- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The landscape and opportunities for entrepreneurs in Wyoming are growing. IMPACT 307, a business incubator program at the University of Wyoming, is now expanding statewide.
The program has helped create and launch more than 200 Wyoming businesses, with the majority of those coming in the past three years of running community startup challenges. It helps connect clients to the resources and support needed to launch their business.
“We can help with everything an entrepreneur needs from the ground up, including pitching their idea, marketing, early financials, and connecting with a lawyer. Our goal is to help these businesses thrive and be a one-stop-shop for resources,” IMPACT 307’s Interim Laramie Director Fred Schmechel said.
IMPACT 307 was founded in 2005 as the Wyoming Technology Business Center, in part through a $1.6 million EDA investment.
It has primarily been serving entrepreneurs in the more populous cities of Laramie, Casper, and Sheridan, but is now expanding statewide into more rural areas. A recent $2.4 million EDA investment is broadening the program, which will serve clients through a hybrid virtual and in-person structure.
“The virtual environment allows for better collaboration across the state and is facilitating even faster growth of the companies. It allows for putting the right resources with the right people,” Schmechel said.
The University of Wyoming is partnering with eight community colleges across the state to tailor the support for each community’s needs.
“One thing that entrepreneurs are very excited about is that the EDA grant is allowing us to expand across the state and to have someone physically in smaller cities. It makes the community feel like they are that much more supported, and they are more eager to connect because we are right there,” IMPACT 307’s Assistant Director Monica Jo Patten said.
Through the expanded resources, IMPACT 307 will expand its program from six pitch competitions to 12 to 14.