Attention Entrepreneurs! The Uinta County Start-Up Challenge Offers a Chance at Seed Money

Attention Entrepreneurs! The Uinta County Start-Up Challenge Offers a Chance at Seed Money Main Photo

20 Apr 2023


Do you have a business dream? Uinta County, Wyoming, is the perfect place to catalyze your great idea into reality. Support agencies are primed to assist with free advising, and there’s a chance to qualify for startup funds.

The inaugural Uinta County Start-Up Challenge (UCSC) is for new, independent businesses in the seed, start‐up, or early growth stages. Businesses that will generate significant growth in the local economic ecosystem are welcomed. 

From March 1, 2023, through May 15, 2023, applications are open to apply for seed money to launch your business past the concept stage to realization and initial sales. Entry is free and confidential. The culmination of the competition will be on Pitch Day, July 31st.

Winning Finalists will be selected to receive a portion of an established seed fund or funds. While the seed fund size is currently being determined, the target is $25,000 to $50,000. Rocco O’Neill, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Evanston, is raising funds from multiple local community partners, including the Uinta County Economic Development Commission and State Bank of Wyoming.

All Finalists will be advised and coached through the entire process of building a viable business concept. To prepare for Pitch Day, UCSC Finalists will be required to work directly with IMPACT 307— the state-chartered business development program — on their business plans. Finalists will also have the opportunity to meet and network with successful entrepreneurs. 

The UCSC is administered through IMPACT Uinta, a collaboration between IMPACT 307 and Western Wyoming Community College. IMPACT 307 is a member of the Business Resource Network and reports to the University of Wyoming Office of Research and Economic Development. The UCSC is part of IMPACT 307’s Jumpstart Innovation Launchpad, developed in collaboration with Uinta and Lincoln Counties leaders.

IMPACT 307 provides full business life-cycle advising and coaching through experienced staff with backgrounds in various fields, including software, electronic hardware, capital equipment, industrial chemicals and processes, finance, and sales. In IMPACT 307’s history, over 255 businesses have been launched, and over half of those have been from local startup challenges.

Free mentorship from IMPACT 307 is also open to those outside the UCSC. Anyone with questions about UCSC or IMPACT 307 is encouraged to contact Monica Patten, Impact 307 Assistant Director, at 307-466-3963 or Follow IMPACT 307 on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

2023 Uinta County Start-Up Challenge Schedule

March 1st – Application Period Opens
May 15th – Applications Due: 
May 17th – Semi-Finalists identified
May 20th – Bootcamp for Semi-Finalists
May – July 2023 – Business Counseling
June 6th – Semi-Finalist pitches & Finalists announced
July 31st – UCSC Pitch Day in Evanston

Eligibility Details:

Businesses generally excluded from consideration include real estate syndications, franchises, food trucks, brick-and-mortar retail, and spin-outs from existing corporations.

  • Applicants must either be from seed, start-up, or early-stage companies.
  • Submissions may be entered by individuals or teams (up to 10 members).
  • Final approval of eligibility is reserved for the judging committee.
  • The competition is only open to residents of Wyoming’s Uinta County.
  • Applicants are expected to participate in coaching meetings during the competition and seed fund disbursement periods.
  • Seed funds will be disbursed to the winning participants against milestones guided by the Pitch Day judges but ultimately determined by IMPACT 307 and the Winning Finalists.  
  • All seed funds not requested within 12 months of the Pitch Day event will be forfeited by the Finalists. 
  • All companies receiving mentoring will be expected to participate in brief year-end surveys for reporting for grant(s) which support the program.

Evanston Economic Development

Evanston, Wyoming, Economic Development is experienced in forging new frontiers, and our sights are set on entrepreneurs. We are on track for the future with a proactive and dynamic business climate, a dedicated and diverse workforce, and a heartfelt, small-town attitude! Consider this your invitation to visit our thriving community and find out how we can assist you in locating or expanding your business here. Our experienced staff is prepared to assist site selectors and business executives through the relocation process and direct entrepreneurs to the needed resources. Contact us today! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.