, with the competition starting at 9:30 a.m. Scott Beaulier, UW’s H.A. “Dave” True Jr. Family College of Business Dean, will give opening remarks. Winners will be announced at 2:40 p.m. in Room 123 of the Business Building. A Mentor Celebration Luncheon is scheduled at 11:20 a.m., and appetizers will be offered during the judges’ deliberations at the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Fair for registered guests between 1:50-3:30 p.m.

The John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition is designed to encourage college students across the state to act on their talents, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow’s leading businesses. The competition awards cash prizes to outstanding teams of student entrepreneurs who submit their business plans for new ventures showing significant business potential.

Open to both UW and community college students, the competition encourages teams to compete by providing business consulting expertise, mentorship, financial mentorship and a strong entrepreneurial network of investors and potential partners.

Teams competing for prize money are:

-- Ascent Social Marketing LLC is a Wyoming-based marketing firm driven to support the digital footprint of small businesses by offering a personal touch. Landree Wilson, of Fort Collins, Colo., a UW entrepreneurship sophomore with a psychology minor, leads the project.

-- FINA Custom Work is a veteran-owned and Wyoming-based tactical gear company motivated to diversify the local economy, and it is committed to the safety, security and effectiveness of its products. Ana Acevedo, of Laramie, a UW marketing and sales senior, leads the team, which includes her spouse, Army National Guard Sgt. Jesus Acevedo.

-- MayPall is developing a safe-to-swallow mouthwash to prevent cavities for kids. Leo Gomelsky, of Laramie, a UW business management major, leads the company. Other team members are Laramie’s Lucas Wall, a UW molecular biology major and pre-dental student, and Mark Gomelsky, a UW professor of molecular biology.

-- O3 uses artificial intelligence and modern technology to enhance small businesses and boosts relevance and longevity. Dalton Gregory, of Sheridan, a UW entrepreneurship senior with a blockchain minor, leads the project.

-- Power Theory Inc. is focused on empowering clients and communities to optimize energy resources and streamline operations through innovative software and design. Luke Macy, of Cheyenne, a recent UW MBA graduate and current computer science graduate student, leads the company. Other team members are UW students Isaac Almejo-Ponce, an entrepreneurship junior, and Katie Fisher, an economics sophomore with a sustainability minor, both from Riverton; Erik Rivera, of Bondurant, an architectural engineering junior; and SungHa Kim, of Seoul, South Korea, a business analyst and a recent UW MBA energy management graduate.

-- Southern Soul Kitchen is a welcoming family-owned-and-operated soul food restaurant specializing in the juiciest and crispiest hand-battered fried chicken. Evelyn Rodriguez, of Cuba, a Laramie County Community College entrepreneurship sophomore, leads the project.

-- UniquiClay Creative Studio provides access to a creative studio space, allowing people to experience the unpredictable beauty of ceramics with no expectation of perfection. Services provided also include clay distribution and artist sales. Casper’s Susan Noah, a Casper College entrepreneurship freshman, leads the initiative.

-- Wyoming Rail Yard is a skiing and snowboarding event business that hosts rail jams. Dayton Hammel, of Parker, Colo., a UW entrepreneurship senior, leads the project.

Sean Roberts, CEO of Villa; James Garland, of the Ellbogen Foundation and a former $50K competition winner; Christine Langley, business education director for the Wyoming Women’s Business Center; Lexie Garrett, owner of Alexis Drake; and Jeff Smith, owner of TigerTree, a former $50K competition winner, are the judges for the event.

Among exhibitors at the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Fair are the Wyoming Women’s Business Center; gener8tor, gALPHA Wyoming and gBETA Wyoming; the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services’ Business Training and Support Unit; UW’s Venture MBA Program; the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network; IMPACT 307; and past $50K competition winners UplinkRobotics, The Confident Mompreneur and EdgeFlyte.

To register for the John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Fair, go here. A link also is provided to attend virtually.

For more information, go to the $50K Entrepreneurship Competition webpage, or email Josie Voight, UW College of Business special events coordinator, at voight@uwyo.edu.

Contact Us

Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929
Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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