By University of Wyoming

March 21, 2019

University of Wyoming Entrepreneurship Summit

The University of Wyoming College of Business will host the third annual UW Entrepreneurship Summit April 17-18 at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.

With efforts throughout the state to increase economic diversity, the College of Business has expanded the event to offer professional development workshops to educators, and also entrepreneur and ecosystems sessions. The annual John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition also will be held during the summit. The competition encourages students to act on their talents, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow's leading businesses.

Featured speakers for the summit include UW President Laurie Nichols, College of Business Dean David Sprott, Wyoming Business Council CEO Shawn Reese and keynote speaker Christopher Gray, founder and CEO of Scholly Inc.

Speakers will discuss entrepreneurial resources, highlight some of the emerging companies throughout the state and focus on building connections to strengthen Wyoming’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Wednesday, April 17, Entrepreneurship Summit session will be open to high school faculty, staff and administration as a free professional development program, focusing on high school business, economics and entrepreneurship. Among topics to be discussed are lean startup methodologies; entrepreneurship in the classroom; a business school perspective on economics; and assurance of learning outcomes.

To register for the event, go to

“This event is a great opportunity for our college to give back to the inspirational educators in our wonderful state. Positive change comes from educating the citizens of Wyoming and helping young students to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset,” says Patrick Kreiser, the UW College of Business Rile Chair in Entrepreneurship and Leadership. “As I always tell my own students, anything in life is possible with a positive attitude and a lot of hard work. We will have a fun day but, when educators leave, we also want them to have something tangible to take back to their districts in order to meaningfully integrate entrepreneurial concepts into their curriculum.”

The Thursday, April 18 Entrepreneurship Summit session will be open for the public with purchase of an event ticket. Ticket prices are $49 until April 1 and will be $79 after that date. Students will be admitted free with a prior RSVP.

Tickets can be purchased online at The student RSVP link is

Participants on the summit’s second day will experience elements within the entrepreneur and ecosystem tracks. Workshops and panels to help entrepreneurs understand the resources available and also provide an opportunity for those resources to better clarify the needs of entrepreneurs across the state will be available.

Discussions will focus on the Wyoming Business Council’s StartUp Grant Program; external speakers sharing new ways to incubate companies; and a teen entrepreneur who will shift many people’s perceptions on what it takes to run a company.

“We are excited about the individuals and organizations that have stepped up to support this event,” says Steve Russell, assistant College of Business dean. “If you are an entrepreneur, want to be one, work with entrepreneurs as a part of your job or simply just care about entrepreneurship in the state, you need to be here on April 18.”

Summit participants are encouraged to attend the John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition finalists’ business pitches. The competition awards cash prizes to outstanding teams of student entrepreneurs who submit their business plans for new ventures that show significant business potential.

The five finalists are:

-- Asabi, a nonprofit organization that will create and implement practical courses, such as programming, in a format compatible with structural limitations of developing countries.

-- Autosense Vehicle Occupancy Detection System, a device that uses a variety of sensors to monitor the environment of a vehicle and help prevent human and animal deaths.

-- Scitech Energy, which proposes to formulate highly efficient, bio-friendly surfactants for application in enhanced oil recovery.

-- The Petrichor Records, an independent, local record label in Laramie, with a focus on signing “do it yourself” bands based on talent, not genre.

-- Torch Creamery, which provides quality ice cream creations through advocacy and employment for people with disabilities.

“Every year that I have been involved in this competition, the teams get better. Their commitment to actually starting these businesses is what keeps me going every day,” says Corey Billington, the College of Business Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship. “At this point in the competition, things shift from only being an educational experience to the realization that these entrepreneurs will be the ones hiring people to work in Wyoming, paying taxes in Wyoming and making our state a better place.”

For information about the event, visit

Media planning to attend the event must RSVP to Caitlyn Spradley at or call (307) 766-2301. Additional access details will be provided upon confirmation.


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