LARAMIE — For the first time, two projects tied for first place in the annual University of Wyoming College of Business $10K Entrepreneurship Competition.
Presenting their winning business ideas to judges on March 25, were Christoph Geisler, molecular biology student from Heerlen, The Netherlands, plus the team of Nate Storey, agronomy graduate student from Cheyenne, and Paul Bennick, a history student from Gillette.
The winning teams each received $10,000 to start up their business, with an opportunity for a $2,500 progress bonus.
The Wyoming $10K Entrepreneurship Competition encourages UW students to act on their talent, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow's businesses. Both graduate and undergraduates students from all UW colleges are encouraged to enter the competition. From the problems identified to the solutions presented, all projects have the ability to become profitable businesses.
Geisler's business proposal is for his company, GlycoBac, which offers custom glyco-engineered insect cells for the production of biotherapeutics — specific sugar structures critical for the therapeutic efficacy of biotherapeutics, such as cancer-fighting antibodies.
Storey and Bennick developed Bright Agrotech LLC that manufactures and sells vertical hydroponic towers for greenhouse vegetable production. It allows producers to dramatically increase production as a function of floor space.
Business administration student Shantel Seppala, Evanston, was the third-place winner, receiving a $2,500 award for SeppCo. Insurance Solutions. The business is a professional service that assists large construction companies in obtaining and maintaining insurance documentation from subcontractors as a risk reduction strategy.
Two other student projects each earned $500. The team of C.J. Stewarts, mathematics/science, Laramie, and Bennett Simpson, business administration, Pekin, Ill., developed their company Ghost Owl Myconautical Industries. It will provide the Front Range with tasty, healthy, visually appealing gourmet mushrooms, using recycled biomass from the community.
Sarah Clark, non-degree graduate student from Laramie, started SEC Lifestyle Mobile Training Fitness — a new alternative to personal training providing the convenience to train, motivate and encourage in a personal way traditional methods cannot provide.
Two teams also received additional prizes — the most creative plan went to Ghost Owl Myconautical Industries and best presentation to GlycoBac.
In addition to the cash prizes, four of the five teams were offered a one-year, rent-free opportunity to build their business in the Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC), a technology-related business incubator that assists Wyoming entrepreneurs.
On the web: www.uwyo.edu/10k
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