|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
Wyoming’s economy is dominated by a cyclical mining and energy industry, and as such, the economy is not generating a sufficient number of higher-skilled, higher-wage jobs for a significant portion of the diverse alumni graduating from the state’s higher education institutions. The Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC), an EDA-funded University Center, is supporting efforts to help diversify the Wyoming economy by nurturing a broad spectrum of technology businesses.
The mission of the WTBC is to facilitate the development of early-stage, technology-based and entrepreneurial companies throughout the State of Wyoming and to support the development of an entrepreneurial climate. By developing more early stage, high-growth companies, creating a statewide support system of innovation networks, increasing awareness and interest in entrepreneurial activity, and increasing technology-related jobs and revenues, the University of Wyoming will help diversify Wyoming’s economy to be less dependent on mining and energy. The overall strategy is to identify communities in the state that have the potential to build up a base of technology companies and then initiate a series of programs in that area to stimulate and support the development of high-growth potential companies. These communities are known as “Entrepreneurial Nodes.” Each node will ultimately consist of three major elements: the development of a business incubator; the use of a business advisory program to support the growth of each early stage client selected to the program; and the development of a networking/educational group called e2e Wyoming.
The University Center’s FY 2015 activities focused on the strengthening of the development of the Casper and Sheridan entrepreneurial nodes. The WTBC has been operating full-time in the Sheridan area since February 2015, and is encouraged by early success. The current six incubator clients in the Casper node have contributed 21 jobs to the state of Wyoming and approximately $1.12 million in payroll.