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High School Students Compete In Entrepreneur Challenge

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Impact 307
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The University of Wyoming's business incubator in Sheridan, Impact 307, has been hosting entrepreneurial competitions since 2018. Now, it's hosting a competition for high school students in Buffalo.

The incubator's Director Scott Rendall said that, since 2018, a few high school students in Buffalo have applied to the competition. So, he worked with the Buffalo High School business teacher to make a serious competition for them.

"If they win, they have to register with the Secretary of State as a business, and they have to do a couple of other requirements in order for us to be able to release funds from the university holding pool to be able to fund the people that win the challenge," he said.

Rendall said this gives them real world entrepreneurial experience.

"They're having to maybe create some budgeting and be able to kind of manage to a finite amount of funding until they actually get some revenue and some cash flow going within the business in which they can kind of roll that into some other things to expand the business beyond just the startup phase," he said.

Students were competing for $5,000 to help start their businesses. Rendall said they pulled some prize money through their funds and also raised around $2,500 from local businesses in Buffalo.

Eleven students applied for the competition and five finalists were selected. Three winners were announced in December, but they will be holding a second round for students to sharpen their business plans and then compete again for additional funds.

"We decided to open it up to all five again, so that if the two non-winners really make huge progress and their plans, they would be eligible for some of the balance of the seed fund that we still set aside for the second round process," Rendall said.

That competition will take place in early February.

Rendall said he's continuing to work with the students on their business plans. He hopes they will be able to expand the competition across the state.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
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